Skip to content

3 advanced Saggital Lumbo-pelvic control exercises

May 15, 2012

Since my last few tweets and blog posts on ‘re-inventing’ the concept of ‘stability’, I have had several requests for some of the more advanced lumbar spine control exercises that I progress my clients and patients to.  For those of you who missed them, here is the link to the blog post entitled “Stability…a misunderstood concept . Why stability does not mean rigidity.” Where I challenged the commonly held idea that all training and rehabilitation should be done only in neutral spine.  Following this I tweeted that “Most core stability programs only create core strength in the one position that we need it the least…neutral spine” @DrAndreoSpina.

Soooooo… are three exercises that are intended (among other things) to train sagittal control of the lumbo-pelvic junction.  You will notice that in order to accomplish these exercises that neutral spine maintenance would be impossible…which is the point.  We need to start ‘injury proofing‘ our clients/patients/athletes so that their bodies/tissues can deal with real life situations that frequently occur — in the case, teaching spinal control/stability during flexion/extension moments at the lumbosacral junction.

Before people shoot out comments that none of their patients/clients can do these exercises….I draw your attention to the word ADVANCED in the title of the blog.  These exercises are obviously NOT the next step after ‘bird-dogs.’  However I will tell you that many of my clients and patients (of various ages – one who is currently 57 years of age) who would have thought them impossible were able to progress their way to them.  Isn’t this the point training?  To better peoples ability?  To have them move more efficiently?  To IMPROVE?  Also note that I NEVER refer to these exercises as ‘Rehab’ exercises…..Rehab DOES NOT EQUAL TRAINING and TRAINING DOES NOT EQUAL REHAB.  Rehab returns people to a previous state of ability….training advances them to a NEW state of ability (or at least it should IMO).  I believe that far too often manual therapists and trainers forget this point and are content to wait for injuries to occur in people…then proceed to get them back to where they were.  Once their, they only maintain there current status by never really stressing their systems in order to bring about progressive adaptations that will bring their clients/patients to the next level…but enough of my rant…. 🙂

Exercise One:  

Pre-requisites:  1.  One minute supported handstand hold – 2.  Moderate core strength & coordination – 3.  Moderate balance levels – 4.  10 Handstand Push-ups

–  The key to this exercise is teaching the person to control the moment where gravity will force the lumbosacral junction into flexion

Exercise Two:

Pre-requisites:  1.  Approximately 15-20 supine ‘jack-knifes’ – 2.  5 hanging toes-2-bar – 3.  Moderate core strength & coordination

–  The legs must remain straight.  The body folds only at the L/S junction.

Exercise ThreeSpecial thanks to my friend & colleague Mr. Ido Portal for introducing me to this exercise through his amazing youtube channel

Pre-requisites:  1.  Controlled Headstand – 2.  Moderate to Advanced core strength & coordination

–  The key to this exercise is teaching the person to control the moment where gravity will force the lumbosacral junction into flexion


6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2012 10:51 pm

    You walk the walk Dr Spina as well as talking the talk. In my next life I will know more! I was born too late but am trying to catch up. So interesting. Your articles should be de rigeur viewing for all osteopathic surgeons in training. Many senior surgeons unfortunately know very little about rehabilitation or injury prevention, as the main interests for them are golf.

    • May 15, 2012 11:56 pm

      Thank you very much for the kind words…they are much appreciated. Never too late to start btw!

      • May 16, 2012 12:27 am

        You may recall my e mail to you about needling the scar on my foot?
        My physio did it again on two more occasions, and also needled other areas of the instep. It got progressivly more painful as the fascia released so we haven’t needled the foot any more because it is nearly as good as new now. I can’t believe it, thankyou so much.
        I have been attending a cranio sacral therapist recently. He has identified that my “stiff upper lip” throughout my life has internalised many events, as well as the effects of accidents involving my head and neck ,and that my internal core is so bound up with scar tissue from my two confinements it had always affected my core fascia and beyond. Quite a bit to rather painfully unravel. I bounce weekly between him, the physio, my Pilates teacher who now has me doing versions of the Tower et al, and Jodie Yogi who pulls me back into place. I am very lucky to have them all.
        Not for publication!


  1. Wednesday Good Reads: Edition 3 | LaVack Fitness
  2. 3 top posts of the half year… « Functional Anatomy Seminars – Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems™ | Functional Range Release™
  3. Wednesday Good Reads: Edition 3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: