Start with stabilizing your spine

First order of the day: protect your spine.

A stable spine will allow you to move well and reduce risk of injury.  Coach and physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett teaches how to organize and brace our spines to improve physical health and athletic performance.  And yes, we are all athletes. (You can learn more about Kelly at MobilityWOD.)

Kelly demonstrates this bracing sequence in a 7-minute video over at the CrossFit Journal.  You can view the video here.

Here is the check-list:

  1. stand with feet straight, below your lungs. squeeze your butt as hard as you can, which sets your pelvis.
  2. pull your ribcage down.
  3. get your belly tight (on an out-breath, engage your abs).
  4. set your head in a neutral position and draw your shoulders back into a stable position.

Practice this sequence throughout the day. Use it as the starting point for any move, including standing and sitting.

Whether you’re at work, running errands, talking with friends, the set up is always the same: feet straight, back flat, belly tight, head neutral and shoulders rotated back to a stable position.  Don’t stand with your arms crossed, shoulders rolled forward, back slouched or feet angled out like a duck.

Below, Kelly demonstrates the pelvic gimble.

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