There is much talk these days about primal spine and posture training, but what does this really mean and can it change our everyday lives?? Before we start this discussion we need to understand the meaning of a ‘neutral spine’ – and yes, everyone can and should have a neutral spine. Depending upon postural differences and imbalances – everyone’s neutral spine will be different but a strong core is essential in having a neutral spine – I am not referring to the popular ‘six pack’ muscles. I’m referring to the deepest layer of muscle that wraps around us like a girdle called the transverse abdominus. Strengthening this muscle allows us to be in a neutral spine position for our everyday lives. We can never cure structural imbalances like scoliosis or osteoporosis-but we can strengthen the muscles that support the structure so that there is proper muscular support for these postural imbalances.
As a society, we are increasingly imbalanced and we have found that physical and muscular imbalance along with repetitive movement in one direction or another without any opposition of movement or strengthening can cause significant pain and potentially injury. The Core Method has seen tremendous results in teaching clients about their imbalances, showing them how their imbalances impact their physical being, helping them to create a awareness about these imbalances and giving them tools to correct them. In doing this, our clients learn to strengthen their core to achieve neutral spine as well as improve their physical and postural goals.
Back pain is one of the most common pains that people experience and some experts estimate that around 80 percent of us will experience back pain at some point in our lifetime. The modern society postural issues that plague everyone are: sitting, slouching, tucking but most of all keeping your head thrust too far forward i.e. text neck. By having a strong core and in turn neutral spine we can correct many postural issues and potentially prevent future pain or injury.
Here are 5 Core Method rules to remember to assist in attaining and sustaining a neutral spine:
1. Navel to spine (N2S) – ALWAYS! This is an activation of those core muscles and when they are engaged you will automatically change postural deficiencies. This can be done sitting, standing, or walking. Create a mindfulness practice within yourself to remind yourself and keep this engaged.
2. Exhale connects with N2S – When you are exercising and exhaling, connect your exhale with navel to spine N2S.
3. Shoulder retraction – This means pulling the shoulder blades down away from the ears toward the rib cage, not sticking the chest out and not pulling the shoulder blades back so that chest is protruding forward. This can be done ANYWHERE! But most importantly while sitting, driving, looking at computers, texting, walking and standing. With proper cuing this can and should be done while working out
4. Glute muscles activated – This does NOT mean tucking the glutes, it means thinking about activating them and turning them on so they can assist in our everyday activities as they should. This can be done when sitting, standing, walking and working out.
5. Proper breathing – inhale keeping N2S and exhale like you are fogging a mirror – When we purposely exhale this way we are guaranteed to be N2S. If abs are pushing out while exhaling this could create a distended hard belly.
Everyone wants to age gracefully, have flexibility and be pain-free, so developing core strength to create a neutral spine and support proper posture is the most important thing we could and should do for ourselves.
The Core Method – with twenty years of of substantial programming – strengthens core muscles, increases muscular balance, improves posture, and changes bodies.