Preserving and improving your back

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From day one   with us, we emphasise holding a lordosis . We want you to lock your “core down” hold it tight and use it as a lever point for your hips and shoulders to work.

To get the  Backaholic  benefits  you must understand and implement this idea fully. It is not acceptable to lift with your lower back. Period. Not when going for a PB,  not because “well thats how I cycle” , not because  ”well thats how I  sit” not  because ” well I feel comfortable stooped over”.  Lifting means lordosis, lifting means no movement in your back.

You may wish to twist your back for a stretch relief, you may have your back collapsed in a scrum, you may want to roll your back up to land a  dive forward roll, or tuck in the air. You may want a hunched back to pursue a  yogi lifestyle  ( the bendy religion, not the cartoon bear) or to be accepted by other Pilates practitioners as they imprint their spines on the floor.

All of this you can do.  Simply don’t delude yourself that its healthy or good for your back.

Our job is to make you focus on impeccable back  form during our skills and strength and then pressure test  it during the  workouts.

All the time we want to  add to your “Back Bank Balance”.  Every time you lift correctly and with good form you start saving up “Back Bucks”. Every time you  sit correctly  you add to your balance. Every time you slouch,  or use your back to lift, you spend your savings. Too much spending, with no saving, normally ends in tears!

So some  extra concepts.

Most people believe that backs have a set breaking point. I  had the privilege of listening to Stuart McGill who suggested that your back does not have a fixed breaking. The more you slouch, the more you lift that Deadlift with  L 2-5., the more you reduce the  capacity of your back to resist breaking. I think McGill prefers the term “failure tolerance”.

The back  switches everything on in a  natural  lordosis ( not jammed right to the extreme of lordosis). When you use a kyphotic posture to lift, you get  ”Myoelectric  silence in the back extensors, strained posterior passive tissues, high shear force on the  lumbar spine. A neutral spine gets everything onboard working  for you. (Page 93 Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance)

The back has a super useful  muscle architecture; the iliocostalis lumborum and longissimus thoracis fibres when in lordosis  seem to run at  45 degrees  to the spine  which means they brace the back against shear ( about 70%). In kyphosis, its reduced to a measly 10%

To this  lordosis  you need to bring  the ability to engage all the core muscles. We don’t mean the obscure muscles that “guru’s” claim to super isolate like Mutifidus or the TVA. You need everything. Thats why God put them there.  The Lats, the “core” , the rectus abdominis, , the obliques, the fascia. You want it all.! To get this , you engage your lats…its easy, and you brace your core!  Your torso when lifting …. that doesn’t collapse or wiggle. The hips and  shoulders, they do the hinging!

Elsewhere we will talk about some additional super useful exercises we will set you to work on at home: the stuff that promotes a  protective lordosis and builds back endurance: But for now, when we say, get your lumbar curve in, seriously  dude, we mean it!

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