Fitness Trail: Postural reset every set |

Fitness Trail: Postural reset every set

Jackie Wright
The Fitness Trail

For the past two weeks we have focused upon set up basics for many of the exercises you perform. Week one highlighted standing postural set up basics and last week kneeling, quadruped and seated basics were described. This week, supine (i.e. face up) and prone (i.e. face down) and side lying set up basics will be featured. Take a moment and review week one’s column for the fundamental information regarding proper postural set up before progressing forward. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Supine Set Up Basics

-Supine, for our purposes, is described as lying down on the floor, or other apparatus, face up.

-Begin lying supine, creating a long spine, with the head/neck a natural extension of the spine (i.e. if you present with excessive thoracic spine curvature you may require a pillow underneath the back of the skull to maintain a neutral cervical spine), shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor pulled up/in with the legs in the appropriate position for the exercise.

-Arm positions will vary depending upon the exercise.

-Avoid lumbar hyperextension.

-Sustain your alignment throughout the exercise.

Prone Set Up Basics

-Prone positions are more challenging to properly set up to avoid excessive pressure in the lumbar spine.

-Therefore, you may need to place a pillow underneath the hips to maintain the neutral lumbar spine.

-Begin with the head resting down, perhaps with the chin on the top of one or both hands or you may be on an incline bench with the chin over the end of the bench (i.e. when performing prone shoulder extensions or rear flyes, you may be on an incline bench).

-Head and neck should be a natural extension of your spine, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, and navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor pulled up/in and leg/arms in the proper position for each exercise as this varies.

Side Lying Set Up Basics

-Side lying positions are utilized in many exercises, such as lateral flexion, for the inner/outer core unit muscles, and hip abduction/adduction, and may be performed from the floor, benches, stability balls, BOSU Balance Trainers, mini balls, etc.

-For purposes of this set up description, we will utilize a side lying hip abduction exercise as the model.

-Begin on the floor, lying on the left side of the body with the left elbow aligned directly under the left shoulder, left palm on the floor, fingers facing the wall in front of you, the hips stacked, thighs parallel, left leg flexed back approximately 45 degrees, and right leg fully extended with knees relaxed.

-Head and neck should be a natural extension of the spine, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor pulled up, with the body one long line from the top of the head to the tailbone as though you are between two panes of glass.

-Engaging the hip abductor muscles in the outer, upper right hip, lift the leg to approximately 45 degrees and back down toward the floor without touching the floor. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions and repeat sequence on the other side.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at, her email at, her blog at and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness

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