Why a neutral spine?
All of our methods work in a neutral spine, versus a tucked pelvic position. This is especially important in our barre classes, as many other barre methods are taught with a strong posterior pelvic tilt. We emphasize the neutral spine in order to keep clients safe and comfortable in every class! See below for detailed information on working in a neutral spine.
What is a neutral spine?
A neutral spine is the natural position of the spine when all three parts of the spine are in correct alignment. The pelvis is balanced between the two extremes of an anterior and posterior tilt.
Why work in a neutral spine?
- A neutral spine is the spine’s natural position. It helps stabilize the spine, absorbing shock, cushioning and protecting the spine.
- It helps with balance and proper posture.
- It places the least amount of stress on the body, whether working out, or just walking or sitting.
- It optimizes breathing and circulation.
- Maintaining a neutral spine reduces risk of injury and low back pain.
What’s wrong with “the tuck”?
- The excessive squeezing of the glutes together to establish the tucked position can lead to over-stretching the sacroiliac joint ligaments which hold the sacrum in place.
- Tucking actually keeps the deepest abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis, from engaging, as tucking recruits the external abdominal muscles only.
- The tucked position requires shortening and compressing the body, over time leading to poor posture or even disc herniation.
- Tucking limits motion at the hips and creates imbalances among larger muscles by making them tight. This could be predisposing to injury.
- Tucking specifically impacts the psoas major and the rhomboids; both muscles need the natural lumbar curve for optimal positioning and good posture. When the pelvis tucks under, the lumbar curve is changed, stretching the rhomboids and pulling the shoulder blades towards the front of the body.
Don’t just take our word. Hear from clients and doctors below:
“I came to barre fitness to strengthen my yoga practice and hoped that diversifying my fitness routine would remedy nagging SI joint pain as well as IT band discomfort. I started with a barre method that strongly insisted upon “the tuck.” I found that not only did my SI joint pain worsen, but I began to develop knee pain which I had never previously experienced. That all changed when I began practicing with the neutral spine at Novo! I have not had any SI joint or IT band pain since working in a neutral spine and the knee pain that had started to develop immediately vanished. I believe that the neutral spine also spurned a chain reaction of increased strength in my abs, back, and glutes.” – Kelsey (client and yoga instructor)
“I began working in the barre method at a studio that insisted on the “tuck” position. I saw a wonderful improvement in my arms, but barely any change in my abs, rear or legs, though I worked out 3-4 times a week. I also had (unrelated) back and neck pain that was not subsiding even with weekly chiropractic sessions. When we moved to Columbus, I joined Novo and transition to working in a neutral spine. Almost immediately, I noticed increased muscle tone in my legs, a much deeper work in my core and found that I could feel targeted work areas much more than I ever had, which (for me) lead to quicker toning. And, my neck and back pain COMPLETELY disappeared.” – Mattie (client)
What can we do to protect us from back pain and degeneration?
“Make sure your spine and pelvis are aligned properly and moving together as they should. This is where we as chiropractors come into play. We make sure that your spine is in the proper alignment, so that you remain pain free, and can continue to do the things you love!”
“Exercise with a neutral spine in mind. By exercising in a neutral spine you are able to train the muscles that hold the spine in place to maintain the proper alignment that you and your chiropractor achieved. Novo’s instructors are well trained in helping you find, hold, and maintain a neutral spine. This helps you reach your fitness goals, and improve your quality of life!” (Dr. Forrest Miles, Premier Chiropractic of Columbus GA)