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Stiff Spine? Try these on for size! (Part II)

Welcome back for Part II of our series on some steps you can take to loosen up your stiff spine.

So, last time we covered Type I motion for your stiff spine, and if you missed out on it, you can check it out here

So you saw Type I motion yesterday. This is characterized by rotation in one direction, followed by lateral bending in the opposite direction. Now, lets take a look at Type II:

Does it look the same to you? It may look that way to some, but they are indeed different movements. We still have transverse and frontal plane motion in this mobility sequence as well, but the arm drivers are different. This is because Type II motion is characterized by rotation in one direction, and lateral side bending in the SAME DIRECTION. Remember, Type I motion is rotation in one direction and lateral side bending in the opposite direction (think, Type II same, Type I opposite).

What Does It Do?

Just as in Type I motion, Type II motion also drives spinal motion in the transverse and frontal plane, which are two key planes that are often left out of conventional exercise warm-ups and training programs.  While Type 1 motion tends to focus more on muscles on the back side of the body,  Type II will focus more on the front side of the body.

Why Do I Need To Do This?

Many studies show that individuals often lack spinal motion, due to lifestyle factors (think: desk jockey) locked into thoracic flexion (see picture below) for prolonged periods of time. This tends to lead to a variety of biomechanical health issues, including, but certainly not limited to: shoulder impingement, neck pain, chronic low back pain, limited hip/ankle range of motion, etc. In short, its important to work in different planes!

When Should I Do This Movement?

This movement is great to include as a part of your dynamic warm-up prior to your training, between working sets during your training, and/or throughout the day to loosen up, stimulate proprioceptors in your joints, and create variability with novel movement (which joints love!).

So, in short, definitely similar movements, but some individuals may feel more restriction in Type I vs. Type II, or vice versa. Explore with conservatively and intentionally.  Next time, we’ll cover how we can progress these two movements with the use of an external load.

See you then!

MG

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