Neutral Spine in Athletics? You bet!
It has dawned on me that there has been a community of fitness professionals that do not believe that a neutral spine applies to athletics. To keep is short and sweet, I have put down a list of some of the greatest athletes I have ever seen that operated with a neutral spine, that were doing it without every being taught the behavior. Interestingly, many of these athletes also happened to not get injured that frequently.
The concept of a neutral spine was not created, it was observed. We at FP are strong advocates of replicating the behaviors of athletes with a neutral spine, especially if we want our clients to move like a Barry Sanders, throw like a Bo Jackson, or punch like a Mike Tyson. Although it’s not necessary for the average joe to have that kind of potential, I have come to understand that longevity in training is found through a neutral spine. Those that do not understand it seem to always have an ache in their shoulders, knees, neck, pelvics, etc… Plain and simple, your neutral spine represents your center. Don’t have it and expect your body to be as flimsy as a noodle and that an unpleasant compensation will arise because of that flimsiness.
The NEUTRAL SPINE is at the foundation of how we solve problems at FP. Here are some examples of people APPLYING IT in very stressful situations. NOT A CONTRIVANCE, BUT A SIMPLE OBSERVATION. I have written a book about the “neutral standing position” called THE POWER OF POSTURE that explains the science around getting you to learn the foundations of moving well, and injury free. I’ve tested the theory on an assortment of different populations and it appears that the neutral spine is just paying a respect to physics. The rewards have been efficient pain free movement. It’s duplicated time after time again and the results are consistent with anyone who trains directly with an FP practitioner.
If you are wondering what I’m looking at when I describe a “neutral spine”, simply look at the shoulders stacking over the hips through most movements in the videos. Or looking at the symmetry up and down the spine (when you can see it on fighters) from the posterior side. Keep in mind these are the intangibles that were never trained into the athlete. These SYMMETRICAL traits are intrinsic within great athletes.