Spinal Rotation

I’m re- reading my Athlethic Body in Balance Book and see that Gray Cook has prescribed many spinal rotation exercises to correct the seated rotation. Are Gray’s exercises a good idea with someone with seatedrotation problems according to the screen? Also, Gray says that the Chop and Lift are some exercises among others that can be used to serve as a movement imbalance exercise. What other exercises can be used?

The Seated Rotation from the FMS for Active Population as show in Athletic Body in Balance when cued correctly does elicit a thoracic rotation response. There are some things to consider here. Always remember that the leap of faith in using the FMS methodology is that the movements matter by their quality, not their componentry. Indeed, this Seated Rotation test is interested in qualifying thoracic rotation as well as lumbar de-rotation. But when the movement does not meet the standard, we have no idea why the movement is failing. Don’t necessarily get caught up in the component of thoracic rotation. We are looking at the individual’s ability to twist.

Secondly (which may be more what you are looking for), when performed correctly, the indian style seated position all the way up on the door puts the pelvis in a posterior pelvic tilt, which while aberrant in my opinion, does lock up the lumbar spine and yield a thoracic movement.

Regarding the Sahrmann and Porterfield/DeRosa data eschewing rotational movements, it lumbar rotation that is not desirable. Thoracic rotation is quite necessary. When Gray’s movements are done correctly (easier said than done for many), the essense of his training methodology is exposed. The lumbar spine should be facilitated to become stable with good abdominal contraction and bracing. When this occurs, and only when this occurs, will the thoracic spine be able to rotate freely. Coach Boyle is right on board with this thought process. Lumbar rotation = bad. Thoracic rotation = good. Gray does not have any movements that I know of that foster lumbar rotation. They may look like they do, but they don’t when done correctly.

Yes, Gray’s exercises in ABB are excellent choices to correct Seated Rotation. Any of the specific FMS corrective strategies can be used unilaterlly or more on the more limited side to bring that side up to par.

As for the T/S Rotation Reach, I don’t use that anymore. If someone needs it, they are likely going to have tight pecs, etc., and when they reach the arm back, the stretch-reflex turns on to pull the arm back. I think it’s okay if the person can get their arm all the way back to the floor, but that person probably doesn’t need the movement to correct anything. We are using the rib roll instead.

The supine t/s rotation in Secrets of the Shoulder is again thoracic rotation when done correctly. Try putting a ball in between the thighs when you do it. This will cue the ADDuctors and anterior abdominals to turn on and lock up the lumbar spine. There will be some lumbar rotation, which is allowed. Remember Sahrmann said 15 degrees is normal. That is barely demonstrative to the naked eye, but it is normal. We do need requisite rotation and flexion to glide synovial fluid through the zygopohyseal joints and stave off DJD.

Chop and Lift are great catch-alls. Keep an eye out the FMS II course, which will focus on corrective exercises.  Exercises are in ABB, the manual from taking the FMS course (which is HIGHLY recommended), as well as MyTPI.com.

  • March 30, 2010

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dorafmon@gmail.com Reply

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