Tag Archives: glutes

Mel Collie | No Pain No Gain

Mel Collie | No Pain No Gain

If you are of a certain age and go to the gym, you will have heard the “no pain no gain” phrase..and believed it. However, the more I practice as a therapist and Pilates teacher, the more pain I see as a result of too much gain.

That means that the lie the fitness industry has fed you for years that you have to feel pain, push harder and do more reps to get results is the norm…

In my therapy clinic I often see inhibited core muscles. This means they arent working as you think they should be, this means that something else has to work harder to stabilise, like the neck (neck pain doing core exercises anyone?) or the diaphragm when the breath is held.

Try this. Lie on your back. Lift the legs and arms like in the picture below. Move the opposite arm and leg away from each other, now bring them back, then change sides. Note how many reps you can do with the following:

A relaxed jaw-  so you arent clenching your teeth.

Shoulders down your back so you aren’t using your shoulders

Glutes relaxed so you aren’t clenching

Breathing fully as you move so you aren’t holding your breath

Tip – place a folded towel under your lower ribs, ask someone to hold one end and to pull it as you work, that towel should not move…

Note when your body has to move into a “cheat”

Regress to progress, if you want less pain in your neck, back, hip, shoulder, stop using them as compensation patterns and start to do the exercise correctly with the correct muscles.

If this means you may only do one rep in the beginning, whats the point in doing one right and 3 – 5 wrong? do you think that will make you stronger? It only strengthens the compensation patterns.

 

  1. If you have pain, stop going to a general class in a gym with 30 people in it and a teacher that doesn’t correct or spend time with you. If the pain is persisting, you need to get assessed and see what your compensations are. You may just be surprised that your core isn’t as strong as you thought.
  2. Years ago I attended a Pilates class for 2 years in a gym, that sometimes had 30 people in it. I thought I was at an intermediate level, I went twice a week and I attended other fitness classes..every day, sometimes twice a day. When I trained to be a Pilates teacher, I was upset to learn that I was back at beginner level because I knew nothing. I had no stability in the easiest of moves. I had to start over. Weak glutes. Weak Core. Tight neck. Tight shoulders.
  3. Speed hides need. If you are speeding through an exercise with no attention to form, you are compensating. Your speed hides your compensation. Slow down, Take it ultra slow, its really hard ..and thats where the magic happens.
  4. Listen to your body. What does that even mean? well, if your hips are tight, they could be compressing for stability because you have none from your core. Same goes for your lower back and shoulders.
  5. Final top tip – core exercises –  If your head is tilted back and your ribs are lifted , even if your toes are scrunched up- you aren’t doing core work – you are doing future pain work, compensation work. Re check your compensation patterns by building your awareness.

Mel

Pilates & NKT therapist.

Pain in my right lower back

Pain in my right lower back

 

Lower back pain , almost everyone has it, or has experienced it at some point.

The most common issue I see is a tight or weak (though muscles can also be weak and tight) lower back muscle, known as the Quadratus Lumborum (QL)

Mel Collie | Quadratus Lumborum

Usually one side can be working for the other so one side will feel tight and painful, the other side can be weaker, but also painful, how do you decide which one to stretch and which one to strengthen? if you decide to stretch the painful side and thats already weak, you are stretching a weak muscle, which can and very often does, create further instability in this part of the body, which will mean the brain has to compensate elsewhere in the body.

However, without guessing or hoping it will go away, I test it against its synergists, and one of those is your glutes.

We sit on them a lot, they don’t function well, so something has to do that work, there are other muscles that can come into play like the Piriformis, but also look to the lower back.

Thats why its wise to get these muscles tested against each other, so you aren’t guessing at what is working and what isn’t.

Once the glutes have been tested and we’ve got them working, the QL can get back to doing what it does , which is side bending , rotation and helping with exhalation.

So, if lack of rotation is an issue, you could have an issue with your obliques, neck, shoulders,m but also get your QL muscles tested too.

You have an amazing computer in your head, the brain will always find another pathway so you can keep moving, no matter how obscure. So you can see, that where the pain is, isn’t always where the problem is, it can be telling you that the muscles in this area are carrying an extra load from an area thats underworking.

Sounds a little confusing doesn’t it. So if you do have back pain, find a therapist who has knowledge of Neuro Kinetic Therapy under their belt, as they will not guess whats going on, but actually test, and as we are all unique, thats the best thing you could ask for your body, not a cookie cutter approach, but an individualised session.

Bliss.

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

melcollie@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Why your calf muscles are tight & what to do about it

Why your calf muscles are tight & what to do about it

Bit of a long title, but does what it says on the tin..tight calf muscles, stretch them and they are just like your tight hamstrings, they always come back, why is that, could it be they are tight for a reason, tight because something else isn’t allowing them to “let go”?

This could possibly be inhibited glutes, which means your glutes may not be doing their job, but your calves are instead.

Get the bum working and the calves can release.

How you can do that?

Find a tender area on your calf and give is a massage with your fingers or with a tennis ball or foam roller.

Calf Muscles

About 30 – 60 seconds is just fine

Then strengthen the glutes by doing 5 reps of a glute bridge. Don’t hold your breath or clench the jaw.

glutebridge

Repeat twice a day

Your glutes will love you..

 

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Your feet are hurting , maybe your heel is burning and keeps you awake at night, it could possibly be a plantar fascia issue..

 

You used to rub a tennis ball over the fascia and that did the trick…for a while, but it always came back.

 

It may be a simple test, but when I assess you for plantar fascia, I will look at your single leg stance.

 

What happens when you stand on one leg.

 

What happens to the foot, does it roll in or out, what happens to your toes..do they scrunch up?

 

Does the same thing happen on the other foot?

 

Do the muscles in your toes seek stability, they are probably doing that if they scrunch up, grabbing at the floor with the tips?

 

What happening to your big toe? Does it lift up, lose contact with the floor?

 

What is happening further up the chain, in the shin, the calf, the thigh, the glutes..the neck and the head.

 

Very often the foot pain is a symptom, and rather than place a plaster over it, would you like to know why , find the cause, deal with it and then understand the “why”?

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Our bodies are so amazing at compensating, that we don’t even realise it. Quite fascinating.

 

The patterns it has, the patterns that change, through injury or just bad movement habits picked up over the years, the brain will choose the path of least resistance.

 

Its my work to unravel the pieces and put back the jigsaw, but without guessing or going by the text book. By testing your bodies compensations and finding out its “why”. Because we are all unique.

 

Single leg stance testing  – its my favourite “go to” test to unravel a puzzle.

You can try it out on yourself, you may find one foot pronates – flattens, you may find the other one supinates, lifts up, the arch increases.

The muscles in the foot start in the lower leg. You may find the outer shin muscles can be quite tender to massage, its a good place to start though, by massaging the tender areas, it will feel like you are pressing on a bruise, for 2 minutes, be gentle though, until you feel the high toned area begin to “give” a little, then increase the pressure a little more.

After 2 minutes, do a glute strength exercise, a standing donkey kick is a good one. Bending the knee, and kicking back to the wall behind, with a flat foot, as though the bottom of the foot is pressing the wall away. 5 reps should do it.

Repeat the whole thing 4 times a day.

However, because this ia a blog post and Ive not assessed your posture, this is a very general “go to” exercise, your glutes may not be the issue, it maybe the neck, the jaw, the lower back..but the glutes are a good place to start, after all, we all sit more than our bodies like us to, and glutes “switch off” when we sit, and other muscles take over and of the job.

We are an amazing piece of kit!

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

How strong is your core? Is there something else compensating for your abs? Want to nail those core exercises? Fed up with nagging lower back pain?

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall from May6th 2016.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Check the NKT website for a practitioner near you
 http://neurokinetictherapy.com/certified-practitioners

Mel Collie | Plantar Fascitis?

Look at it another way – when you have Plantar Fasciitis, you probably are rolling a ball under your foot, stretching it out, trying to get some relief, and thats what I used to tell people to do too…and thats ok, because it just might work for you.

Now though…look at it this way..Plantar Fasciitis is a symptom..do you know why its like that, what the cause is?

Would you rather treat the cause and have it go away rather than just treat the symptom?

 

Your body has a line of connective tissue called Fascia, in this picture its in blue, its not like that in real life though 🙂

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Your plantar fascia also connects to the calves and glutes too..wow! your body is so amazing!

So thats why I look to the calves and the glutes..

Heres what I did to a client who volunteered for me to have a look at their Plantar Fasciitis issue

I tested the strength of their calf muscles

Then I tested their gluteal muscle

Turns out the calf was tender in some areas, I released that, got the glutes functioning again to release the pain under the foot.

Of course they have home exercises to do everyday, and come back and see me to retest everything within 7 – 14 days, as I don’t want any of my clients wandering around with pain thats been unresolved

That makes me feel like I’ve not done my job properly

I don’t like that

I am hoping that you wouldn’t like me to be that unprofessional either!

Mel

www.melcollie.com