Do You Understand Exercise Progression? (Video)

Those who suffer from spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis often want to know what exercises are safe, what exercises should be avoided and what exercises are most beneficial.

The answer to these questions, especially when being discussed over the internet is much more complex than a one or two word answer.

It is important for those who suffer from a spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis to understand that before they consider trying exercises they need to develop a proper foundation of movement FIRST.

Next, they need to understand the concept of exercise progression, the importance of a proper starting point and the correct technique required of each exercise.

My question to you is, “Do you understand exercise progression?”

Especially when you are attempting certain spondylolisthesis exercises to help with how you feel?

Watch the video below to learn about exercise progression and why it is so important for you as a spondy patient.

Understanding Exercise Progression For Spondy’s


If you are suffering from a spondy it is very important to remember that those who suffer from spondy’s are often compensating throughout daily activities and especially during exercise to make up for movement issues.

Therefore, any exercise could be problematic if poor movement and technique are present.  Work on developing your movement first, and then use specific spondylolisthesis exercises that contain appropriate progressions to assure proper technique along with proper muscular and neural recruitment.

I am curious to know if before this video you understood the concept of exercise progression?

And more importantly, did you use progressions in your attempt to move and feel better? Comment below to let us know.

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Kathleen O'Brien
    4 years ago


    Thankyou for all the helpful information on your website and the video’s like the one above. I understand that exercise progression is important for spondy patients. I was rear ended last January and had an MRI several months afterward. From the MRI results my chiropractor said I have a bulging disc in my lower back and grade 1 spondylolisthesis. I had several months of chiropractic treatment and over the Summer I felt much better and was able to resume my life and daily activities without any problems. I decided to start working out at the gym, and regularly did the treadmill about 2-3 times per week for a few weeks. I had a flare up and ended up getting inflamed and in pain all over again. My chiropractor said it was from the impact of the treadmill. I tried to take it easy, I didn’t have an incline and walked fairly slowly for only 10-15 minutes each time I would work out. Could you give any advice or thoughts as to why this would happen, since I have been diagnosed with Spondy? I’m staying away form the treadmill for a while.


    • Spondy
      4 years ago

      Hi Kathleen,

      There are multiple reasons why the treadmill may be causing your flare ups. The first question is was the treadmill the only part of your workout? Were you performing any other movements, stretches or activities in the gym or were you just walking?

      If you are 100% sure the treadmill is the cause of your flare ups a common culprit is poor movement mechanics. Instead of explaining completely, please take a look at this article: Although this article talks about running, replace “running” with “walking” throughout the article to understand a possible culprit (that is if you are only walking during your workouts, if you are running each time then this article will make complete sense).

      Although walking and running is perceived as a simple task, with improper movement you could be creating tons of stress and irritation on the joints, ligaments and soft tissues around your spine thus leading to flare ups. Again, since I do not know your exact situation this is all just speculation. I would highly recommend seeing our “spondy toolbox” page and searching for someone who is certified in the FMS or SFMA near you. You can then have a movement screen performed on you to help determine possible movement related issues and ways you can go about correcting them. This may allow you to go through the treadmill sessions without the flare ups.

      The good news is you were able to find relief prior to the treadmill. Now you need to determine the cause of the flare ups. The cause may not be the actual treadmill itself, it may be the movement related issues/restrictions that you currently have that are leading to compensations on the treadmill and eventually stressed and inflamed areas.

      Running is a very mechanical and advanced movement. Without perfect technique and movement, compensations happen. The results of the compensations (stress fractures, tightness, overuse injuries, flare ups, etc) usually show up quickly on those with previous a injury history due to the compensations. I hope this makes sense and make sure to check out that article on running for further help. Thanks for commenting!

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