In the video following this article, we are analysing the optimal position of the lumbar spine to entail healthy all round posture. Generally speaking, optimal lumbar spine positioning will fall into two different categories: one that entails a neutral position and one that entails greater levels of movement. So, as per the video, here are the two different positions in greater detail.
A neutral position
When in a neutral position, your spine should meet the following criteria. When looking at it from front and back it should be straight, and when viewed from the side there should be naturally rounded areas. These areas are known as, from the top down, the cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas. The lumbar region connects with your pelvis and, as is the nature of a healthy natural spine, the lumbar region will include some minor lordosis.
Your spine should be kept in this neutral position when you are looking to improve fitness qualities. The video makes clear that this is non-negotiable and as such is best for optimal levels of growth as well as healthy positioning. So when you are working on locomotive exercises, your focus should be on maintaining the neutral position and learning to control it. This then puts you in a much better physical shape when dealing with movement.
Movement in the lumbar spine
Movement in your lumbar spine would entail rotation, extension and flexing. As stated in the video below, it should flex to roughly 53 degrees, should extend 15 degrees and rotate 12 degrees right and left. So, as mentioned, for fitness and general locomotion, your spine should maintain that neutral position – however, there are times when going beyond this neutral position is healthy for the spine.
For example, if you were stretching to touch your toes, then this has benefits for your spinal health and means going outside of that neutral position. Indeed, dealing with common lower back pain means exceeding this neutral position and flexing. However, it should be noted, as Christopher makes clear, that if you are suffering from lower back pain, you first need to train to stabilise that neutral lumbar position and from there work within the degrees of movement to gain greater flexibility. It is about taking control of your lumbar strength and then working to push it further.
It is made clear that this is not the only method of treating back pain, but in fact that the key message that having a strong neutral spine position is very important and can be extremely beneficial for healthy all round posture. To hear more on this discussion, check out the video.