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A Strong Back adds zest - and movement - to our lives!

When all the muscles work correctly your body shape is better, you are less tired, life gets easier and you have more energy. 

It is worthwhile to look after your back and keep it strong. It supports your posture and improves your balance.  

Your back is there to support you and move your body. Working on your back relaxes you. As it gets stronger, so does your mind. 

Marja Putkisto tells us how Method Putkisto Finnish body work approaches back exercising. 

Method Putkisto follows the traditional target to strengthen your core muscles and stretch, but the way in which it’s done makes the Method unique. 

The priority approach is to correct your muscular balance. This means that we lengthen your short and tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones, correcting the balance between your hips, pelvis and lower back. They, together, affect the way you use our body. 

The secret for sustained well-being lies in the integration and interaction between our pelvic, leg and back muscles. If out of balance/disconnected this also affects your breathing making it superficial and shallow. This is very common and most people are not aware of it. Due to the shortness of the hip flexors our pelvis gets out of alignment. In addition, none of us is symmetrical. This is why body control means, at its best, how we control our own asymmetry.

No wonder working on our body is not easy. Do we really know what to focus on?  Is this you: you work out, go to your Pilates and Yoga, you may get stronger and even supple, yet feeling at ease and free to move is not quite there?

It takes time before the situation turns to back pain. Any pain always will make us slower and stiff. This ages everyone in any age and niggles our zest of life.


We often cause our own stiffness, aches and pains

Many of us chronically tense our hip flexors and hold our breath. It is a paradox that we often cannot even sense if our back is too weak. 

We only sense it when we experience the symptoms of back pain or aches. Nevertheless, this is always a sign of muscle unbalance, ie. there is not sufficient support for your spine. No wonder we easily get tired. Back pain is also a sign that we are no longer using our body correctly. 

Whatever the cause of the problem, it always can be helped with a correct way of exercising.

Spinal discs act as cushions between the bones in the spine. Discs will wear out over time as we age. Also this will cause pain as the discs are deteriorating. 

Method Putkisto focuses on getting to know your body, giving you tools on how to correct its alignment wherever you are and beyond the sessions we practice.  Method uses movement to heal you by supporting your individual structure. This may sound complicated, but it also means that you can learn to self correct yourself throughout the day, while doing any exercises.

The Method teaches you small little micro movements to adjust any exercise to hit the right muscles to work correctly. Before increasing strength, we should alleviate pressure from our joints. We articulate the starting point and learn how to direct effort when moving instead of just becoming strong. This way exercising involves re-learning. 

As important as to practice regularly, is to teach your brain to sense the correct placement of your body. 

To get to know your own body we retrain our muscles to activate in the correct order and learn how to carry our posture. 

Learn to enjoy working on your body, and particularly on back exercises. 

As you feel your back muscles better, you can then also control them better. You can relax them, lengthen them, strengthen them and enjoy full movement of your back.

In terms of how we practice, we first use visualisation. During Method Putkisto online sessions one does not have to follow the screen all the time but also to learn to close your eyes at times. We work from the ‘’inside out’’ through your mind, slow motion during repetitions and variations. Soon the unused muscles begin to work and new muscular memory develops. At the end of each term it works automatically (like learning to drive a car). Also, the exercises are gentle. There is no need to create extra pressure on your body nor to your mind. Instead we will alleviate it.   

Online offers a great opportunity to practice more often and Marja´s Club model offers small doses, as the sessions are 25 minutes each. As there are two sessions per day there will be no time to get into wrong habits or positions. 

Globally, 540 million people suffer from back pain at any given time.  (Steven Zauderer)

How to relieve back pain in traditional ways. These are the foundations to keep your back healthy:

  • Avoid sitting for more than 55 minutes at the time. 

  • Walk every day, several times a day. 

  • Lift correctly, learn the correct technique. 

  • Reduce pressure on your back and keep your weight down. 

  • Do not smoke, since it will reduce the blood supply to the small veins. 

Most common reason for back pain

  • hypermobility or stiffness of your lower back

  • muscle or ligament strain

  • heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement straining back muscles and spinal ligaments. 

  • bulging or ruptured discs

  • arthritis

  • osteoporosis 

  • ankylosing spondylitis, also called axial spondyloarthritis.

  • poor posture

  • lack of regular exercise 

  • injuries, such as a spinal fracture or ruptured disc.

Pain can be short term, localised or chronic. It is often nerve irritation reflecting our lower limbs causing also numbing and fatigue. Back pain can also be due to our structure causing the stress. 

Time to learn to work on your body as a whole, from top to toe! When you feel at ease in your body it is easy to move and there will be a bit more joy and zest in life. 

© Method Putkisto



  • Marja’s Club STRONG BACK 6 week term begins on Monday 26th February 2024. Join here >>

  • Marja’s Club Open House event on the 18th February 19:00 GMT. Sign Up here >>

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