Core Training – How to Find and Train Neutral Spine
Often when I’m working with folks one of the first things I teach, and one of the hardest things to get early on is finding “Neutral Spine”
It’s a little tricky because everyone has a slightly different spinal column shape, some folks have a larger lordosis (lower back curve), others may be more rounded in their upper back, Kyphotic
Finding “neutral” can be pretty challenging for people, especially if they haven’t really done it before. It takes practice, awareness and being shown how to find it.
Another reason folks find it tricky is due to the large variation of “core” exercises, and different approaches and methods. A quick look into the internet fitness jungle will rapidly confuse your brain and body.
There’s the pilates approach
The yoga system
The Gray Cook FMS way od doing it
The Stu McGill method
Postural Restoration Institute like it a certain way
Of course, there is the wild west of gym/PT based versions
Ohh…and don’t forget uncle Freddy’s bulletproof core neutral version
everyone has an opinion, a method, system, and approach right!
Thing is, most of them are valid when applied at the right time, in the right context, with the right progressions ects
So at some point, we just need to start
So I like to start at the beginning, crazy right
And for the majority of folks, the beginning is learning how to find neutral spine. But why neutral?
Neutral spine is functional and safe
It’s where we organize the vertebral column correctly to allow all the muscles, nerves and blood supply to work.
It is the foundation of the most movement.
But we definitely need to learn how to get out of neutral, mainly because as humans we get about on two legs, you may know it as walking.
Walking requires a complex integration of the entire spinal column as it rotates around the joints to create torque movements
The rotation of walking is essential,
But before we learn to rotate, we need a sound base
This is why I like to start with neutral spine setting, it allows us to create a foundation to build upon.
The goal, however, will be to produce a spinal column that can essentially do four things
1. Stabilize in neutral – think heavy deadlift
2. Flex and extend – think to bend forward to pick up your child off the floor, and then straighten up
3. Laterally flex – Think to lean over to your side to give your partner a cuddle on the couch
4. Rotate -Think pretty much every functional movement pattern we do. walking, running, rolling over in bed, walking up stairs, riding a bike.
The end goal of any good “core” program should be to facilitate awesome spinal column movement in the four key areas mention above
it all starts with learning how to find spinal neutral
Then you need how to learn how to breathe….but that a post for another time
n the meantime here s a little video i put together to give you guys a bit of an idea on how to get into “Neutral Spine”, and how we connect the core to movement, particularly through your arms and legs.
If you have any questions please reach out.
Or come along to class and have a go at finding your spine neutral