Flatten your low back to the floor is an inappropriate cue for abdominal exercises!
But, this is a really important point for people to understand.
When performing more traditional-looking abdominal exercises it is very common to hear people say “flatten your back to the floor.”
Although the intention might be a good one, flattening the lower back removes the natural shape of our lumbar spine!
You worked hard for a long time to develop that curve.
It should remain a curve.
People are getting a bit confused as there is a lot of information and ideas around “the core.”
When cueing someone to flatten the low back it’s usually because they are not expressing good mobility in the thoracic region (mid back/ribs) when laying down.
When you tell someone with lousy thoracic mobility to flatten their low back they usually move into really poor cervical position (neck) as a result.
This is not good!
Some people cue the “ribs down” with better results.
Personally, I don’t subscribe to that either but when done properly it can keep one safe and in better position.
Here’s the deal – your core is not your abs!
Your core is your spine, eyes and your breathing system!
A strong core is a long spine with good breathing!
Now here comes the truth-bomb.
Did you know that 90% of your “core stability” is reflexive in nature?
So, if you’re a master at the dead bug it doesn’t mean you have a well functioning core when you stand up.
It means you know where your abs are – also a useful skill but a different concept!
For improving core function that will have a better transfer to real life and sport, think about standing exercises for your core work!
Think about better breathing and reacting to visual cues!
Voluntary contraction of the abdominals is a good skill but it’s unlikely to serve you the way we originally thought.
Taylor Kruse is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.
His inspiration stems from more than 10 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.
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