The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Students Balances, Listens, Fixes Father's Back Pain

My student Ginger sent the photo at right taken on her recent camping trip. Don't try this at home. It takes balance training, concentration, and a few changes to standard back bend technique.

Ginger is distributing the stretch along the spine so that no one area is compressed at an unfavorable angle, and is contributing most of the leg extension from the hip, not lower spine. More safe back extension stretch and strengthening methods will come in future posts.

Ginger is a good student who makes good use of my classes. Last week, while visiting her parents, she was out walking with her father. She told me that her father said that his back hurt from the walking. She looked, and saw that her father was standing and walking with too much inward curve to the lower back - hyperlordosis (swayback). Standing with the lower spine overarched is a slouch that compresses the spine unevenly downward, pinching the joints and soft tissue at the back of the lower vertebrae. Overarching is a large hidden cause of lower back ache during walking and running. This slouch is not fixed in the bone, it is a posture that is easily corrected. It does not require strengthening the back or core muscles, just using the ones you have. In moments, Ginger showed her father what I taught in class - how to change a slouching overarch to neutral spine. Ginger's father said the ache disappeared right there, and that was all there was to it.

  • The article Innovation in Abdominal Muscles gives an overview, and the comments give a link to another post with a short movie showing the concept.
  • If you want a whole book showing the concept, several techniques to achieve and use neutral spine, and examples of use in all daily life, try the book The Ab Revolution™ Third edition expanded. Part I of the book shows daily use without needing any exercises. Part II shows how to exercise using neutral spine to get more exercise, healthier exercise, and use abdominal muscles functionally to stop unattractive and damaging overarching.

Photo supplied by Ginger
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.