Posted on November 27, 2017 by Jenny Cromack

As many of you will know I split my time with working here at motive8 with helping Yorkshire CCC in the Sport Science department. This winter I will predominantly be working with the Academy and youth athletes. During one of the first sessions, this week, the physiotherapists and ourselves spent about 30 minutes focusing just on spine stability exercises.

In my opinion this is something that be directly transferred into everyday training. I challenge anyone to find an exercise where you don’t need stability in either your spine or at the hips. Even a bicep curl requires a bit of spine stability to prevent that dreaded swinging motion. I think any client, member or even us as staff could benefit from recapping how to remain stable through this crucial area.

Lumbar Stabilisation

When we talk about stabilising the spine and specifically the lumbar section of there are 5 key starter exercises that we can use.

– Cat/Camel x 10 reps

– Glute Bridge x 10 reps

– Dead bug leg touches 10 reps each leg

– Birddog (legs only) 10 reps each leg

– Side lying bridge 10 reps each side

Why Should We Use Stabilisation Exercises?

Use the ‘Cat/Camel’ to find your neutral position, on all fours switch between being in a flexed spine position (contract your abdominals) and an extended position (contract your back muscles). Somewhere in between the two positions will be a neutral position, where your back and spine will be completely flat. This position will be the one you use to complete any and every exercise from now on.

Using Bridge variations, dead-bug variations and Birddogs to practice maintaining this neutral spine whilst moving is vital. In my opinion this session is worth spending a little bit of time going through, it will save you a lot of ear ache from me reminding you to keep your back flat when performing a deadlift.

If, once a month or ideally once a week, you focus on spine stability exercises by adding 15 minutes into your warm-up going through 10 reps for each of the exercise and do them PROPERLY then you will see massive improvements in some key lifts. More importantly spine stability exercises increase your chances of staying injury free.

Please get in contact with me if you do not know what any of these exercises are.