“Don’t Flex Your Spine!” they said. I Disagree…

Sydney Video Training 4 Comments

T o bend the spine, or not to bend the spine, that is the question. Bending the spine, or spinal flexion, is a hot-button topic in the exercise world, and there’s contradictory evidence everywhere on the subject.

And if you’re familiar with Pilates, you know spinal flexion is a significant component in many traditional exercises.

At the beginning of my teaching career, I had a teacher who regaled me with chilling tales of people whose spinal disks protruded and ruptured as a result of spinal flexion exercises.

Which left me TERRIFIED of hurting someone and feeling incredibly limited in what I taught in classes and private sessions—nobody’s vertebral disk was going to squirt out of their spine on my watch!

Over time, my understanding of human body mechanics and alignment deepened and I finally put myself at ease and reclaimed teaching spinal flexion.

Ultimately, it depends on your specific body and your particular spine when it comes to flexion.

And, clearly, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.

HOWEVER, there is a primary key to making spinal flexion safe for your spine, and it has everything to do with your pelvis.

In today’s video, you’ll learn the key to safe spinal flexion and how to apply it to the Pilates exercise Spine Stretch Forward.

After you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes, so be sure to tell me in the comments!

Yours in safely moving your spine,


P.S. If you haven’t checked out the Pilates Tonic Online Membership, you haven’t missed out! You can still sign up for a two-week free trial and secure the Founding Member price of $10 per month. Get started now and keep your Founding Member rate for as long as you remain a member.


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About the Author


Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at info@pilatestonic.com. See you in the studio!

Comments 4

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  1. Hello! I’d like to hear what you FEEL in your hamstrings when you bend. How does it feel if you need to go higher? I’ve taught yoga so I have a good idea; however, I’d love to hear your opinion because we can always learn. Thanks so much for your instruction. Sondra de Zambrano

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      Hi Sondra, Great question! I know I need to bolster myself higher, when I can’t sit on top of my sitting bones without bending me knees and it feels like a lot of pull on my lower back. After I bolster myself, the feeling is much more concentrated in my hamstrings and calves and my pelvis feels much more free to tilt forward and my spine free to move. Thanks for asking!

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