Last week we reviewed the hip-hinge movement pattern. If you missed it, read it here.

But what if you need to bend your back while lifting or doing anything else for that matter? Is bending your back bad? 

It absolutely isn’t. The spine is designed to bend, twist, extend, and perform various combinations of those movements to allow you to move freely. 

The next question: is bending your back while lifting something bad? 

The answer is… it depends. 

Our bodies adapt to the stresses that are placed on them. In the rehab and sports training settings, this principle is known as the SAID principle. Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. 

I have a friend that’s a dancer. One day she showed me that she can stand up on the top side knuckles of her toes. Her full body weight on top of her toes while they were curled underneath her. 

I was blown away. 

This nicely depicts what the SAID principle is all about. Over time, she imposed specific demands to the joints and muscles of her feet and ankles. They adapted accordingly, and now she has a cool party trick to show off. 

Here’s the takeaway: If you’re

  • Someone who has difficulty bending forward because of pain/dysfunction, or
  • Looking for a way to build resilience in order to prevent future injury

Then you can and should use the SAID principle to your advantage. 

In other words, you can train your body to better tolerate things like bending your back while lifting something heavy. The key is finding your appropriate starting point, then building your way up progressively over time. 

The video below demonstrates (in order from least stressful to most stressful) different postures and movement patterns that will build the resilience of your spine so that it can better tolerate forward bending under load.

Please be mindful if you decide to perform a few of the more advanced activities in the video. Proper loading, consistency, and most importantly, time, is required for your body to adapt.  

If you’re at the point where you need more individualized guidance, that’s what we’re here for. Click the button below so that we can get you back on track.

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