Twist . . . no need to shout!!

Twisting is a movement that is addressed less as age ensues . . . . .

Twisting is a basic movement of the spine. Twisting is performed either alone or in combination with other spinal movements. Twisting while bending forward (righthand to retrieve something near the left foot), leaning back and twisting (backing into a parking space). Leaning sideways and twisting (i.e.). All of the movements listed are part of everyday life. Limitations encountered through age or lack of use can critically impact the degree of spinal rotation. The benefits of spinal rotation effect thoracic vertebral disc health (mainly), internal / external oblique strength / engagement, and function of the internal organs.

There are four (six) modes of movement in the human spine. Spinal rotation (two of the movements, to the left and right, are) is typically a movement that receives minimal attention, although it is a basic movement. The health of the vertebral discs is augmented through engaging all spinal movements. Modern society limits the degree to which many people engage (in) rotation. Thus, it is incumbent upon the individual to perform this movement themselves. It is an easy enough and accessible movement. It can be performed while standing, sitting or lying.      

intense twisting posture from a standing position. Ground through the rear foot and initiate the rotation fro0m the rear ankle, rotating the rear outer hip down toward the ground and spiraling the torso.

The various movements of the spine can be performed in combination with each other. Yet complete movement is achieved through spinal rotation.  Transverse plane movements (twisting motions) can be accessed in combination with the frontal plane and the sagittal plane. Walking is a rotational activity that is affected in the sagittal plane. Reaching across the body to grab something / push something away is a rotational activity that occur in the frontal plane. Swimming and running are rotational activities. The bi-laterality of the bi-pedal body requires balance for every movement to be effectively executed. All reaching movements and stepping movements require a rotational component for them to be execution.

Photo by Miriam Alonso on

Spinal rotation is a critical and necessary component to human movement. All spinal movements are critical, none exist in a vacuum. Yet, there are specific benefits of spinal rotation. Twisting postures complement forward and sideward bending in that they engage the musculatures in more complex and dynamic fashion. Twisting nourishes the intervertebral discs and facilitates release of ‘stale’ blood from the internal organs (fresh blood fills the organs spaces upon releasing the twist). Spinal rotation provides benefit to gut function: bowel disorders, like IBS, MALS, and constipation are curatively affected through employment of said movements. Spinal rotations, in general, are majorly beneficial to the overall health and well-being of the body.

Joseph Pilates (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 bodies.  Practicing how to do it correctly and conditioning the muscles that promote this motion makes for a happier and healthier you

Coulter, H. David. (2002). Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Student, Teaches, and Practitioners. Body and Breath.

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