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  • Writer's pictureJeanine Yutani

February: Outer Unit "Deep Longitudinal System"

Ever had low back pain? Want more power for your golf swing? Looking to increase running speed for track athletes or football players? Consider training your Deep

Longitudinal System.

Parts of the Deep Longitudinal System:

  • The erector spinae

  • The multifidus

  • The thoracolumbar facia

  • The sacrotuberous ligament

  • The biceps femoris

  • (some include) The tibialis anterior

The primary role of the "Deep Longitudinal System," one of the four Outer Units of the core, is to support the body against gravity - it is required to be active almost constantly for postural support, but can also be recruited more as daily movement or more demanding activities require. The deep longitudinal system (DLS) works with the inner unit to help provide control for the lumbo-pelvic region by stabilizing the hip, pelvis, spine and core while simultaneously transmitting kinetic energy from the legs through and above the pelvis. The DLS works to absorb shock and stabilize the sacroiliac joint (by working synergistically with the posterior oblique sling) throughout everyday movements such as walking and running.

Research has shown that postural alignment from a neutral spine and pelvis helps allow for efficient recruitment of the DLS to help avoid misalignments in exercises ranging from bridging to squatting (think leg work on the reformer) to deadlifting

(foldover on the CoreAlign) or side-stepping. If the lower back is not properly supported, it can lead to imbalances in the muscles of the DLS which could result in postural misalignments, myofascial pain or even exacerbation of underlying injuries.

Full-body movement with proper form can help balance the muscles of the Deep Longitudinal System by more properly training muscle strength and endurance where needed, while improving flexibility and mobility in other areas, and improving overall joint mechanics. Low back pain, a condition which is estimated to affect up to 84% of adults, can often be improved by a corrective exercise program focusing on the DLS - the same type of program which can often help athletes improve sport-specific skills, increase their speed, agility and sport performance.

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