What is Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation? (DNS)

Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS) is a manual and rehabilitative approach that is based upon the basic principles of developmental kinesiology (DK), developed by Czech Physiotherapist Professor Kolar. The basis of DNS looks into how we can use our body and movements back to the stages before we are influenced in our current state. This includes the ageing process, being taught how to move and lift, and bringing it back to an infancy stage where our movements were natural and hard wired.

The DNS system looks into the research of stiffness in both dynamic and static activities. One factor that we often believe is that the Valsalva maneuver is the best method for keeping stability in the spine through lifting movements. But as of recent it has been shown that an increase of Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) through methods such as the Valsalva maneuver, has been reported to unload spine and increase intradiscal pressure.

What’s this all mean? Place one hand on your chest, and one on your stomach. Take a big breath, expand your stomach like a balloon, the hand on the stomach should be expanding and the hand on the chest shouldn’t rise too much, this is the Valsalva maneuver, and that’s been known to be the gold standard to brace your core. Try again, but his time breathe in without having the hand on the chest rise, and the hand on the stomach push out like a balloon again. Breathe out and exert the air in the balloon. This is now decreasing the IAP, and known as diaphragmatic breathing, a basic of DNS.

It’s a lot to digest at once, but what’s happened is we’ve used the “deep core” muscles that operate under the autonomic nervous system, which is normally subconscious. Bringing an action from subconscious to conscious is not supposed to be easy, but with practice it becomes natural over time.  What we are really doing is using the diaphragm into full function.

It’s hard to believe, that when you don’t keep tight through your core, you’re decreasing the pressure in your vertebral discs and decreasing the risk of injury. But let’s put this in context when we might be exerting lots of force in a decreased amount of intrabdominal pressure. Let’s look at baseball pitching. It’s a big breath, big plant of foot, and throwing through while breathing out. It’s autonomic, and a lot of force through the spine in a dynamic context. Another one that I’ll put through is in context of Olympic lifting, particularly the Clean and Jerk. It’s at the Deadlift start which the individual will implement the Valsalva maneuver, which requires the least dynamic stability. From the front rack position to the finishing Jerk position, the individual will exert their air, decrease their intrabdominal pressure and catch the barbell above head where there is the greatest amount of dynamic stability required.

(Above): Clean deadlift position with a greater amount of intrabdominal pressure but least amount of dynamic stability required.

Overhead Squat Jerk Position: Less amount of intrabdominal pressure, most amount of dynamic stability required in the spine.

Baseball Pitcher: Through the motion of the pitch, where the intrabdominal pressure will decrease as the ball is being released.

So how does this information help us in the workforce and in rehabilitation? In brief, the above actions are no different from people’s job roles. Lifting an object from chest height to above head height is both the description in the Jerk of Olympic lifting and for many jobs, such as nightfill storing stock or bricklayers working above head.

DNS has been implemented in many forms, and I’ve personally only used the basics in the form of diaphragmatic breathing methods for my personal sports and injuries. But it all begins in the basics of breathing and adding a small change over time. Below, I’ve linked a few interesting articles and tutorials using the basis of DNS in different contexts, sports, injuries and even in combination in other tools.

Sean Koh (BSc – Ex.Sp.Sci, Post.Grad.Dip.(Clin.Ex.Phys))
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Accredited Exercise Scientist (AEP) (AES) (ESSAM)

PreHab Guys, Developmental Kinesiology and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization


   A look into Developemental Kinesiology and rehabilitation for athletes and individuals

Juggernaut Training Systems, DNS & Diaphragmatic Breathing used with Resistance Neural Training  (RNT) for fixing Hip Shift in Squats by Dr Quinn Hennoch (DPT)
Implementing Diaphragmatic Breathing with RNT for lifting, posture and sport

JP Cauchi & Melbourne Strength Culture, DNS & Diaphragmatic Breathing for Correcting Posture & Lower Crossed Syndrome

Using Diaphragmatic breathing for lower body postural correcting



Frank, C., Kobesova, A. & Kolar, P. Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization & Sports Rehabilitation. Clinical Commentary (2013)