When it comes to maintaining a healthy spine, there is often a lot of confusion around the basic exercise science. It’s true, we need strength of the muscles around the spine and ligaments, but it depends on what you mean by strength? If an image a body builder with huge muscles turns up in your mind, that is definitely not the type of strength I’m talking about. Muscles need to be strengthened in a way that they develop characteristics which protect the spine.
These include: Endurance, balance & control, and flexibility.
Muscle endurance is required to support your postural system throughout your day-to-day activities. In other words, your postural muscles need to maintain a certain energy capacity without fatiguing. When fatiguing happens in postural muscles, other areas of the spine begin to compensate, and the muscle starts to shorten into a defensive manner. Stretching is not the answer! The solution is to build endurance in the muscles of the postural system. Muscles don’t need to be big to have endurance, but they do need to have the endurance to perform tasks requiring balance, and control of your body during day-to-day living. We recommend building endurance with our 4 Key Exercises as a starting point.
Balance & Control
Balance is a crucial neuromuscular component of spinal health. Maintaining alignment of the spine and body in all the awkward positions we end up in – or sustained stressful postures – require muscle endurance. If the brain can’t maintain an accurate stream of information to the joints and muscles to help keep joints in an accurate position, compensation will start toward injury. If you want to improve the balance and control of your neuromuscular system, then avoid exercises machines. Machines regulate and stabilise joint control. This means your nervous system can’t develop this component of postural health… The machine is doing what you should be doing! Our 4 Key Exercises help you develop balance and control of your postural system. We have a few examples of what you can do in the gym to advance the process.
Many of us are sitting for large periods of time in a given week, as a result we need to focus of activating the postural system.
There is far too much focus on static stretching. Static stretching may be useful as part of a cool down routine, but serves little purpose in helping spinal health, particularly if done in a way that isolates a particular muscle.
Our 4 Key Exercises are about activating the whole postural system, with endurance in balance and control, we then move to flexibility in full functional movements.
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DISCLAIMER: All content is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.