Protecting Your Spine for Less Back Pain in the Gym and At Work - The #1 Exercise to Master

A stable and well organized spine is the key to moving safely and effectively and maximizing power output and force production - Kelly Starrett, Becoming a Supple Leopard

Our spine protects the most important part of our body (the central nervous system) and is the reason why it’s so important to protect the spine. Furthermore, a disorganized spine will lead to compensation patterns that impact our hips, shoulders, knees, feet. We HAVE to bring awareness to how we stabilize our spine or we will automatically default to faulty movement patterns that set us up for injury

Learning to properly brace our spine is the #1 important concept to master before beginning any fitness routine and a great way to protect our spine throughout our day. In this week’s article we cover proper bracing sequence.

How to Properly Brace Your Spine

Knowing the importance of spinal bracing here is how we can easily do it

  1. Squeeze you butt as hard as you can (set your pelvis)

  2. Pull Your Rib Cage Down

  3. Get Your Belly Tight

  4. Set Your Head to Neutral and Screw in Your Shoulders

Two Hand Rule

This is an easy technique to help you see and feel the difference between a braced position and braced neutral position

  1. One thumb on sternum – palm down

  2. One thumb on pubic bone

The goal is to keep the hands in parallel planes. Can be performed standing, sitting, or lying down. Someone who is rounded too far forward will notice their hands coming closer together while those with an extension default is over extension which will cause our two hands to move further apart.

Belly Whack Test

A way to help bring consciousness to our braced position concept. Pretty simple idea in that we should always be walking around with about 20% tension so that we could take a ‘whack’ to the belly. If you’ve got a spongy middle – you’ll get caught – which means your putting your spine at a higher risk for injury.

The spine is the link to the entire body. These means that poor spinal mechanics will lead to poor hip/knee/shoulder mechanics. We recently helped a 55 year old mother of three overcome chronic shoulder pain through our unique combination of chiropractic care, manual therapy, and improving these spinal stabilization techniques along with mid back mobility drills.

If you have questions about your specific condition - please schedule a time to speak with one of our specialists to see if we can help ease your pain and keep up with your active lifestyle.