Scoliosis (pronounced sko-lee-o-sis) is a condition in which the spine becomes rotated and curved sideways. This generally begins during childhood - which may indicate that the condition is genetic - and is progressive with age, although scoliosis may also be the result of a traumatic injury. About one in one hundred people suffer from scoliosis, in varying degrees and, generally, there is no pain associated with it, although musculature and consequently posture are affected.
There are two kinds of scoliosis, lower lumbar and thoracic. The former is a curvature in the lower vertebrae of the spine, while the more common, thoracic scoliosis, is a bend or curve in the thoracic or chest region.
Thoracic scoliosis, the most common form – usually affecting the right side of the body - may have an adverse affect upon breathing as it impacts the shape of the ribcage, often distorting, compressing and twisting the ribs, and consequently inhibits the capacity of the lungs.
The intention of REAL STRENGTH NOW training is to teach the student to understand the body from the inside, out and become his or her own teacher. Everything else, health of mind and body, will flow from this training. BREATH IS LIFE.
There is no cure for scoliosis and in extreme cases braces and surgery are prescribed.
A more natural, and often more affective, method of managing this condition is exercise that strengthens and aligns the muscles that support the spine in combination with breathing exercises that concentrate on VITAL CAPACITY (the greatest amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs after a single breath), while stretching and utilizing all of the lung tissue.
HANGING from a bar or gymnastic rings (if dead hanging is not possible, hang with feet stabilizing and aiding the movement by gently touching the ground - the purpose is to stretch and align the spine and ribcage) while performing diaphragmatic breathing with emphasis on increasing the vital capacity is a safe and non-intrusive method of managing thoracic scoliosis.
THE PLANK; this exercise (described in the lesson section of this site) engages the core of the body, using abdominal, hip and back muscles, in other words all of the muscles that enable us to stand and walk in an upright position while encouraging the proper alignment of the spine, with particular emphasis on the abdominal region – the stabilizing center of the body - when the diaphragmatic breath is practiced with the plank posture. Once the basic plank is mastered, the side plank is an excellent exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles on the side of the body corresponding to the scoliosis.
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