Corrective Exercise

Importance of Proper Posture in Training


Some experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience back pain in their lifetime (Rubin, 2007). This estimation is bolstered by the fact that the American population spends at least 50 billion dollars each year on issues related to back pain (MEDTEP, 1994). Individuals should work towards prevention rather than treatment of back maladies. One of the best preventative measures is proper posture in the midst of exercise and activities of daily living to improve spinal health.

Most lumbar disc injuries occur when the spine is in flexion or extension (Callaghan & McGill, 2001). This is one of the reasons that coaches are adamant about cuing clients to find a neutral spine position before proceeding with activity (e.g. shoulders back, tucked hips, tightening glutes). In exercise, one never wants to compromise spine position for the ‘ability’ to load more weight in an exercise (Boyle, 2016). One should practice stability prior to incorporating movement or increasing one’s weight-load while being mindful of avoiding excessive flexion or extension. The middle portion of the available range of motion has previously been described as the neutral range — this has been purported to be advantageous for preventing injury and enhancing athletic performance (Herring & Weinstein, 1995).

The next time you step foot into a gym, check your positioning. Don’t wait for a coach to correct your spinal position. Take responsibility for your postural and spinal health by learning the basic body weight movement with proper mechanics first and from that point forward, challenge yourself a little more. 

3 helpful tips for back pain prevention:

  1. Warm up and stretch properly, paying special attention to the hamstrings and hip flexors.
    1. The hamstrings need to be stretched in order to relieve pressure off of one’s back and prevent anterior tilt of the pelvis. The same goes for stretching the hip flexors as tight hip flexors can produce a posterior pelvic tilt.
  2. Maintain a healthy body weight through proper nutrition and an active lifestyle.
    1. A high fat and caloric diet in combination with an inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity, a condition that can put stress on the back. Proper nutrition to maintain a healthy body weight helps you avoid unnecessary stress and strain on your back. It is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D daily in order to keep your spine strong. These nutrients assist in the prevention of osteoporosis, the culprit to blame in many cases of bone fractures leading to back pain.
  3. Warm up and stretch properly, paying special attention to hamstrings and hip flexors
    1. Having the hamstrings at a normal length can help to prevent a posterior pelvic tilt and having the hip flexors at a normal length can help to prevent an anterior pelvic tilt. Stretching these muscle groups can help to relieve unnecessary pressure off of the spine.


Boyle, M. (2016). New Functional Training for Sports (2nd ed.). Champaign (IL):

Human Kinetics.

Callaghan, J.P., and S.M. McGill. Intervertebral disc herniation: Studies on a porcine model exposed to highly repetitive flexion/extension motion with compressive force. Clin. Biomech. (Bristol, Avon). 16(1) :28–37. 2001.

Herring, S.A., and S.M. Weinstein. Assessment and nonsurgical manage- ment of athletic low back injury. In: The Lower Extremity and Spine In Sports Medicine (2nd ed.). J.A. Nicholas and E.B. Hershman, eds. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, Inc., 1995. p. 1189.

In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD.1994.

Lee, J., Y. Hoshino, K. Nakamura, and Y. Ooi. Trunk muscle imbalance as a risk factor of the incidence of low back pain. J. Neuromusculoskeletal Syst. 7:97–101. 1999.

Rubin Dl Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neural Clin. 2007; May; 25(2):353-71.

“Handout on Health: Back Pain.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal

and Skin Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web.

28 June 2017.

aysiaAysia Shellmire – Prevail Intern

B.S. – Kinesiology (Westmont College)

Aysia was born and raised in Burbank CA. She graduated from Westmont College on May 6th 2017 with a B.S. in Kinesiology. Aysia played 4 years of basketball at Westmont College under Coach Kirsten Moore. She was 3 time All-Conference and 3 time All- American athlete and she holds the Westmont’s All-Time scoring record as well as the career rebounds record.

Aysia became interested in Kinesiology when she had a strength coach in high school. She was able to see how her workouts contributed to her progress on the court. Westmont’s Kinesiology Department helped foster her passion for coaching and sports performance with the guidance of some amazing teachers including Prevail CEO Chris Ecklund and Trainer Alexis Anderson.

Aysia plans on getting her CSCS this fall and possibly continue to play semi-pro basketball overseas.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/8/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW
Quick Thoughts:

  1. Another quick sessions this morning between clients and my interns. 
  2. Turned out to be shorter than I would have like as I spent more time on soft tissue (much needed today). 
  3. Throughout this journey of the last month and tracking my workouts it has reinforced a truth to me that I encourage my clients and students toward: consistency is key. Time and time again I realize that consistency trumps intensity or volume in my training. While both intensity and volume are important, it’s much more important for me to maintain consistency in order to sustain a training effect (in all facets: smr, mobility/flexibility, stability, power, strength). In short, getting in something is always better than nothing.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/7/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Physically exhausted still. Joints a bit achy. Another low volume day. 
  2. Noticing numbers are staying reasonably solid and not dropping off much as long as I can get some good soft tissue and warm up sets in.
  3. Feeling pretty good on BB Bent Leg Hip Extensions.  I think some of my early struggles with this lift is BB positioning and the first movement off the floor (feeling that I’m pressing through the correct arch).  As long as I pay attention to those two things, the lift feels good and I find not lumbar shearing or stress.

Coach Eck’s Training Sessions 2/11/13 – 2/25/13

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

Have you ever wondered how Chris “Eck” Ecklund gets his training sessions in despite his busy schedule?  Below are his last eight sessions, complete with the rationale for each lift.  Enjoy!

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/5/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Today was another extremely busy day that I didn’t think I was going to be able to fit training into. Luckily an hour opened up. 
  2. Although it’s already Tuesday, I’m feeling physically exhausted. Definitely unloading and trying to peak this week if I feel well enough each day.  Since I didn’t feel great today, I kept my loads about 10-20% lighter and tried to minimize my tempo. 
  3. Threw in a couple different variations today simply because I trained at Prevail and this is a training day I’ve been doing at UCSB over the last 2 months.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 3/4/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Low Volume this week: similar plan as last week.  Keeping my volume as low as I can (as long as I can get warmed up enough) and trying to hit the same or higher intensity in most lifts this week.
  2. Why?  I’m exhausted (which typically comes at this point in my mesocycle) and I want to peak within reason before I unload and change my program next week.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/27/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick thoughts:

  1. Trained at UCSB today.  I must admit that is was humorous to watch people watch me do the BB Bent Leg Hip Extensions.  Though I have tried to encourage my classes to begin working on this lift…next to NO ONE at UCSB performs it.  Quite funny to watch their faces as it’s a pretty conspicuous exercise.  But…great glute/adductor exercise.
  2. Had more time today, got more work done.
  3. ESD and Core work still pathetic.  Not getting either done on a regular basis.  Painfully obvious that I need to do a better job with my consistency in these areas.

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/26/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Early morning session as my schedule was supposed to brutal again today (turned out I had some cancelations so had more time than anticipated).  
  2. I hate working out in the morning.  Takes me forever to get going…but…at least I get to do it, right?!
    1. As such, I didn’t get much done since I got to Prevail later than I wanted and it took me a while to warm up.

Energy System Development is below:

  1. I jumped in with my Adult SPARQ group today since I’m having difficulty getting in any conditioning.  
  2. Great session.  It always makes me work harder and pay attention to my movement patterns when I train with  my clients. (thanks for letting me train with you Wolfy and Liam)

How to Prevent Ankle Sprains

By: Tom Walters, DPT, CSCS

Nearly 25,000 people in the U.S. suffer an ankle sprain everyday and up to 70% of these individuals will go on to have recurrent sprains and other chronic symptoms. Recurrent ankle sprains can lead to joint laxity, weakness, diminished balance and impaired performance overall. A recent study published in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy identified four exercises that were proven to improve balance and performance and decrease one’s risk for future ankle sprains. The exercises involve securing elastic band to one ankle and balancing on the injured leg while performing the four movements pictured below.

So, try these exercises to keep your ankles healthy and improve performance.

Han K, Ricard M, Fellingham G. Effect of a 4-Week Exercise Program on Balance Using Elastic Tubing as a Perturbation Force for Individuals with a History of Ankle Sprains. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009;39:246-255.

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