Mel Collie | The Forgetful Bum
Sounds like a title to a good childrens book doesnt it, “The Forgetful Bum”, and in a way, it is just a story, a story about our bodies, a story that we tell ourselves about pain and movement, but it can have a happy ending, this is chapter one…
Our bum muscles are called Glutes, they are the biggest and most powerful muscle in the lower part of the body, they push your forwards to help you walk, pretty important muscles!
However, we dont look after them, because we sit on them, a lot…
….its part of life, computers, phones, TV, cars, travel, we are in a world of sitting, and where our glutes are in the body means that when we do sit, our Glutes are stretched, this stretching weakens them unless we do something about it because a weakened muscle means it loses power, and other muscles will take over and do the work of the Glutes instead, we might find that our lower back in particular become painful as they then take over, issues like sciatica can come from weak Glutes (also known as Gluteal amnesia)
We dont move like we did as kids, we do less, run less, walk less, jump about less, climb less, we are more careful and smile and laugh a lot less too…
When our brains pick up on this reduced activity, it notices it, its not stupid, and adapts accordingly, it forgets certain movements we did but no longer do, it kind of has a list, and crosses the movements we dont do off the list.
Remember in the good old days when bed rest was the thing for back pain? muscles would become weakened and used to doing nothing very much, now we are advised to keep moving. However, when we have had pain we create a fear of movement in our brains incase we hurt again..and so it repeats..
Disuse however creates many problems, then we expect our bodies to keep on working, but pain is remembered in the brain and will remind you, even after the injury has healed.
One way of switching back on those forgetful Glutes is to begin by stretching the front of your thighs (these muscles are called the Quads because theres 4 of them in the group) by bending the knee and holding the ankle or heel close to your bum. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds, dont hold your breath :), you can do this lying down on your front too.
Then pummell your Glutes, hit them with soft fists, for about 10 – 15 seconds.
This can wake them up..because when we sit, not only do the glutes stretch, but the opposite muscles on the front of the legs become shorter and tighter in the sitting position, stretching them helps the glutes switch back on.
You can do as many Glute strength exercises like squats/lunges/shoulder bridges as you like, to help your Glutes work, but of they have amnesia, they wont be doing the work at all…thats why switching them on first is important…a light bulb doesnt work unless you flick the switch..
The other way is to use your brain to get the Glutes switched on, and thats the topic of my next blog post, a very fast and easy way to get the Glutes and other muscles too switched on, this will be a video for you to follow, three times a day, easy peasy.
Level 4 Kinetic Chain assessor
Sessions per hour from Portreath, Cornwall
Contact Melanie on 07800797300