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SymFit1 (Phase 1): Neutral Spine Conditioning (Workouts 1-4)

SymFit® Home Exercise Program

Neutral Spine Conditioning against Light Loads

Goal: Restore Your Access to Neutral Spine Alignment

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Workout #1: How to "Stack the Upper Back"
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Stacking the Upper Back to reduce neck and low back injury risk
Anatomical Background:
The key to physical wellness is the ability for the upper back to "Stack".  Workout #1 describes where this occurs and the subtle connection that allows your upper thoracic spine to align into its neutral positioning.  

The image to the left highlights the thoracic spine.  Technological advancements have us collapsed in our upper back driving constant neck and low back pain.  Over time these faulty loading patterns through the neck and back start to become asymmetrical and this is when vertebrae come out of alignment and when the shoulders, hips, knee and ankle begin to breakdown.  

Workout #1 reviews the 3 exercises within the SymFit® Upper Body Conditioning workout that improve and strengthen your ability to maintain a "Stacked Upper Back".  It also reviews neutral sitting posture and your hourly mobility program.  

 





Instructions

1. Perform Workout #1 in the morning
2. Complete your hourly mobility program throughout the day
3. Workout #1 again after work or in the evening
 

Additional Workouts


 Self-Correction Video:  Upper Back Stretch

perform every morning, before every workout and before going to sleep


Hourly Mobility Exercise: 
Seated Mobility Program

perform every hour at work then sit upright without back support after

Supportive Videos


 Movement Principles Video:  How to Stack the Upper Back

Healthy Posture Video: Proper Sitting Posture

 

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Workout #2: "Connecting Rib Cage to Pelvis"
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Daily Workout Routine

1. Perform Workout #1 in the morning
2. Complete your hourly mobility program throughout the day
3. Workout #2 after work or in the evening


Additional Workouts


 Self-Correction Video:  Pelvis Correction

perform every morning, before each workout and before going to sleep (if prescribed)

 

Hourly Mobility Video:  Standing Mobility Program

perform every hour at work then sit upright without back support


Supportive Videos


Movement Principles Video:  Connecting Rib Cage to Pelvis
Healthy Posture Video:  Proper Squatting Technique

What is Neutral Spine Alignment
Anatomical Background:
The key to a healthy low back is maintaining neutral positioning of the pelvis and rib cage.  Workout #2 describes how to unload your lumbar spine facets by connecting your rib cage to pelvis through core activation.  

The image to the left highlights the relationship between your core and your lumbar spine.  The SymFit® Healthy Fitness System establishes a foundation for healthy lumbar loading before progressing to functional fitness.  You should expect your fitness program to serve your long term fitness needs.

Workout #2 reviews the 3 exercises within the SymFit® Lower Body Conditioning workout that improve and strengthen your ability to maintain neutral lumbar spine alignment by "Connecting Rib Cage to Pelvis".  It also reviews the SymFit® Squat Technique and how to walk without facet loading in your lumbar spine.


A Closer Look at Neutral Spine Alignment



Rectus Abdominis

A Closer Look at Core Muscle - Rectus Abdominis

Anteriorly the rectus abdominis when active functionally connect your rib cage to pelvis restoring vertabral body loading through the lumbar vertebrae.  When they are not active during functional activities the pelvis collapses forward causing facet loading predominately at L5/S1 and the rib cage flares out causing facet loading in the upper lumbar spine (T12/L1)
  • Lower abdominals stabilize the pelvis in its neutral (vertical) position 
  • Upper abdominals stabilize the rib cage in neutral position 

External Obliques

A Closer Look at Core Muscle - External Obliques

The Internal and External obliques stabilize the rib cage in relationship to the pelvis and vice versa.  When your back is stacked and your rib cage and pelvis are in their neutral position the obliques allow for safe thoracic rotation without neck or low back loading.

Internal Obliques

A Closer Look at Core Muscle - Internal Obliques

External Obliques


The Transverse Abdominis is the deepest layer of your abdominals and is associated with your breathing. When the pelvis and rib cage are in their neutral positions the TA will kick in when you breathe through your lip with a pursed lip breathing strategy.  This is neutral spine facilitator as long as you coordinate your breathing during exercise.  

Exercise Tip: This is why we cue pursed lip breathing during the more difficult part of any exercise of functional movement pattern.


Your Week 1 Workout Schedule


Day 1 Day 2        Day 3          Day 4   Day 5   Day 6  
  
Workout #1
at Center
Workout #1
in the morning

Workout #2
at Center
Workout #1
in the morning at home

Workout #2
in afternoon at home
Workout #3
at Center

Workout #2
at Home
Workout #3
in the morning

Workout #4
at Center
Workout #3
in the morning at home

Workout #4
in afternoon at home

Seated Hourly Mobility Program