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The Closed Scissor Position

In the treatment room, I heavily stress the importance of core stability when it comes to combatting back pain and loading the spine. One of the cues that I work with my patients who experience back pain when they are lifting is “close the scissor”. Whenever we load the spine, whether it is with a squat, deadlift, bent-over row, or essentially any complex movement, it is important that we maintain a neutral spine. This means we don’t over extenuate the curves in our spine when we lift. For example, too much extension in the low back. If we are to draw imaginary lines at the bottom of the rib cage and at the top of the pelvis, we want those lines to be parallel with each other or a “closed scissor” position. Now if these lines are not parallel and form an open angle, we call it an “open scissor” position. An open scissor position is not only going to drive poor movement patterns that can put us at risk for injury, but it will also decrease our ability to generate force.

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