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Finding Neutral Spine

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

A few ways to find standing and supine neutral spine

We were recently asked if we had any videos showing how to find neutral spine. We didn’t. But we do now! Ask and ye shall stand up (and lie down) properly.

An hour past neutral spine

Alexandra: Before we talk about clocks and buckets, it would probably be a good idea to explain what neutral spine is. No, it’s not the border of Switzerland! No, it’s not center position on a stick shift in the “Shaguar” that Mike Myers drove in “Austin Powers” either. We wish we had one of those, as we’d surely find a way to include it in the video.

No archaeological expedition is needed to find your neutral spine

One very technical research article defines it as “ the region of minimal stiffness or maximal compliance of a spinal motion segment,” or “that part of the range of physiological intervertebral motion, measured from the neutral position, within which the spinal motion is produced with a minimal internal resistance.” We think the following definition is the easiest to understand though: “The position of an individual’s spine where every joint is held in an optimal position to allow an equal distribution of force through the entire structure.” In other words, hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. Like porn, but not!

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Kymberly: When you sit, stand, lie down, or move with your vertebrae stacked in natural curvature, you get the benefit of shock absorption and musculoskeletal comfort. So the first thing is to ditch the phrase and goal of “flat” or “straight back.” Dancers might want to achieve that position for a performance. “Why grandma, what a flat back you have. The better to impress you with my dear.”  But we fitness sorts usually want to embrace and hug the curves (in our Shaguar, apparently). That means focusing on the position of the pelvis and moving up the spine from there. The spine gently curves in at the lower back, out at the upper back, then back in again at the neck. If you haven’t watched our video yet, now is the time.

Tick tock, why not also take the time to subscribe to our YouTube channel and our blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar.

Photo credits: Creative Commons:  North Charleston (clock), Jos Lippold (bucket)

Readers: What tips or tricks do you use to achieve neutral spine? Or do you need constant reminders?

 

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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9 Responses to Finding Neutral Spine

  1. Sara August 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I did a video about too much curve in the lower back–how you can assess it at home and a couple exercises to help improve it. If you’re interested, the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xen9_mqslTA It complements your vlog!
    Sara recently posted..August Workout Music PlaylistMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank you for sharing with our readers. The more help, the better! Just being able to pronounce Abimbola’s name on your video made me feel taller already!
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Finding Neutral SpineMy Profile

  2. Hanan August 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    I have horrible posture, so I could use any tips possible!
    Hanan recently posted..Christian Louboutin #Giveaway ends 10/8My Profile

  3. Alison @ racingtales August 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Well that first explanation really confused me so thanks for clarifying! Interestingly, after slouching over my desk for the last hour, I felt the need to sit up straight to read this!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..You say Eggplant, I say AubergineMy Profile

  4. Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired August 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    My posture needs work as well and I will have to give this a try to see if it helps.
    Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired recently posted..We’re Off To Universal Orlando Resort!My Profile

  5. Stefanie August 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    My posture could be better. I think I need to work more on my core.
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  6. Tamara August 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I like the bucket analogy. Somehow it just makes more sense to me.
    I’ve noticed that since I started doing more upper body weight training, I tend to anterior pelvic tilt more. Have to concentrate on engaging my glutes to prevent it!

    Thanks for the great video and reminder! I’ll be sharing, sharing, sharing!
    Tamara recently posted..Tips for building a beautiful salad! Plus 5 salad recipes to make your very ownMy Profile

  7. Calla Gold September 5, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Thanks for sharing the great video! Really helps get the point across.

    Calla Gold

  8. Ambika Choudhary Mahajan September 6, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Most of us these days spend long hours in front of the computer, laptop and television and research has proved that our posture happens to be at its worst while we are at all this.
    I am a freelance writer, eBook writer and blogger myself (luckily for me, I hate watching the telly). Long hours before the lappy take a heavy toll on my posture too- particularly the spine, neck and shoulders.
    I appreciate all the tips listed by you above. I need to be more careful too, and I am sure following them will help me. :)
    Ambika Choudhary Mahajan recently posted..10 Best Foods For Stamina BuildingMy Profile

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