How you move and exercise.
How you continually move throughout your day and how you perform your exercises while working out can either help your spinal health or hinder it. The pictures below show some common exercises.
The first picture shows bending or hip hinging. Too often when we bend we tend to move through the lower back rather than through the hip joint which would transfer more of the load to the larger glute muscles thus, keeping the bulk of the pressure off your spine.
The squat is the next exercise and if you notice in both the squat and the hip hinge, the bending occurs at the hip joint and not in the spine.
For many of us bending through the hips is not easy or at times seems almost unnatural as we attempt to do it. Short tight muscles in the back and around the hip joint can limit our ability to easily move through this joint.
What causes the muscles to be short and tight? Injury, surgery, less-than-optimal habits, and stress are the biggest contributors to tight muscles.