KinX Learning

E-Learning in the Kinesiology of Exercise

The Spine

Posted by KinX Learning on November 04, 2016 . 0 Comments

The spine is the keystone of body structure. It must support the weight of the head, trunk and upper extremities. In addition, it is the solid point of attachment for most of the muscles, anchoring and controlling the pectoral-shoulder girdle as well as the latissimus dorsi and other muscles of the back that move the arm. These functions require a strong, well-supported spinal unit.

In addition, the spine encloses and protects the spinal cord and the nerves which lead to and from it. Because of this, the spine should be firm, carefully articulated and not too flexible. You should be able to maintain the four natural curves of the spine at all times during exercise and when not exercising.

The ROM in the spine will vary from person to person, but there should be approximately 30-40 degrees of spinal flexion forward and 15-20 degrees of spinal extension to the rear. Going beyond these limits is usually indicative of excessive flexibility, which leads to additional spinal problems unless you maintain good strength of the erector spinae muscles.

Note that when you go beyond these limits the pelvic girdle must also be involved. The combination of pelvic girdle rotation and spinal flexion, extension or lateral flexion can produce a very wide range of motion. This in turn begins to involve other muscles and control features regarding coordination and timing.