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Question
Posted by: wildboy | 2007/08/25

neutral spine

What are the advantages/disadvantages between performing mat work exercises (eg: curls & hundreds) with a flat back (pushed into the floor) vs. neutral spine?

I've spoken to over 30 instructors, physios, pilates instructors who contradict each other. Does it make a difference?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageYoga

Hi wildboy - I have always been taught to try and keep a neutral spine such that the musculature supporting the spine is trained to strengthen in a spine-neutral position ie you train the muscles to match their intended use. Having said that, an acceptable modification would be to flatten the lower back to protect it from injury, particularly if is susceptible to injury or is weak. Flattening (or supporting with the hands) ensures that you cannot hyper extend the lumbar spine. In yoga we are further taught that the overriding factor is to practice with awareness, moving with comfort and ease - towards the way your body was designed and born to be. This self awareness should prevent incurring injuries and moving into pain, thus doing what is appropriate for your own individual body structure. In other words there may not be a "right" answer, just different ways of doing it...
Hope this helps.
Regards
Chris

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Wildboy | 2007/08/29

Many thanks for the detailed answer!

The more I ask this question the more I realise that perhaps there isn't a right answer!

Reply to Wildboy

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