Neutral Spine is one of the most subtle, yet powerful principles. When the spine is neutral you have three spinal curves—cervical, thoracic, and lumbar—which function to absorb shock when running, jumping, or simply walking around town.
We want to maintain and reinforce these natural curves and that, for example, is why we work in neutral spine when performing stability exercises (when the spine is staying still and the limbs are moving – think ‘Wheelbarrow’ -or- ‘Elevator Lunge’).
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
It is very important to work in the neutral spine position because:
- the natural curves help cushion and protect the spine.
- it is the optimal way to attain balance and proportion.
- it optimizes breathing and affects the circulation of bodily fluids.
- it uses the least amount of energy to maintain a desired position.
- the tension on the ligaments and joints of the spine are decreased
- Finding a neutral spine in exercises is important for both performing the exercises correctly and for getting the most out of the movements, helping to activate the right muscles.
And ultimately, if you live in Neutral Spine, you will be putting the least amount of stress on the muscles and bones. Neutral spine position allows your body to perform in the tension-free, fluid movement that nature intended. And, you can go through your day without pain and stiffness, feeling great, enjoying your activities and increasing your productivity.
FORM FIRST, AND WHY IT MATTERS
Unfortunately, now that many of us are working from home, our day is so often spent sitting at a desk for multiple hours, bent over a computer or phone screen, and this certainly doesn’t help our cause.
The farther out you are from neutral spine, the more gravity is being put on discs and vertebrae. Poor spinal alignment can result in excessive flexion (slouching when you sit) which can result in a low back strain or herniated discs. It also can compress your facet joints and contribute to pinching lumbar nerves (ouch!).
So, how do we fix this problem that is an everyday fight for many of us? Fear not—you’re in the right place. We care deeply about helping your body function at its best. Luckily, perfecting your form and posture is a foundational element of every INSTA workout!
WANT MORE TIPS?
INSTAEducation videos are coming soon to our Virtual Studio, INSTA LIVE! Unsure of your form? Feel free to send us a pic or video for personalized feedback!