Are you struggling to engage the right muscles during your workouts? It can be tough to identify weak links in your kinetic chain and protect your spine, but there is a concept that can help. Introducing "masses and spaces," a coaching cue that can improve your posture and focus during training.
ORIGIN OF THE MASSES AND SPACES CONCEPT
At a TRX coach's training workshop, I learned about the concept of "masses and spaces." This refers to aligning your body in ideal posture while training under tension on the suspension trainer. The goal is to protect your spine by using your core muscles to stack the "masses and spaces" in your body.
MASSES AND SPACES
The "masses" in your body are your vital organs, and the "spaces" between them hold them together. For example, the space at your neck contains many nerves and should be treated with care. The space in the middle of your body refers to your core. Core muscles that protect your spinal cord include the transversus and rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques, back extensors, quadratus lumbarum, and trapezius muscles.
WHY USE THIS CONCEPT?
Using the "masses and spaces" cue can help you focus on one thing at a time, which is important for an external focus. It's also a more holistic approach to body alignment than a coach saying "keep your shoulders down."
Plus, it's important to breathe naturally and exhale during the hardest part of the movement and inhale during the preparatory phase.
HOW TO TRY IT YOURSELF
When you're relaxed, aligning your "masses and spaces" can help you sit up straighter and walk taller. It's a quick and easy way to address your body's alignment without needing to stop what you're doing.
To get started, try aligning your "masses and spaces" while lying on your back, sitting, standing, in a plank position and finally, any exercise on the suspension trainer. You will feel the intensity increase and the demand on your core intensify as you progress through the positions.
The "masses and spaces" concept is a flexible and adaptable way to improve your posture, focus, and alignment during suspension trainer workouts or any other kind of functional based workout. It can help protect your spine and identify weak links in your kinetic chain which means no lower back pain. Give it a try during your next workout and see how it can improve your exercise routine!