When you work out, you can often hear phrases such as: do not push your knees out in front of your toes, do not do a “cat cow”, keep your heels on the floor! Yeah, these are the common phrases in fitness clubs, but have you ever wondered about how functionality works in a global sense?

One of the basic definitions of the word “functionality” is a movement which is based on a simple situations taken from everyday life, such as a squat – sitting down. Unfortunately, no one observes the way we perform such movements. And that’s what’s most important. The human body is one big machine which is constantly being affected by all kinds of forces – even gravity. What does this give us? Valuable information about our biomechanics.

The human body consists of many ‘levers’, but the most important of them all is our spine, which is the pillar of our functionality. It was very cleverly divided into several parts with S-shaped curves. This gives us our first valuable piece of information: do not try to bring it to a perfectly straight line. Thanks to the spine’s S-shape, the weight we carry is better distributed around our body. It allows us to work safely and effectively – despite proportionally high resistance.

The spine protects the “bundles” of nerves that run through its core. If you apply a too great force or perform a movement in the non-standard range, it might result in pressure on or ischemia of your nerves. You do not have to look far for an example – have you ever felt a tingling in your fingers while stretching, or perhaps felt pain under a too heavy weight? Your intervertebral discs were moving under the influence of these forces, and what you felt was a kind of defense mechanism. If you feel pain, that’s when you need to say “STOP”! That’s your body giving you a red light. Respect it!

Our ‘lever’ also gives you hints! What kind of hints, you ask? The answer is simple. When you make a wrong move – the spine, or rather the muscles that are on it, will contract excessively. This leads to posture defects. You do not need to be a specialist to see scoliosis, lateral spinal curvature or knock-knee. And this is where we’re faced with the eternal dilemma: do we go for rehab, or do we continue our training? Unfortunately, life is all about making choices. I suggest trying to think about what could happen in 10 years’ time. Will your goal still be an epic 200kg bench-press, or rather having a full range of motion and proper stabilization? It is worth to think about these things today.

The spine consists also of kinetic chains. What are they? You have certainly heard of fascines or strands on the human body. These are long chains, which have a specific structure, that allow you to exercise safely and overcome great resistance. And the muscles that are attached to parts of our spine play a very significant role here. All the strands and chains in our body depend on our posture, and this is our CORE – its stability affects the ergonomics of our movements. Find the shortest and easiest way around your obstacles. This requires developing habits and a lot of repetition, but – it’s your workout.

That is why you should take care of your spine. Thanks to it, you will be able to exercise effectively and for a long time. You can enroll in specially prepared classes such as Zdrowy Kręgosłup (Healthy Spine) where a specialist will remediate your posture and guide you in the right direction. You should always warm-up and remember; if you want to be efficient you should be aware of relaxing and stretching.

I also highly recommend such fitness classes as Pilates where you will learn the power of breathing. Yoga will make your body more elastic and this will result in you consciously stopping yourself from inducing any harm through improper repetitions.

Remember, in case you have any doubts or questions, you can consult our Accredited Personal Trainer. Free consultations are held on every Thursday of the month.