Beth Scupham via CC Lumbopelvic rhythm might be a bit of a tongue twister, but it’s pretty important stuff. Lumbopelvic rhythm is the coordinated movement between your lumbar spine (or lower back) and your pelvis. If you’ve ever watched toddlers and young kids moving and playing, you may have noticed that when kids bend, they bend from their hips. Their pelvis moves backwards – in other words, they stick out their butts. But when adults bend, we usually bend from our backs. Something happens in adolescence – maybe it’s the fact that we spend a whole lot more time sitting down, and many teens also reduce their sport and activity levels – this causes our hips to begin to tighten. This then leads to our patterns of movement changing away from the natural movements we were born with. As children, our natural pattern allows us to bend from our hips, meaning we keep our spines “neutral”, allowing our glutes and core muscles to do their job. But when we bend like the modern adults we are, we bend from our backs, leading to a squashed abdomen – strangely enough, our core muscles don’t work very well when they’re squashed! This squashing of the abdomen also causes a shift of our centre of gravity forward, inevitably leading to overload of our lower back muscles. What’s the answer? Well, it’s all about the butt! By simply shifting our weight backwards when we bend i.e. with great, natural lumbopelvic rhythm, we are able to naturally activate our deep core muscles. Think about how many times a day you make a minor bend – things like picking up your bag, picking up your phone off your desk, lifting your kids – that could be 5-10 times a day, so in 16 waking hours, that’s 80-160 opportunities to do core and glute work every day! That’s working out, without working out! Simply changing how you bend, re-discovering the natural patterns of movement you were born with, will strengthen your core and save your spine.