Porn Stars and Armadillos


You do have some experience lifting weights, don’t you?

(here’s the part where you say ‘Yes, Joe. Of course I do.’)

Great!  Then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about when I refer to “porn star ass” and “armadillo back”.

(“Did he really just say ‘porn star ass’?”)

Don’t Worry, I Got Your Back
Seated and bent rows, stiff legged deadlifts and many other exercises challenge the postural muscles of your back and can be dangerous if not performed without attention to form.

When talking shop with my peers, I have no problem speaking in terms of anterior pelvic tilt/contra-lateral reach/terminal hip extension and so on, but for “regular” people (eg: my typical clients, models at photo shoots, etc), I find it much easier to get my point across by using (ahem) “common language”.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to two of my favorite “cues”: Armadillo back and porn star ass.

Both are terms I’d use to help a client find “neutral spine”, and are at extreme opposite ends of the curve, so to speak.

Armadillo back could also be referred to as ‘halloween cat’ (a seasonal variation I like to use in October) and is characterized by an excessive rounding of the spine.

On the other side of the coin, we have the very classy porn star ass.  It’s easily recognizable by the increased arch of the lower back and a little-too-much-backside sticking out (this is a sassy little combination of ‘anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar extension’ if you’re really interested).

I don’t think there are many armadillos capable of reading this blog, but if you do happen to be a porn star (or are an armadillo listening to a podcast version of this post), you probably shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about back problems due to frequent repetition of your respective spinal positions.  We love you just the way you are.

The real risk of injury increases when you start loading the movement and/or add in too much rotation.

Neutral spine is somewhere in between the two extremes.  You can (and should be able to) locate it from any position.  If you have too much armadillo, shift toward porn star – and vice versa.

Isn’t fitness fun?

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2 thoughts on “Porn Stars and Armadillos

  1. Joe-
    I am seeing a physical therapist for ankle/calf pains which are believed to have resulted from a cascade effect caused by excessive hours on the computer with bad posture or typical computer programmer posture. My PT commented that computer related injuries are there number one source of back and leg pain they see. And, we are all spending more time on the PC.

    Do you have thoughts/comments on this as it is somewhat related to your neutral spine comments today?

  2. Interesting visual… lots of automatic resonance. Works a lot better than the ones I’ve used: Silverback gorilla stance or linebacker stance.

    No matter, it’s all chin out, chest up, good lordotic arch, and ass back.

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