In this video we explore the twist potential in the thoracolumbar spine and extol the benefits of encouraging all of the lumbar and thoracic intervertebral joints to do their fair share in all rotated postures.
A cue that we often hear when twisting is to try to twist from the navel up. The navel is located at approximately the level of L3, or perhaps L4 on some people. Most people can rotate approximately 2-3 degrees at each of the thoracic intervertebral joints and about 1-2 degrees at each of the lumbar intervertebral joints, for a combined rotation of somewhere between 29-46 degrees. If we try to isolate our twists "from the navel up" we'll lose the potential 1-2 degrees of rotation between L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1... which adds up to somewhere between 3-6 degrees of rotation. In addition, we'll lose some of the benefits of twisting in the lumbar spine, which include nourishing the intervertebral discs and creating a squeeze and soak effect on the abdominal organs... which are located in the, wait for it, abdomen! During the twist the abdominal organs get a bit of a squeeze when helps to propel the venous blood in these organs back toward the heart (veins have one-way valves that only allow blood to flow toward the heart), and then when we come out of the twist the organs are decompressed which allows fresh arterial blood to flow through the capillaries.