It is my intention (and I am in process) to create a file of Short & Simple video clips for homework that correlates with your specific needs. Be it flexibility or Range of Motion (ROM) aka Suppleness, Stability (joint centration) or strength (power and/or endurance).
Once you’ve assessed a “roadblock” on your path to efficient and sustainable movement (relax, we all have them) you can go to these short clips to guide you in daily (short) homework drills that will assist you in replacing undesired movement patterns (the ones that break you down).
In my previous blog we talked a bit about proprioception...or noticing where you are in space. Awareness within and without.
We’ll address “optimal alignment” or acquiring a posture of readiness next week.
But first...breathe. Yep, that's my car tag...kinda take it to heart. :)
It’s obviously what sustains us. No breath, no life. First...and last thing we do on this earth.
And it’s so much more than we’ll go into here but it is valuable to know that deep (nasal) breathing promotes a positive response to daily stressors via stimulation of the vagus nerve. Stress gets a bad rap but not all stress is bad. A run, hard bike ride or weightlifting is stressful but if we engage in healthy recovery methods such as breath focus, nutrition, fascial release...we become more resilient and our immunity to other “dangers”increases. Sustained stress is certainly not ideal but even that can be dampened with a mindful breathing practice that serves to ameliorate the negative effects. (There’s great research to back this and if you’d like to learn more about this I’d highly recommend listening to the brilliant neurobiologist and Stanford professor Dr Andrew Huberman’s podcast #10 )
And for the sake of efficient movement...we cannot discount the breath. Our breathing mechanism is much more than our lungs (the holders of the air) and very dependent on the muscles of the core. So, if we are going to delve into the importance of “core” in maintaining a healthy or sound “vessel” for our souls to adventure in...we cannot separate that from our breath. Every in-breath has the diaphragm drawing down as the lungs fill and every out-breath has it drawing back up as they empty.
If we think of our core as a cylinder...the top is the diaphragm, the bottom is the pelvic floor, the deep front layer is the transverse abdominis and the back is the multifidus (deep and close along the spine). When all goes well they work in tandem to create intra abdominal pressure that supports our spine. So, the diaphragm and pelvic floor are designed to dance together—they rise and lower in tandem. Unless they don’t. (More about that coming later.)
So...the breath is totally intertwined with the stabilization of our trunk when we move.
~ Just cough a couple times and if you hold your fingers just above your pubic bone you’ll feel your TVA (transverse abdominals).
~ Lay supine and place your hands on your 10th ribs (the ones that poke out) and exhale ALL the way out until there’s nothing left and then cough and feel the ribs sink deeper into your abdomen—courtesy of your diaphragm.
~ Also, notice how when you exhale all the way out and your core (gently) braces or stabilizes how it feels like your spine lengthens. Because it does—thanks to the multifidus.
Anywho...more on all of this with Short & Simple drills coming soon. But for now, notice your breath.
And don’t forget to be supremely grateful for it.