Getting out of neutral: the risks and rewards of lumbar spine flexion during lifting exercises

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Louis Howe with Greg Lehman

Lifting exercises are essential for the development of strength qualities in the lower extremity. Traditionally, coaches encourage a neutral lumbar spine posture during these exercises in order to reduce injury risk and maximise performance. However, evidence suggests that significant amounts of lumbar spine flexion occur during lifting exercises, and this appears to be unavoidable even when coached. It is the aim of this article to discuss the potential risks and advantages for allowing moderate amounts of lumbar spine flexion during lifting exercises.

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