I’m very thankful that the spine has the ability move. It makes life a bit easier. We can bend forward and tie our shoes. We can also extend up and reach for that organic grassfed, gluten-free cookie jar on top of the fridge (for our friend of course).
If the spine couldn’t bend forward, backward and rotate, it would be harder for us to do these and other everyday activities. So, it’s ability to move make sense.
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However, when it comes down to putting weight on your back, whether it’s carrying a child, an adult or a barbell, you need another attribute. That magic attribute is called stability.
Flexibility and mobility are useful for placing you in a good position from which to move. But with weight on your back, to reduce the risk of injury, you have to be able to keep that good position throughout the movement.
Don’t believe me? Imagine placing a child on a dog’s back. If the dog’s spine lacks stability, the child’s weight will make the dog’s spine look U-shaped. But if it has stability, the dog’s back will be perfectly flat. The same applies to us humans.
So while the ability to move your spine is critical, you also need the ability to stabilize and lock it into position. The result will be that you can lift more weight safely, and ultimately get stronger.
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Below are three movements you can perform to make sure you have the necessary stability to go along with your spine’s mobility and flexibility.
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Alternating Straight-Arm Plank
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Swiss Ball Stir the Pot
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