SymFit Healthy Fitness System: SymFit1 Neutral Spine Conditioning Phase

Home Exercise Program

Neutral Spine Conditioning against Light Loads

Goal: Able to perform daily activities without faulty neck or low back loading

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Workout #5: Upper Body Conditioning
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Daily Workout Routine
 
1. Start each day with SymFit® Self-correction of the Day
2. Perform Workout #5 or Workout #6 (alternate between)
3. Complete your hourly mobility program
4. Complete SymFit® Back Stretch and Foam Roller before going to bed


Workout #5 Supportive Videos


 Self-Correction Channel:  Shoulder and 1st Rib Self-correction
Movement Principles Channel:  Proper Overhead Lifting Strategy
Healthy Posture Channel: Healthy Sleeping Strategies
Hourly Mobility Channel: Seated Mobility Program

Joint Stability Channel:  Healthy Shoulder Program (level 1)
Healthy Overhead Lifting Strategy to reduce neck injury
Anatomical Background:
Overhead lifting from collapsed posture results in faulty loading through the neck and shoulder.  Lifting from a "Stacked Upper Back" and Head Nod ensures efficient movement mechanics of the humerus in the shoulder socket without cervical loading.  A "Stacked Upper Back" is accomplished when the shoulder blades are positioned into their neutral position on the rib cage.  

The image to the left highlights the relationship between the shoulder blade (scapulae) and rib cage during elevation.  The key to healthy overhead lifting is strong scapular stabilizers that keep the shoulder blade in contact with the rib cage throughout elevation of the arm.  

You have established a strong foundation for movement from neutral spine alignment at this point.  We now start to condition you to apply them into functional movement patterns.  Workout #5 reviews the 3 exercises within the SymFit® Upper Body Conditioning workout that improve and strengthen your ability to maintain a "Stacked Upper Back" and "Head Nod" during overhead elevation.

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Workout #6: Lower Body Conditioning
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Daily Workout Routine

1. Start each day with SymFit® Self-correction of the Day
2. Perform Workout #5 or Workout #6 (alternate between)
3. Complete your hourly mobility program
4. Complete SymFit® Back Stretch and Foam Roller before going to bed


Workout #6 Supportive Videos


 Self-Correction Channel:  Knee Self-correction
Movement Principles Channel:  The Power of "Inward Spiral"
Healthy Posture Channel: Healthy Stair Climbing
Hourly Mobility Channel: Standing Mobility Program

Joint Stability Channel:  Healthy Knee Program (level 1)

Anatomical Background:
Your fitness program should condition you to meet your daily challenges.  Unfortunately traditional fitness systems promote faulty loading through the neck and low back which results in faulty loading through the shoulder, hips, knees and ankles.  

You have established a strong foundation for movement from neutral spine alignment at this point.  We now start to condition you to apply them into functional movement patterns.

Workout #6 strengthens your quadriceps ability to lower your body to the floor in a variety of ways without faulty loading through the low back.  Your squat and lunge series are progressed to include more advanced coordination variations to improve sub-conscience integration of the 4 SymFit® Principles of neutral spine alignment.  
Healthy Squat Strategy to reduce low back injury
   


Upper Body Modification of the Week

SymFit® Healthy Fitness System: Safe Neutral Spine Conditioning in Denver CO 80203
Now that you are able to stabilize your upper back in neutral against light to moderate loads add a set of 4 five second plank on toes holds from your forearms after each workout.
  • Plank on Toes from Forearms video
  • Sustained Plank on Toes from Forearms video
Neutral Spine Alignment Quiz #2:  
Which 2 SymFit® Neutral Spine Alignment Principles is the model in the picture above note applying?
SymFit Healthy Fitness System: Safe Neutral Spine Conditioning in Denver CO 80203

Lower Body Modification of the Week

Exercises to reduce low back pain
Now that you are able to stabilize your pelvis in neutral against light to moderate loads add a set of 8 modified abdominal crunches after each workout.
  • Abdominal Crunch into head lift video
  • Abdominal Crunch into  chest lift video
Neutral Spine Alignment Quiz #1:  
What could the model in the picture above do to facilitate more lower abdominal activation?
Neutral Spine Conditioning - Proper Abdominal Crunch





A Closer Look at Lifting


Proper Squat Position
SymFit Physical Therapy and Fitness located at 899 Logan Street in Denver, CO 80203
Proper Squat Technique

SymFit® Squat Start Position:
  1. Feet positioned outside your shoulder girdle 
  2. Feet externally rotated
  3. Hip "Inward Spiraled"
  4. Back Stacked
  5. Head Nodded
  6. Rib Cage and Pelvis Connected

Proper Squat Technique:


Functional Lifting 

You have many options for strengthening your quads:
  1. Squat with bar behind head - this is a ticking time bomb as very few of us have the flexibility in our pecs to put our hands behind our head during a squat without loading our neck.  Add resistance and place that resistance on the vertebrae in the neck most vulnerable for disc herniation and you are at a high risk for injury even with light resistance.
  2. Squats on a squat machine - takes away the stabilization of a load that is unstable in all planes of motion and can be performed without low back loading.
  3. Squat holding kettle bells or dumbbells in each hand - allows you to apply all the principles of efficient squatting.  You need the upper back strength needed to perform plank on toes properly to squat with this strategy and maintain a "Stacked Upper Back"
  4. Wall Squats - these are appropriate with a ball to allow for friction free movement.  This technique should be replaced with assisted squats then to non assisted sustained squats to condition you for the challenges of an anti-gravity life.

Healthy Squat Suggestions

You have four options when picking something off the floor;
  1. Forward bend - this is a ticking time bomb.  The spine is not designed to stack itself back up from a forward bent position.  You will likely throw your back out if this is your go to strategy.
  2. Single Leg Golfer's Lift - most of us do not have the balance to use this strategy often for even light loads
  3. Squat with narrow base of support - if your knees move past your feet when you squat you are placing a lot of stress on the front of the knee and patellar tendon.  If you are looking in front of you at the bottom of your squat you are loading your neck.
  4. Squat with wide base of support with hip hinge strategy - conditions the strongest muscle in the body functionally to take up a brunt of the load during lifting without unhealthy low back or neck loading.


SymFit Physical Therapy and Fitness located at 899 Logan Street in Denver, CO 80203

Traditional Fitness Squat


Kettle Bell Program for Functional Lifting


SymFit Physical Therapy and Fitness located at 899 Logan Street in Denver, CO 80203

Level 1 Kettle Bell Squat Series
ymFit Physical Therapy and Fitness located at 899 Logan Street in Denver, CO 80203
Level 2 Kettle Bell Squat Series

SymFit Physical Therapy and Fitness located at 899 Logan Street in Denver, CO 80203
Level 3 Kettle Bell Squat Series
SymFit Healthy Fitness System: Safe Neutral Spine Conditioning in Denver CO 80203

Level 4 Kettle Bell Squat Series