February 2016. Butts...Bottoms...Tushies...Bums...the back side...and the list goes on for the important...GLUTES! I deem February bottoms up month :) Lets face it, unless your under the age of 20 we all could use a little bottom lift.
I am sure in all the hours you have heard me teach Pilates....you are VERY aware of how important the glutes are. They are actually part of the core, aka POWERHOUSE. But you probably aren't aware that in recent years we have started to introduce a new health risk by sitting too much. Yes, health risk. I have included a really cool teaching video as to why, but we can all agree that there is far more sitting going on than there ever was in other generations. (And, oh, so sadly look at how much our teens/kids are sitting) So what happens to us and our beloved glutes when we live in a culture where sitting is the new smoking, or norm or basically ... we sit way to much. Duh....we loose what we don't use. Ok, maybe you think you are using the glutes to sit, but sadly you are wrong. "Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is causing our bodies to get weaker and important muscle groups are becoming lazy. In a true case of "use it or lose it" muscles that we don't use atrophy, become hard to isolate or activate and have their function replaced by other muscle groups, therefore creating muscle imbalances. (Hello - over working hip flexors) Your glutes, in conjunction with a strong mid-section or core or POWERHOUSE (abs and back), are the key to pelvic stability. However, not too many people actually understand how to develop that stability correctly. You could be worsening the muscle imbalance and find yourself out of action due to injury.
Take this test to see how your glutes stack up:
• Stand on one leg in front of a mirror.
• What happens to the rest of your body? Do you lose balance? Does the hip on your standing leg dip down? Or shift up? Or stick out to one side?
• If you haven’t fallen over already, poke into the top corner of your butt, just under the belt-line. Can you feel any sort of muscle contraction happening in there?
• No problems so far? Then, squat up and down a few times on the supporting leg, then hop. Does your knee roll in, or does your ankle roll in, or worse, do you fall over and lose balance? Can you feel those muscles working in the top corners of your butt?
• Quick – now check the other side? Are you ‘even’ or is one side weaker than the other?
• If you’ve answered yes to any of these, we need to talk more about your glutes. Even if you’ve answered no, you should continue reading...(click here for the rest of the article by Katie Mackenzie).
What I find amazing is that's what Joseph Pilates has been saying for over 80 years, and if you are reading this and frustrated because your job requires sitting, there are options for you. Make sure you move during your sitting day, you will have to be purposeful in this (if you have come to the fascia release class read the article for stretches during your sitting work day). And of course DO YOUR PILATES.
"Never slouch as doing so compresses the lungs, overcrowds other vital organs, rounds the back, and throws you off balance." Joseph Pilates
"Change happens through movement and movement heals." Joseph Pilates