Stretching Tight Muscles

Stretching aims to get rid of tension. But your body needs tension to support itself.

Not all tension is bad, your body needs to learn how to properly distribute tension to the correct muscles.

When tension is redistributed to the proper areas of the body, muscles don’t feel the need to stretch because the body is in a state of balance.

This concept is a basis for correcting muscle imbalances.

Muscle Imbalances

What is the point of doing a plank if your pelvis is stuck in an anterior shift and you can’t articulate the structure properly to engage the correct muscles? If you’ve never considered this before then you might be doing more harm than good in the long run. Although your intentions are solid, your execution might be causing you to miss your full potential. Muscle imbalances cause misalignment in the rest of the body and without addressing the asymmetries, you’re building dysfunctional muscle. Like slapping a coat of paint on a building that’s rotting and on the verge of collapse, the paint isn’t going to help the building remain standing, like replacing the load bearing walls with new materials would.

If you start thinking of your body as a structure rather than a piece of art, you’ll begin to tune into the missing pieces that are influencing your imbalances. The more imbalanced your muscles are, the less optimally you’ll move. As you begin to compensate when you move, you’ll start using the wrong muscles at the wrong time in the wrong way, and over time, pain and injury start to arise. It’s not because you’re getting older, it’s likely related to your biomechanics. Joint replacement is not normal, it’s indicative that your muscles aren’t working well enough to support your joints… aka do their job… and all of your movement contributed to force compounding in the joints until eventually they wore out and you needed a new one.

Exercising when your body is on the verge of collapse, like the building about to fall over, and not trying to fix the imbalances will contribute to declining biomechanics. Until you start training in relation to human biomechanics, think about how often we walk on a daily basis as compared to squatting, you’ll always reinforce your imbalances. Since humans walk as a fundamental function, it’s key to train this function to become more efficient at it. If your body doesn’t know how to walk well, then literally every step you take can produce further imbalance along your structure.

While the original example of the plank doesn’t relate to the walking patterns of human movement, it is an exercise, when done correctly, that serves as a means to an end. As your body is placed in the right alignment, although it may seem foreign or wrong at first, your core muscles and other supporting muscles will start to activating on a deeper level, until we condition them to work on that same level during other movements that closely resemble the movement patterns of reality- like walking.

We don’t want our clients to come into our personal training studio and be fed the same exercise ideas as typical gyms. Our mission is to teach our clients why they’re doing a particular exercise and how that exercise is going to help them heal their body, enhance their alignment, and ultimately prepare them for function in the real world. An exercise is only as effective as the position of all the joints, bony structures, and muscles in your body all at the same time- alignment is crucial to fix muscle imbalances. Maintaining alignment through the proper movement patterns is key to start restoring balance to the entire structure. If you want your structure to support you as you navigate reality, consider hiring a trainer that can educate you on the importance of sustainability and longevity versus getting stronger at a particular exercise, especially if that exercise masks your imbalances and doesn’t incorporate movement patterns that translate to real world movement.

Lower Back Pain? Try this!

Our favorite part about Monday is that it’s a great day to spend time doing some self care and preparing your body and mind for the week ahead. In this case these ladies are spending time doing some myofascial release and breathing to relax their muscles and recondition their nervous system to handle stress better!

If you can equip your body to respond to stress in a healthier way that will directly translate to a healthier life because you won’t be managing stress with alcohol, drugs, or other addictions like food. Doing myofascial release won’t magically make your stress go away but it will start to train your body to handle the stress when it does come. Then you’re less likely to break down and you’ll be able to understand what is causing the stress in the first place.

Aside from the stress relief, this release is great for knee pain, hip pain, and even lower back pain. It can be done with a pvc pipe or a tennis or lacrosse ball. Start by rolling the pipe or a ball up and down the front of your thigh until you find a trigger point or a “knot” and hang around that area for a solid 2-4 minutes until the tension starts to release, then switch to the other leg and repeat. But don’t forget to breath!

This release is a starting point for managing aches and pains in your day to day life, it creates body awareness and can activate dormant muscles or relax overactive ones to restore balance and harmony to your body. Once your body is responding well to myofascial release work then it’s time to go onto the next step and learn how to re-tension your body. For example, if your lower back is always tight then your body holds tension there so through proper exercises we would re-tension your core and signal to your central nervous system to hold more tension in your core and less in your lower back.

If you’re serious about managing your aches and pains so you can live a more functional and active lifestyle then we’re here to guide you in the right direction. We bridge the gap between physical therapy and personal training and give you the best of both worlds. Simultaneously rehabbing any injuries, preventing injuries from occurring, strengthening your body to function in the real world, and conditioning your body for everything life throws at you!