Let’s wake up and get our deep support structure dancing 🕺
In my practice and clinic I am working daily with issues related to our structure, whether weak or strong.
Today I wish to address our morning routine, and how we can help ourselves before even stepping out of bed.
The ‘Dead Bug’ – the best and most underutilized exercise for our deep intrinsic muscles and core.
These deep core-stabilizing muscles are EXTREMELY important for our spines integrity and health.
They are responsible for stabilizing each individual vertebra that, when all added together, makes up our spine. In order to move our spine for function, we need to activate our superficial core muscles like our rectus abdominis and erector spinae.
However, if these superficial core muscles attempt to move our spine without our deep-core muscles simultaneously stabilizing each vertebral segment, abnormal movement patterns and shearing forces will occur
in the spine.
To correctly execute Dead Bug
To prevent your back from arching, ( loading) you need to engage your deep core muscles. This must be initiated firstly by lifting Pelvic floor, drawing in your abdominals.
This will simultaneously fire up your transverse abdominals and multifidus.
Movement of arms and leg needed to be synchronized with
The ‘Dead bug’ has so many benefits to awaken the stabilizers especially if you suffer from a spine condition.
Two options are fabulous to use first thing in the morning.
1. Lying prone, legs table top, arms up above shoulders. Engage deep abdominals, breath in to prepare, on the exhale, move gently arms and legs to the side, in opposite directions, whilst maintains a stable ‘neutral’ spine
2. Lying prone as above, but lowering the legs forward from the hip, arms moving backwards.
Looking at the 2nd option, this is simple but extremely effective for athletes for example.
The reason being is, due to their muscular strength, they find it very challenging to move their hip joints without
engaging their lower back muscles.
Same can be said for their shoulder joint.
They are challenged to raise raise their arms overhead without arching their backs and sticking their ribs out.
The Dead Bug fixes these issues by teaching them to ‘isolate movement at the hips and shoulders without moving the spine.
Improving this movement pattern brings it back to training the essential muscles for stability of the spine.
This in turn will improve strength long term, but also protecting the spine from movements its not designed to handle.
Find your control from within and reap the rewards 🌸
As like food, sometimes the most simplest things in life are the most delicious 😋 My focus this morning was all about moving the spine, whilst aiming at improving shoulder joint ROM. Utilizing the bosu and my tower, which can also be done over a #swissball kneeling. Movements of the thoracic spine are required for optimal shoulder functioning. Single arm full range abduction requires thoracic lateral flexion, and if both arms are raised into abduction or flexion it requires some thoracic extension mobility. If the thoracic spine is held in kyphosis, the scapulae must also move in a relatively anterior-tilted, downward-rotated and protracted position – a position linked with glenohumeral joint impingement flexion, rotation and extension. Tight lats also is a common issue, either from training load, lack of flexibility, or simply from posture positions. As I extend my arm above my head I lengthen my lats. The lats attach from the humerus (upper arm bone), down to the thoracolumbar fascia, which inserts directly into the pelvis, part of our oblique fascia sling.
The lats function to extend and internally rotate the arm as well as to extend the lumbar. When restricted, the lats have the potential to limit shoulder flexion (bringing the arms overhead), external rotation (rotating the thumb back) and lumbar flexion.
So let’s get moving to increase movement patterns.
If you have ever felt back pain, or pelvis instability, you may be simply ” out of whack” The most common mis-fire…
Glutes that don’t fire in sequence resulting in the low back muscles “taking up the glutes’ workload slack.”
Just like a car engine and its pistons, there is an ideal firing order for the muscles in a movement sequence.
For example, as we walk, the following is the muscle firing sequence that propels us forward. To get an idea, imagine that your right leg is in the back position of your of your gait.1st muscle to fire: Right Hamstrings 2nd muscle to fire: Right Glutes 3rd muscle to fire: Left back erector muscle (the ~ 1″ muscle that lies alongside your spine) 4th muscle to fire: Right back erector muscle (the ~ 1″ muscle that lies alongside your spine). Let’s get our glutes firing so we can walk, jump and run without disfunction.
Happy New Year.
Part of anyone’s health program should incorporate a great flexibility program.
In doubt? This may help to understand why.
The effects of being inflexible.
Inadequate flexibility will have a negative effect on the body in 3 significant ways:
1. Joints require movement through a full range of motion to maintain the health of cartilage and other structures within the joint with increased blood supply and nutrients to joint structures with increased quantity of synovial joint fluid (oil in the crank case). This effect can be particularly noticeable in weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees.
2. Muscles that are inflexible tire more quickly, causing opposing muscle groups to work harder. Muscle fatigue can lead to muscular injuries and the inability of the muscles to protect joints from more severe injuries. For example, the hamstrings play a role in stabilizing the knee and preventing ACL tears.
3. Decreased flexibility may also lead to abnormal stress on structures and tissues distant from the initial site of inflexibility. One example of this is that tendonitis in the knee can be related to calf tightness.
Additional benefits of a regular stretching routine.
1. Increased neuromuscular coordination
2. Return of muscle to natural resting state
3. Modifying blood pooling, recirculation.
Adding regular massages into your training regime will aid in recovery and joint mobility
The benefits of spine mobility work.
The alternating pressures push and pulls fresh nutrients and waste products in and out of the discs. They also do other, less obvious things, such as stimulating the healing processes at a cellular level and teasing out tight muscles and ligaments.
Gently mobilizing the spine opens up the lower back, just like pulling out a concertina. Sitting compresses the spine, its due time we allowed gravity to do its thing. It separates the jammed lower vertebrae and takes you out of your habitual stoop. It is a brilliant combination, and really – so simple. You can hold onto a rail or a chair to execute this daily.