The Spiral Line (SL) is an important part of our functional anatomy. It has a big influence on the quality of our movement and may contribute to some of our imbalances. As the name suggests, this fascial meridian spirals its way around our bodies, creating a link from the head to the sole of the foot, and snaking its way around our joints like a vine climbing a tree.

If you are familiar with the term ‘Spiral Line’, then you have probably read the highly acclaimed book Anatomy Trains written by Thomas Myers. Upon its release, this was a game-changing book for movement therapists, which beautifully illustrated myofascial links throughout the body and how they may influence our functional movement. Since its release, further research has been done, validating the soft tissue connections identified by Myers, including the influential SL (

This line of muscle and connective tissue begins at the base of the skull, sweeping its way across the back of the shoulders and ribs before wrapping around to the front of the body and crossing over at the stomach to create a double helix shape. The line continues over the front of the hips, down the anterior lateral thigh and front of the shin, before looping under the medial foot. At the foot, it creates a kind of stirrup as it loops back up the lateral shin, hamstring, crossing the posterior pelvis and tracing the erector spinae line back up to the base of the skull. This is a lot to visualise, but a fun way to gain understanding of this line is to physically trace it with a long resistance band, which really gives you a feel for the movements it may influence.

Once you have visualised the SL, it’s easy to see how much of an influence such a line may have over the rotational movements of the body. Fundamental rotation patterns such as walking and running will have influence from this line, and you can imagine how strength and power production from rotation of the hips and torso (kicking/throwing) would rely heavily on this myofascia. The SL is not just about movement though – it has a key role in balance and stability. It can help us to lock out unwanted rotation when we are trying to stabilise our position and assist us in maintaining balance across all planes of motion. All of this influence means that restriction in the SL, or areas that may become tight, weak, dehydrated or sticky, could have an effect on rotated postures in the hips or knees, for example. Stimulating your SL to be strong, supple and supportive can be positive for healthy movement and be a fun and fresh perspective on our training style.

Free the spiral

A great way to encourage good hydration and freedom of movement in our soft tissues is to use a foam roller for self-massage. By having an understanding of the anatomy of the SL, we can use the foam roller to target muscles that are relevant to the SL and encourage healthy tissue and freedom of movement. Here are some techniques which you could incorporate into your movement preparation to make your SL smile.

Stretch the spiral

Dynamic stretching is a great way to encourage good range of motion, raise our temperature, lubricate our joints and prepare us for more intensive exercise. By choosing stretches which create length along the SL, we can create some novel movements that perhaps stretch tissues often missed in standard warm-ups and give us a better understanding of areas of restriction or limited motion. Here are some stretches that may be new to you and leave you feeling lighter, looser and aligned.

Stabilise the spiral

Balance and stability training is often overlooked in exercise programming, but it is a huge part of healthy movement. The constant trembling, twitching and tweaking while fighting to control our centre of gravity and positioning creates rich amounts of feedback for our proprioceptors and central nervous system. All of this stimulus creates learning, and our bodies can quickly improve with regular stimulus, making us sturdier on our feet and less likely to fall. Here are some drills designed to stimulate the soft tissues of the SL and train its ability to stabilise.

Strengthen the spiral

Many of the strong and powerful functional movement patterns we use in sport and play involve rotation, such as punching, kicking, throwing, leaping, lifting and climbing. The SL has a strong involvement in all of these movements and so it makes sense to use our understanding of the SL’s anatomy to develop strength exercises for the muscles that contribute to the effective use of the SL. Here are some drills that are a step away from conventional strength training exercises but will challenge you and your functional strength in ways you may not have been challenged before.


Using anatomy trains as a lens for movement analysis, movement prep and exercise design can give us new inspiration for our own training and that of our clients/members. It helps us to look at the body as a whole unit and not get drawn into focusing on one part of the body at a time. It challenges our thought processes and encourages our learning and creativity. New movements and movement skills are great fun to try and will ultimately make us better all-round athletes. What SL exercises could you develop for your next workout?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

Stephen Tongue is Head of Education for ViPR and was first introduced to and trained on ViPR by inventor Michol Dalcourt back in 2011. Stephen’s passion for movement training and success as a Freelance Personal Trainer and Presenter led to him joining the ViPR Master Trainer Team at FitPro back in 2013. Stephen has remained a part of the team until this day as well as picking up Master trainer positions with other big fitness brands such as TRX, PowerPlate and MyZone. Stephen has regularly created content throughout his career for national and industry magazines, news bulletins, blogs and social media. His enthusiasm for ViPR training throughout his career has always kept him close to FitPro and he is delighted in his new role as Head of ViPR Education and keen to build on the progress made by the team thus far.