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November 26, 2013

Stay in line with your spine

(Continued)

This is not a bad thing by any means, in fact it helps reduce bone degeneration and strengthens the muscles that support and stabilize the spine. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges are all Structural exercises.

It is extremely important that the spine stay in neutral alignment when performing a structural lift. For example, when squatting to a chair, the back must not round or extend excessively. This is a very common mistake that many make when first performing structural exercises.

To practice this neutral posture while squatting, place a broomstick along your spine so it touches the back of your head, your upper back and your tailbone.

There should be a small space between the stick and your lower back. There should also be a space between the stick and the back of your neck. This is the natural “S” curve of your spine.

With the broomstick pressed against all three points, try to bend forward from the hip, just as if you were picking up a small dog on the other side of a fence.

If any of contacts break, start over. You should be able to bend forward at least 45 degrees without breaking the contact points. This will teach you to keep spinal alignment, while bending the lower body joints, just as in a squat or dead lift.

Other pieces of advice I can give those attempting to learn how to perform structural exercise is to start light and increase the weight slowly.

Even if you can lift the weight, it does not mean you are doing it correctly to avoid injury. The best idea is to have a trained eye watching you perform the lift.

I recommend someone who has the proper education in exercise kinesiology. Another reason to increase weight slowly is that when performing a structural exercise, many muscles are working together.

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