The topic of spinal stabilisation is not often spoken about in the world of fitness. However, we feel that it should be. For many athletes it is a moot point. They seem to be able to correctly stabilise their spine naturally. For others, however, spine stabilisation doesn’t come as easily. For these people it can lead to injuries, hampered performance and (in some cases) even an inability to hold urine while working out.
Spinal stability has a lot to do with how you work out and how effectively you can do so. It is important for:
- Fostering freedom of movement,
- Assisting with recovery from injuries, and of course,
- Preventing such injuries from occurring in the first place.
So let’s take a moment to discuss spinal stabilisation. What is it, how does it occur, and how can you ensure that you are getting it right?
What Contributes to a Stable Spine?
In a nutshell, your spinal stability is directly affected by the strength and endurance of your core-group muscles. All of these work together to provide you with core stability. These muscles are made up of – among others – the following:
The Transverse Abdominis
The Transverse Abdominis is situated behind your other abdominals. It is attached to your lower ribs and pelvis using horizontal fibres. When the transverse abdominis contracts it creates create a vacuum, pulling in your abdomen to create internal pressure and stability.
Working in partnership with your transverse abdominis is the diaphragm. This muscle flattens as you breathe to allow for the flow of oxygen to your lungs. When it contracts, it pushes your abdomen out and creates abdominal pressure and stability. We all start life out as infants who breathe in this way by using our diaphragms. As we get older, people tend to forget how to do it and breathe primarily with their lungs instead. Practising breathing with your diaphragm will enhance your core stability.
Pelvic Floor Muscles
The pelvic floor muscles are those that are commonly associated with controlling your bladder. These muscles which you contract when you need to interrupt or stop the flow of urine from your body. While providing for bladder control, your pelvic floor muscles are also crucial for spinal stability.
It is the relationship between the pelvic floor muscles and the transverse abdominis that support spinal stabilisation. The absence of strength in the pelvic floor muscles is also often the reason why some women lose urine while working out.
When working out, by contracting these two groups of muscles you can achieve greater spinal stability. Furthermore, pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened with regular training, such as through Kegel exercises.
The Multifidi Muscles
The multifidi muscles are a group of small muscles along either side of the spine and very close to the midline of the body. The primary function of these muscles is to provide bodily stability in the back, arms and legs, even before any movement occurs. They do this by working alongside your transverse abdominis.
Keeping your multifidi muscles strong is important for retaining spinal stability since they offer your back a great deal of support and mobility. Keeping them strengthened can be done with exercises that work your core-group, such as:
- Lumbar multifidus exercises, and
Spinal stabilisation is an important, though often overlooked, concept in the world of fitness. By ensuring that you keep those core-group muscles strong, and with a little extra concentration during your routines, you will be able to ensure that you put the right stability into your movements, reduce the chance of injury and, of course, increase your performance.
Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy to Learn More
If you would like to learn more about the intricacies of the fitness world, why not get an internationally accredited personal training diploma from us here at Trifocus Fitness Academy. Visit our website today or get into contact with us to learn more about our offers on specialised fitness courses.