Spinal stability is necessary for reducing the risk of lower back wear and tear. Overuse of our spine, without support of abdominals, usually results in lower back pain. To keep our skeletal system in correct alignment neutral position of the lower back (lumbar) depends on ab strength.
Neutral position of the back enhances our posture and balance and decreases risk of injury.
1. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, in alignment with your knees and hips. Keep your knees slightly bent.
2. Next, rotate the bottom of your spine (tailbone) under your body into a full pelvic tilt (imagine a puppy putting his tail between his legs).
3. Now rotate your hips so the tailbone is pointing in the opposite direction. This is a full hyper-flexion.
These two points represent full lumbar range and neutral of course, is in the middle. Repeat this movement several times slowly decreasing the range between both points, until the middle (neutral) is found.
Finding neutral in all positions is a great benefit for increasing core strength and stability while decreasing the risk of injury to the spine. So learn how to find and use neutral in the lying position described below. This position also finds correct neck and shoulder alignment which is needed for correct upper body posture.
1. Lay supine on the floor and bring your feet 16-18 inches away from your butt. Leave your knees at about a 45 degree angle.
2. Place hands (palm up) along side of your body, resting them on the floor.
3. Let your upper body rest evenly on the floor. Bring your shoulders back, push them down towards your feet now tuck your shoulder blades in to your body. Bring your face parallel to the ceiling and notice the new position of your head on your neck and spine.
4. Now, repeat pelvic tilt and full hyper flexion until lower back neutral position is found.
5. To maintain this neutral position, activate your deep transverse abdominal, and pelvic floor muscles, by gently tightening and pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. Whether standing or lying, and while walking and exercising, at rest or at play, neutral is always the best position for your spine.