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Neutral or Imprint? With Natalie Wilson and Raphael Bender

The age-old debate. We settle it once and for all.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • You can bias lower abs from upper abs by doing posterior pelvic tilt vs ab curl here
  • People with LBP lift with LESS flexion in their lumbar spine here
  • There was low-quality evidence that greater lumbar spine flexion during lifting was not a risk factor for LBP onset/persistence or a differentiator of people with and without LBP here
  • Only 4% difference in total load on the vertebrae during stoop vs squat lifting here
  • Load shifts posteriorly away from disk as you flex here at close to full flexion less than a quarter of extensor moment is from disk and deep ligaments
  • People lift more efficiently in spinal flexion (more efficiently = same force output with less muscle activity) here
  • That’s probably why elite powerlifters increase spinal flexion automatically as they approach maximum loads here
  • Spine posture in general has not been shown to be a causal factor in LBP according to a systematic review of systematic reviews in 2020 here
  • Even lifting a box from knee height when instructed to keep the spine neutral, results in 22 degrees of lumbar flexion here
  • Experienced physical therapists can’t detect lumbar flexion of less than 34 degrees during a squat here
  • In lab experiments compressive load – not flexion or extension – causes disk injury here
  • “Bad technique” doesn’t cause injury – Crossfit injury incidence is 0.27 – 3.3 per 1000 hours of training here
  • Injury incidence in running is 2.5 – 33 which is almost exactly 10x higher here
  • Injury incidence in ballet is 3.9-4.4 per 1000 hours – which is higher than Crossfit even though ballet dancers practice in perfect alignment here
  • Most injuries in fitness centers result from people falling off equipment or dropping weights on themselves here
  • Connect with Natalie Wilson on Instagram
  • Connect with Raph on Instagram
About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:

Purchase Raph’s new book:

  • Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here
About Natalie Wilson:

Born and raised in Hawaii, Natalie’s foundation in movement comes from years of training in the native dances of Hawaii and Tahiti.  After college, Natalie pursued a career in social work and mental health.  She discovered Pilates after the birth of her second child and loved how the practice gave her renewed strength, energy, and focus. Desiring a career shift, Natalie enrolled in a comprehensive Pilates training program, graduating in early 2017.  In addition, Natalie received her National Pilates Certification in 2020 and her Pilates Certification from Breathe Education in February 2022.  She currently teaches at Vitality Pilates as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and too many houseplants.

How to Connect with Natalie:

  • Find Natalie on Instagram here
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