GYM: Neutral Spine With Leg Extension
Neutral Spine With Leg Extension
In order to complete this exercise, you will need to be able to maintain a neutral spine in a supine position with one hand under the small of your back (lumbar curve) and without the pressure on the hand changing as you move from legs extended to knees bent with feet flat.
Your abdominal muscles are engaged as you raise your knees so you have a 90 degree angle at both your hips and knees. At no point in this process should there be any change in the lumbar curve as indicated by consistent pressure on your hand.
From this position alternately extend your legs only as far as you can without any twisting or flattening of your back. This will be noticed by a consistent pressure on your hand under the lumbar curve.
Repeat this with both legs extending at the same time, only going as far as you can go without flattening your back.
BE SURE TO BREATHE NORMALLY. Holding your breath utilizes the diaphragm for stabilization as opposed to the abdominal muscles.
Training the external core muscles to maintain a neutral spine helps to increase longevity and decrease injury. Holding your breath while performing a plank, roll out or other abdominal exercises betrays the functionality of these important muscles.
If you have to hold your breath to complete these exercises, then they are too difficult and you should back up in the progression.