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SymFit2 (Phase 2):Functional Fitness (Workouts 9 + 10)

Home Exercise Programs

Neutral Spine Conditioning against Moderate-heavy Loads

Goal: Able to perform sport and recreational activities without faulty loading


Workout #9: Upper Body Conditioning against Moderate-heavy Loads


 

 





Daily Workout Routine
 
1. Start each day with SymFit® "Start Your Day Program"
2. Perform Workout #9 or Workout #10 (alternate between)
3. Complete your hourly mobility program
4. Complete SymFit® "End of Day Program"


SymFitTV Channels - Workout #9


 Self-Correction Channel:
 Start Your Day Program - Upper Body Day
End Your Day Program - Upper Body Day
Movement Principles Channel:

 Healthy Throwing Mechanics
(Coming Spring 2017)
 
Proper Overhead Lifting Strategy
Hourly Mobility Channel:
 
Seated Mobility Program

Joint Stability Channel:
 
Healthy Shoulder Program (level 3)


Healthy Shoulder Program
Movement Science:

The SymFit® Kettle Bell Series uses kettle bells to reinforce the natural movement mechanics of the shoulder.  Kettle bells are designed to pendulum in your hand during lifting.  The transfer of the kettle bell center of mass from one side of the hand to the other can only be completed with control if the shoulder blade remains against the rib cage throughout this transition.  

So, we use kettle bells to reinforce the principles of neutral spine alignment; 
1. Stacked Upper Back - Shoulder blades against rib cage
2. Head Nod to ensure symmetrical loading through the cervical vertebral bodies and not their facet joints.

Workout #10: Lower Body Conditioning against Moderate-heavy Loads


 

 





Daily Workout Routine

1. Start each day with SymFit® "Start Your Day Program"
2. Perform Workout #9 or Workout #10 (alternate between)
3. Complete your hourly mobility program
4. Complete SymFit® "End of Day Program"


SymFitTV Channels - Workout #10


 Self-Correction Channel:
 Start Your Day Program - Lower Body Day
End Your Day Program - Lower Body Day
Healthy Posture Channel:

 Healthy Running Video
(coming spring 2017)
Proper Lunging Technique
Hourly Mobility Channel:
Standing Mobility Program

Joint Stability Channel:
 
Healthy Knee Program (level 3)



Movement Science:

The SymFit® Walking Series progresses at workout #10 to include coordination during step-ups.  Adding tempo and coordination during hip/pelvis disassociation exercises start conditioning you for maintaining neutral spine during more dynamic activities such as running and jumping without faulty low back loading.  

The key to health running is to maintain neutral spine alignment throughout to ensure healthy hip and knee loading;
1. Stacked Upper Back - Shoulder blades against rib cage
2. Head Nod to ensure symmetrical loading through the cervical vertebral bodies and not their facet joints
3. Neutral pelvic positioning through a sustained pelvic curl to neutral
4. Inward spiral of the hips to ensure medial load transfer during the push-off phase of gait/running
Healthy Running Strategies

Healthy Running Program






Upper Body Modification of the Week



Healthy Shoulder Exercises


Now that you are able to stabilize your upper back in neutral against moderate-heavy loads add a set of 8 diagonal dips after each upper body workout.
  • Dips with Knee Flexed video
  • Dips with Knees Extended video

Neutral Spine Alignment Quiz #1:  
What could the model in the picture above do improve his neutral spine alignment?
Healthy Shoulder Exercises




Lower Body Modification of the Week



Healthy Hip Exercises - Floor Taps


Now that you are able to stabilize your pelvis and hips in neutral against moderate-heavy loads add a set of 8 floor taps after your lower body workout.
  • Forward Floor Taps (Knees Extended) video
  • Diagonal Floor Taps (Knees Flexed) video

Neutral Spine Alignment Quiz #1:  
Where is the model above slightly out of neutral?
Healthy Knee Exercises - Floor Taps

A Closer Look Abdominal Strengthening


Upper Abdominal Strengthening:
Curl-up Series

The upper abdominals stabilize the rib cage in its neutral position.  When conditioned to maintain the threshold activation required for maintaining neutral pelvic positioning the lower abdominals play a crucial roll in unloading the low back. Most fitness programs emphasize strengthening and not movement control and often allow for momentum; a neutral spine based fitness program emphasizes movement control which requires neutral spine stability. All exercises in the program are performed with a 2-6 second tempo to ensure movement control.

The traditional abdominal crunch is a hallmark in fitness conditioning and is introduced in SymFit2 of the program.  The abdominal crunch does not strengthen the upper abdominals in their function as neutral spine stabilizers.  However, they do serve a functional role in transferring from laying down to sit as well as sport conditioning.  When performed properly there should be no facet loading through the neck and you should feel no tension at the base of the neck.  

Objective of the Exercise: to isolate the upper abdominals to lift the upper body and head while maintaining a "Head Nod" to break neck loading patterns.

Remember:  As soon as you loose a chest lift during an abdominal crunch you will loose your head nod and neck loading through the facets will follow.  Most SymFit'ers require private orientation of the SymFit® Curl-up Series before they are successful in performing without neck loading.  

Do not skip any step in the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System before adding the Spine Curl-up Series to your workout routine.  

 



Level 1 Curl-ups: Head and Shoulder lifts
Safe Abdominal Crunches
Diagonal Curl-ups combine a traditional curl-up with a Spine Twist.  The key to isolating the obliques during this exercise is to maintain strong weight bearing through the pelvis/sit-bone opposite the side you are rotating towards.

Level 2 Curl-ups: Complete Segmental Roll-up
Healthy Abdominal Strengthening - Roll Downs
Safe Abdominal Strengthening - Roll Downs

Level 3 Curl-ups - Teaser
Lower Abdominal Strengthening:
Leg Lift Series

The lower abdominals stabilize the pelvis in its neutral position.  When conditioned to maintain the threshold activation required for maintaining neutral pelvic positioning the lower abdominals play a crucial roll in unloading the low back.  Most fitness programs emphasize strengthening and not movement control and often allow for momentum; a neutral spine based fitness program emphasizes movement control which requires neutral spine stability.  All exercises in the program are performed with a 2-6 second tempo to ensure movement control.  

Leg lifts are an essential component to any fitness conditioning program because it strengthens your ability to move through your hips without low back loading.  It is introduced in SymFit2 of the program because it takes a month to condition your lower abdominals to be able to stabilize your pelvis at this level.  The leg lift does strengthen the lower abdominals in their function as neutral spine stabilizers allowing us to perform daily task, recreational and sport activities without lower lumbar loading.  When performed properly there should be no facet loading through the low back when performing leg lifts ("keep your tail bone slightly off the mat").  You should feel your lower abdominals working most at the lowest part of the leg lift.

Objective of the Exercise: to isolate the lower abdominals as stabilizers of the pelvis to allow for leg movements without low back loading.  

Remember:  "Inward Spiral" of the hips helps the lower abdominals maintain neutral pelvis position during this exercise by maintaining neutral hip positioning. Most SymFit'ers require private orientation of the SymFit® Leg Lift Series before they are successful in performing without low back loading.  

Do not skip any step in the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System before adding Leg Lifts to your workout routine.



Level 1 Leg Lifts - Ceiling Presses (knees flexed)
Low Back Strengthening Exercises
Neutral Spine Conditioning Exercises - Pelvic Curls

Level 2 Leg Lifts - Ceiling Presses (knees extended)

Level 3 Leg Lifts - Leg Drop
Oblique Strengthening:
Resisted Spine Twist Series

The internal and external obliques stabilize the pelvis in relationship to the rib cage and vice/versa.  When conditioned to maintain the threshold activation required for maintaining neutral spine positioning the obliques play a crucial roll in unloading the low back during sport and recreational activities.  Most fitness programs emphasize strengthening and not movement control and often allow for momentum; a neutral spine based fitness program emphasizes movement control which requires neutral spine stability.  All exercises in the program are performed with a 2-6 second tempo to ensure movement control.  

Objective of the Exercise: to isolate the internal and external obliques as stabilizers of the pelvis during rotation of the rib cage to prevent neck or low back loading.  There is no shoulder movement during this exercise; the head and shoulder rotated through the mid spine only.

Remember:  You cannot recruit the obliques unless your "upper back is stacked". Most SymFit'ers require private orientation of the SymFit® Resisted Spine Twist Series before they are successful in performing without low back loading.  Resisted rotation is a component of most fitness conditioning programs but maintaining a "chest lift" is not required for advancement to this exercise in most cases. As such, any rotational exercise performed without chest lift and head nod is likely strengthening the upper abdominals as flexor's not neutral spine stabilizers.  This only strengthens your ability to be in a collapsed upper back posture functionally which strengthens neck and low back loading patterns.

Do not skip any step in the SymFit® Healthy Fitness System before adding Resisted Spine Twist Series to your workout routine.



Level 1 Resisted Spine Twists - Knee Drops
Knee Drops are a safe place to start isolating the obliques because you are using gravity to assist you in lowering the legs and the pelvis is stabilized on the floor during the knee lift portion.  It is unique in that it allows you to isolate the upper obliques due to the pelvis moving on a stable rib cage.
Neutral Spine Conditioning Exercises - Spine Twists
Low Back Strengthening - Spine Twists

Level 2 Resisted Spine Twists - Diagonal Curl-ups
Diagonal Curl-ups combine a traditional curl-up with a Spine Twist.  The key to isolating the obliques during this exercise is to maintain strong weight bearing through the pelvis/sit-bone opposite the side you are rotating towards.
Neutral Spine Conditioning - Oblique Strengthening
Safe Abdominal Strengthening

Level 3 Resisted Spine Twists - Kettlebell Drops
Kettle Bell Program - Abdominal Series
Neutral Spine Conditioning

Don't Have a Ketlebell?
No Problem.

Sustained Curl-up Side Cronches
Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain