Tune in as I talk about how your hips and pelvis to help get rid of what you thought was unrelated pain! That’s right, the pain you are feeling in your low back, neck or even your feet could be related to the way your pelvis is tilted, hips are aligned, those squats you are doing or should be doing and more. Shakira said it first, your hips don't lie!!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Erica: I am excited to dive in and talk about hips, glutes knees, legs, alignment, squatting and how all of that relates to the alignment of your pelvis and hips. Your hips have a great purpose and it is important that we understand what that purpose is.
You know I love to talk about your core, right? Your pelvis is the base of your core. Your pelvis is connected by fascia. The way we walk, sit, stand and move through can all lead to imbalances in the body.
That is why I always like to start by looking at what is going on with the pelvis. I have found through my training that anyone with neck pain or even issues with their feet can be caused by a misaligned pelvis.
Squats are something I want to break down and talk about because they are a very effective and functional movement that everyone needs to be doing. I would first like to address deep squatting with weights.
Can a deep, weighted squat be effective for your body? Sure.
Could it also be bad for your body? Absolutely.
If you go down into a deep squat without properly preparing your body for the movement, you are going to compress your spine, joints, pelvis and pelvic floor.
To start, are you going to lengthen tall. Even as you lower down into a squat you still want to feel this nice lengthening that creates a great energy flow that comes up through your body towards the ceiling. When you get down into your deep squat, you want to make sure you keep lengthening your spine with proper deep core activation.
Then look at your pelvis.
You want to avoid rounding and overarching as it could add unnecessary pain to your low back. I love to do more of yoga deep squat unweighted. As you do this position, you are working to get deeper and lengthening your spine while connecting lightly through your pelvic floor and deep core. If this is too difficult for you to do, you could also prop your heels up by using a towel or yoga mat. Then as you go to lift, you want to connect lightly with your pelvic floor.
Something I like to bring up with my instructors and clients is when we start to talk about pelvic floor function, we aren’t just talking about women as this applies to men as well. I have talked to physical therapists about this and it can affect everyone because we all have a pelvis!! If you are doing an exercise that is putting a lot of pressure onto your pelvic floor there is a potential for your organs or intestines to fall out.
That is why I wanted to bring awareness to this. To make you look at the movements that you are doing and if they are benefiting your body or causing harm.
Any knee, back, foot or neck pain can all go back to your pelvis and hips. With knees specifically, if you had or are experiencing any knee pain or had any ACL or knee repairs, you need to work on strengthening the stability of your legs that is more than doing inner and outer thigh work. Thigh work is great, but it is more important to work on the fascial connections and finding that tensegrity through your legs.
To find this, walk in place and stop making sure that you are pushing through your feet. I recommend that you have something underneath your feet to help give a little feedback through your feet. Notice if you are locking your knees. Just by unlocking your knees, you immediately notice that your legs start to work and that fascia gets turned on as you get a better energy flow and connection happening through your body, legs and core. Then, lengthen up tall through your body as you lift up and out of your pelvis.
Now the test is, how far down can you go before you start to feel any pain in your body? You want to stay in a range that feels good, strong and connected to your body. Yes, it is good to be muscularly strong, but I believe that it is even more important to be fascially strong. This is because your fascia communicates through your whole body.
I love these because we can see if one side is pulling more than the other. I even like to put my hand on my butt for better tactile queuing that can help to bring blood flow and stimulation to the fascia for it to turn on. This is going to lead into pulsing. Pulsing is great because it also helps to stimulate the fascia as you are working through a range where you feel a good connection through your core because you are lengthening tall. Remember as you come up to avoid locking your knees, tucking your butt or letting all those connections go. Keep pushing your feet into the ground and lifting up.
This is all about creating new habits + bringing awareness to these pieces to improve your quality of life one step at a time.
Try to visualize this energy as you are trying to lift and create space through each vertebra of your spine, pelvis and hips. Things can get jammed when it comes to our hips, so if you can think about creating space around your hip capsules in your pelvis, then you might start to bring more awareness to waking up the fascia inside.
We can start to have a lot of the imbalances with the pelvis, because if you tend to pull on one side more than the other then your fascia becomes stuck. It is the fascia in your pelvis, sacrum and around your hips that is causing pull from one side or the other. Just because you are experiencing pain on your right side, doesn’t mean that that is the side that the pain is coming from. That is just where it is tight and you might need to work on the other side to rebalance your body.
Along with the fascia in our bodies, we also have fascial lines and a spiraling of the thighs that I find to be very helpful when we start to work on lifting up and out of your pelvis. As you are pushing your feet into the ground, you want to visualize pulling straight up the thighs and feeling the wrapping around of the thighs. This can activate some parts of your legs that you have never felt before. Keep in mind that it is not big adjustments that we are making; it is the tiny movements that you are doing that will start to become a habit.
The last thing that I want to talk about is how you can keep your legs strong with a kettlebell. I love kettlebell swings and when you take your weight back and focus more on the movement you are doing it will become more effective for your body.
To start, you want to have your legs a little past shoulder-width apart. I like to start with squat pulses and one thing I want to remind you on is to not overly tuck your butt or overly dipping into your back. Find a nice middle range of motion where you feel good and connected around your hips, in the quads and in the underside of your legs (for the video portion you can fast forward towards the end - see the video about the top of this blog post).
The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).
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