Is cueing to lengthen your spine always a good idea?

Our spines are our natural force absorbers as we move, instead of ridged straight columns like we may imagine them to be. In light of their practical design, this video talks about why it is not always the true or healthy for your spine to cue for lengthening of your spine.

More detail:

“If the spine were straight, the connective tissue and muscles would not be stretched, but buckled and shortened. Muscles are much stronger acting eccentrically and it is easier to support a load through stretch than compression. The curves intelligently reduce impact on any individual part of the spine by shunting the energy from impact to stretch. Spinal curves need to be adaptive and resilient. In walking, dancing or jumping they subtly change the degree of curvature to absorb and release force. An increase in the curve of the arch allows for compression forces to be transferred into stretch, where they can be stored and released to aid further movement. The spine can therefore be likened to a spring or an upright stack of trussed arches. The following figure exaggerates the changes in the spinal curvature for the purpose of clarity of the action.” – excerpt from Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery

During an upcoming workshop in New Orleans I will teach about the masterpiece of the spine, which contains over hundred joints as well as associated muscles and ligaments.

In the workshop we learn about many factors that influence spinal health, including social and psychological factors, as well as strength, balance and stability.

We will also address these factors in a practical manner, leading to positive changes both on an emotional and functional level. We will discover that an understanding of spinal evolution leads to a fresh approach to movement and exercise for the spine. Our new embodied understanding will allow for all daily movement and exercise to benefit spinal health.

This video also discusses the importance of cueing and teaching movement. In February I am leading a workshop in NYC, which will radically expand your potential for cueing and teaching movement.

Three variable elements are involved in teaching:

  1. The client
  2. The specific exercise you are coaching
  3. The educator.

To create an optimal outcome the movement educator must cue the exercises in a way that matches the skill and motivational level of the client with the benefits of the chosen exercise. This workshop will give you a systematic overview of the available cues in teaching and show that the types of cues available to the movement educator are more varied than commonly assumed.

Find out more about the upcoming workshops in I am leading New Orleans and New York here.

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