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  • Writer's pictureBrad Cunningham

Is Social Media Hurting Your Back?

Ok I promise this is not what it looks like, today I want to share with you some information about an important part of your training and in particular technique and posture.

There seems to be a trend on social media, where 1000’s of images are posted daily of beautiful women in leggings doing squats and deadlifts, but there’s a common theme with the technique, which I believe is starting to shift the perception on how many people think they need to squat (or deadlift) in order to perform them correctly.

Let me explain, in more technical terms, what I’m referring to is 'excessive lumbar lordosis’ or excessive extension of the spine.

Now it’s interesting that it’s not mentioned or noted more often, because most of us looking at these two pictures below would say this is incorrect technique, we can all see or understand that flexion of the spine (rounding your back out) is not great, especially when lifting weights.

And if you were to be squatting like these, I’m sure someone would say something, or if you posted it on social media, I’m sure there would be a brigade of people letting you know how poor your form is. However for some reason, it’s not often that anyone says anything or even suggest that the opposite to this is just the same or worse.

Here’s what Excessive extension (opposite to rounding your back out) may look like:

What you need to remember with this is that the discs in your spine still receive just as much pressure in this position as they do in the rounded position.

The goal is to aim for a neutral position, somewhere between the two extremes, what this does is creates an even distribution of weight through your vertebra, rather than loading one more so than the others.

In particular the thoracic-lumbar joint. This is the point where your thoracic (middle) spine meets your lumbar (lower) spine. When you habitually go into the excessive extension posture with your exercises, you will likely be loading this joint up and the muscles surrounding it.

Which will likely result in complications/injuries etc down the track.

Creating a neutral spine should be the goal in just about every exercise.

With your squat a very important factor is ensuring you get the angles of your squat right, this will ensure a even distribution of weight though your spine, and also have you pretty close to a neutral spine.

So, next time you’re training be sure to be very mindful of this, and begin correcting yourself all the time, find a coach to assist you and make a conscious effort to do this. It’s likely you’ve created an engrained movement pattern, so it’s going to take some time and effort to adjust this. So keep at it!

If you have any questions, be sure to post in the comments or contact us.

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