Why is Rotation Important to Spinal Health?

“If your spine is stiff at 30, you are old. If it is flexible at 60, you are young” – Joseph Pilates.

Moving the body in various directions is essential to spinal health.  Daily demands force us into certain common positions, but reminding the body to move in multiple ways keeps the back strong and prevents injury.  In a world of texting and sitting, we need to keep our spine healthy by adding rotation to our routine!

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When you move your body in rotation by twisting the ribs, this strengthens the abs on one side, while stretching out the other side.  Repeating this motion on both sides improves how far and how quickly you can reach and bend.  In daily life, being able to catch things when they slip, holding your kids for long periods of time, and picking up heavy items like grocery bags all become much easier with strong rotational muscles.  It also prevents injury from doing these tasks repeatedly!

Another benefit to rotational exercises is an increased range of motion – that means more space to move!  If your back is tight, it limits not only what you can do, but how long and how far you can do basic motions.  Reach further and grow taller with rotation-focused Pilates movements!

Rotation improves your posture too!  Having strong abdominals is important, but all of the surrounding muscles are necessary as well.  If the ribs don’t have flexibility and strength, the low back will take on excessive amounts of load and the shoulders will take over.  This makes the body compensate and puts unwarranted strain on your joints.  To avoid this, rotational exercises simply give room for the spine to elongate and stand up taller with less pain and fatigue.

“A strong spine is a happy spine” – another popular quote from Joseph Pilates, himself.  He also went on to state that “a man is as young as his spinal column”. Being able to twist and turn is an everyday demand that we put on our body.  Practicing how to do it correctly and conditioning the muscles that promote this motion makes for a happier and healthier you.