Yesterday’s Breast Cleavage is Today’s Lumbar Curve
At this season’s red carpet events, high-neck, backless dresses put the spotlight on back-of-the-body beauty. From the Grammy’s to the Oscars to movie premieres, it’s those plunging back lines that are taking center stage on the red carpet and beyond. In fact, some women are now spending upwards of $16,000 for butt implants – the fastest growing plastic surgery, all in an effort to boost their back-of-the-body view. So what’s driving the back front and center?
The back of a woman’s body has long been considered a symbol of feminine beauty. As far back as the 1930’s, movie stars pushed the fashion envelope with backless dresses that while far more conservative than today’s standards, nonetheless hinted at this undeniably sexy part of a woman’s body. As it turns out, having a beautiful back goes hand in hand with having a strong, healthy back; in fact, 90% of dysfunction in the human body results from weakness in the back line of the body. A strong and healthy back also has a profound impact on the way a woman looks and feels. What makes a dancer, for example, look so gorgeous and move so effortlessly is the strength of the back of her body; this strength is what accounts for that gorgeous fluidity in her body – the way her back flows into her seat flows into her legs.
Unfortunately, our modern day lifestyle wreaks havoc on the back of our body. Very often, we sit down in our car and drive to our desk where we sit for hours on end. When we sit down, we literally disengage hundreds of muscles along the back line of our body rendering them overstretched and weakened. We then head off to our workout focused on what we see in the mirror – doing bicep curls, abdominal crunches, lunges and squats, etc. further strengthening the front of our body and creating greater imbalance. Other workouts such as Pilates often bends us forward at the waist; this type of movement extends (or lengthens) our back line and contracts (or strengthens) the front line, again resulting in a weak back line. For this reason, you’ll often see a seemingly fit person look decades older from the back. Women, in particular, have traditionally neglected the back of their body when it comes to working out.
Neglecting the back of the body introduces issues that go well beyond looking fabulous on the red carpet. In fact, back pain – often attributable to a lack of strength or muscularity in the back, is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 of us currently suffer from lower back pain. According to physiologist Jim Warren, when a woman doesn’t properly strengthen the back of her body, “gravity takes over, the body falls out of alignment, and as a result, back pain sets in, you can no longer work out, and you then become prone to osteoporosis and other ailments that decrease your longevity.” According to Warren, in order to have a fully functioning back, we need the right balance between our anterior (or front) and posterior (or back) sides of our body. It’s actually this balance of strength that creates the lumbar curve – that undeniably sexy curve in the lower back that symbolizes function and beauty.
The key to strengthening the back line of the body and creating balance is to stand up and extend back to get into all of the large and small muscles in the back, seat and legs. The Fluidity Bar allows you to do just that. Fluidity’s integrated movement, performed in a neutral pelvis position, forces your body to recruit the muscles it functionally needs rather than those you choose to engage (think sitting down on a weight machine and choosing a weight.) This type of whole-body movement forces your weakest muscles – most often those in the back of the body – to become stronger, and your dominant muscles – typically the bullies like the quadriceps in the front of the body – more proportionate. The result is whole body muscle balance and fluidity – from head to toe, front AND back.
With greater awareness of just how important our back is to our health and wellness, not to mention designers’ ever more daring attempts to reveal this beauty asset, there’s no better time to get your back in shape. If the red carpet is any indication, the back is here to stay.