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Crawling, Spinal Stability, and Core Strength

What does “CORE STRENGTH” really mean? To me, CORE STRENGTH means SPINAL STABILITY. Here’s Elisha Celeste putting on a brilliant display of this quality. Our spine has 3 sections: the cervical vertebrae (think neck), thoracic (think upper back), and lumbar (low back). CORE STRENGTH is important because it means we’ve strengthened the tissues around the the lumbar section of the spine. When this section is strong and stable, it prevents excessive mobility in this part of the spine. Too much mobility in the lumbar can lead to injury.

As humans, we are pretty well put together! Things start out balanced and in good alignment-it’s the tension we create with daily tasks, training, or lack of training/immobility that can create issues. A properly aligned spine with strong support from the core tissues around it can handle big time forces and enables us to transmit force to the limbs effectively. If the core is weak, the lumbar spine can become overly mobile and drift out of alignment. Then, if we’re exposed to high forces, we can experience disc issues, vertebrae trauma, or other low back injuries.

Crawling while creating tension throughout the midsection is a great way to reinforce proper alignment and good SPINAL STABILITY. If you have a look at Elisha here, she does a great job of using her breath and creating intra-abdominal pressure to keep the spine “neutral” (with the typical arches of the spine present). These actions help her build CORE STRENGTH, and reinforce positive, stable, patterns that limit the amount of motion in/around her lumbar region. Notice the limited “shift” side to side, and how her low back arch remains approximately the same throughout the movement. That’s what we’re after-that’s stability. The bands are being used as an advanced progression for her, to facilitate activation in specific areas. Anyone trying this one their own should seek out a qualified professional and start with a basic crawl-without bands.

Build a strong trunk, keep that spine safe, and stave off low back pain!

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