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If you work with clients that have tightness and limited hip extension, then keep reading. You can dramatically improve your clients hip function if you are disciplined in improving your client’s gluteus maximus function. However, you must be able to teach them how to use their gluteus maximus appropriately during their exercise patterns.
In this edition of Fitness Insider, I demonstrate how poor exercise technique can disrupt optimal hip function. Additionally, I demonstrate how to improve hip extension utilizing the split squat to lunge progression.
P.S. If you missed last week’s announcement, we just opened Integrative Movement U™. Integrative Movement U™ is the on-line resource dedicated to fitness professionals that work with the general population. Click here to learn more about Integrative Movement U™.
By now you have likely seen or heard about the Wall Street Journal article that related how yoga can be a direct cause of hip problems – especially in females. In our practice, we have seen a consistent increasing frequency of individuals that have hurt themselves doing yoga and other related extreme stretching classes.So is yoga – or stretching for that matter – bad for our clients? As I travel around the world teaching to health and fitness professionals, I am often asked what I think about stretching and in particular yoga. I tell them that I personally have no problem with yoga…yoga the way it was taught thousands of years ago. Much of yoga today has unfortunately fallen into the same category of many of the recent fitness trends and fads where the focus is on pushing harder, with greater intensity, and with decreasing focus on the fundamentals. In our clinic, we don’t perform or teach stretching.
To understand why stretching is not be the best strategy for ‘tight’ muscles, you must understand what causes tight muscles in the first place.Remember that every single reaction in our myofascial (muscles and their investing fascia) system is directed by the nervous system. When the nervous system senses the loss of control or non-optimal levels of control, it will tighten the myofascial system in an attempt to re-establish control. Tightness therefore, is a reaction to the loss or presence of non-optimal control. Think about walking on a slippery surface in a grocery store. What is your body’s reaction?
- Your muscles tighten
- You walk with shorter strides
- Your movement slows down
- Their muscles tighten
- They loss optimal postural control
- Their movement slows down.
- We teach our clients how to optimally align and center their joints.
- We teach our clients how to breathe so they improve their stability.
- We teach our clients how to control their movement patterns as they perform their fundamental movement patterns of squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, bending, and rotating.
When the body is aligned, is breathing efficiently, and controlled, the nervous system will let go of chronic muscle tension.And the beauty of Integrative Movement System™ is that range of motion is improved without the need for contorting our clients into uncomfortable positions and more importantly…
…the client develops the ability to move better because they developed improved control!When your clients move better, they feel less overall chronic tension in their body. When your clients move better, they experience less discomfort in their body. And when your clients move better, they can accomplish their health and fitness goals. The great news is that you can learn how to use the principles of the Integrative Movement System™ with your clients so that you become even more effective in your training and at helping your general population clients solve their chronic musculoskeletal issues. What is Integrative Movement U™?
Integrative Movement U™ is the on-line resource for those fitness professionals that work with the general population experiencing:
chronic tightness and discomfort
in addition to other movement-related dysfunctions that are preventing your clients from achieving their health and fitness goals.
Integrative Movement U™ will provide you with the fundamentals:
- A (anatomy)
- B (biomechanics)
- C (corrective exercise strategies)
- D (developing optimal movement)
- E (education)
So you develop into the expert and industry leader your clients – as well as your potential clients need, want, and will pay.
If you missed the three-part video series on what becoming an expert is all about and to learn more about Integrative Movement U™ Click Here Now.
With the increasing number of individuals experiencing chronic postural issues, muscle imbalances, and movement dysfunction, there has never been a greater opportunity for the fitness professional that is able to blend their passion, develop their perspective, and institute the industry’s best practices and help their clients achieve their health and fitness goals.Be sure to watch your inbox tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26th for all the details and to grab your membership for Integrative Movement U™. As a loyal subscriber to Fitness Insider you will have an inside track to this exclusive on-line education opportunity before we release it to the industry.
- Back pain is second only to the common cold for the reason people visit their medical doctors.
- Back pain is the number one reason patients come see me in my office.
- When I speak at conferences 75-100% of the fitness professionals in attendance raise their hand when I ask if any of them have back pain or tightness.
As you can see back pain, dysfunction, tightness etc., is a problem across the board.
Here are two very practical things you can teach your clients who have back pain and for all your clients to potentially avoid back pain, tightness, dysfunction, etc.
1. Tell them to let it go…their butt that is.
For many people ourselves included butt gripping is a strategy we use everyday when we are standing and/or sitting. We may use this strategy because we have taught ourselves to, either by working out or because we think it looks better. We or our clients may use this compensated strategy due to surgeries, poor pelvic floor control or many other reasons. The reality is, when we grip our butts, we generally put our low back into lumbar flexion.
Try this…stand up.
Place your hands over your low back or lumbar spine. Keep them there, now squeeze your glutes. Did you feel your spine come more into your hands? When we squeeze our glutes we put our spine in lumbar flexion which is the opposite direction from which it should be. Our lumbar discs do not like prolonged flexion and down the road sets us up for things like disc bulges, hernias, etc.
Teach your clients to let there glutes relax when they are doing things like standing and sitting that don’t require high levels of glute activation.
2. Teach them to sit differently. Many if not all of your clients potentially have to sit for a living. Sitting as we know is one of the worst things for us. If you are sitting right now take a brief moment to assess how you are sitting. Are you sitting up on your SITS bones or your ischial tuberosities? Or perhaps you are sitting more on your tail bone or even your sacrum. Put her hands on your lumbar spine again…if you are not slouching, slouch. Did you feel your lumbar spine go into flexion? Remember your lumbar spine does not like these positions of prolonged flexion.
Now when I say to sit better I don’t simply mean tell them to sit up straight. Because if you sit up straight from your current slouched posture you just raise your chest up and extend through your thoraco-lumbar junction.
The best way to do this is:
- Stand up in front of your chair.
- As you sit down, sit back as far as you can into your chair.
- Once in the chair, grab underneath one hip at a time and pull your hip up and back.
- This will put you directly on your SITs bones.
The other important thing is you tell you clients to get up throughout the day. We showed you how they can sit ‘better’ but, sitting is never the best thing for our spine.
I have also included a link to a video we shot for our clients going step by step how and why sitting ‘better’ is so important. Feel free to share your clients.