This is when your butt muscles basically forget how to fire correctly.  How does this happen?

It’s actually a common problem today. People are spending inordinate amounts of time sitting behind their computers, driving their cars, sitting on couches etc.  Sedentary, lifestyles often driven by work environments, tend to be more the norm than the exception these days. 

With all this sitting, the muscles around the hip joint experience something called “reciprocal inhibition”. That’s when the muscles in front of the hip, your hip flexors, become short and tight from being in that shortened position of sitting and the opposite muscles, the butt muscles, are neurologically inhibited and become overstretched, weak and inactive.

Why does this matter to you?

Well besides developing a saggy weak butt that’s beginning to head south, there’s another concern.

Your Gluteus maximus, your largest butt muscle, is your strongest hip extensor and external rotator muscle. If it’s inhibited from doing it’s job, the Piriformis muscle-a smaller external rotator, may have to jump in to take up the slack.

If the Piriformis muscle does more than it’s designed to do and over fires you can get something called “Piriformis syndrome”. This is when the Piriformis muscle becomes irritated and inflamed and may press on the sciatic nerve. This can result in sciatica which is pain, numbness and tingling down your leg.

In general you want to avoid gluteal amnesia because you don’t want other muscles jumping in to take up the slack, as that can result in injuries.

How do you fix it?

First you need to stretch those muscles in front of the hip that are short, tight and inhibiting gluteal action. Then you want to strengthen those gluts!

Watch the video for the exercises that combat gluteal amnesia, normalize the relationship of the muscles in front of and behind the hips and get your glutes firing!  You can fast forward to the 2 min mark to see just the exercises or watch from the beginning and see the explanation with visuals.

 

Does your back bother you after a plane trip? Learn an insider tip from a physical therapist. Teresa Maldonado Marchok PT and certified Pilates instructor uses an inflatable miniball on every flight she takes. It’s small enough to fold into a ziplock bag and keep in your purse. Once at your destination, you’ll have an exercise prop with you for core work and more. This tip is also a spine saver to use in a chair or in your car!

Stuart McGill, a professor at the University of Waterloo, has influenced my approach as a physical therapist and the exercises that I give to my Pilates clients to best address their needs.
It seems like the word “core” is ubiquitous, tossed around like grass seed. Who hasn’t heard the admonition that you need a strong core!  There’s certainly an endless array of exercises out there that target the core, some causing more harm than good. In my last blog post, “Ditch the Crunch”, we examined the negative effects of sit-ups and crunches and explored an interesting alternative.
Today we’ll examine a great starting point for improving core stability. In light of scientific evidence, the safest approach to improving your core and enhancing spine stability is through exercise that emphasizes endurance over strength.
The following exercises known as the McGill Big 3, emphasize neutral spine posture with abdominal co-contraction and core bracing to create stiffness and promote endurance. Think of it as creating your own internal corset of support. These 3 research-based exercises are an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to approach their core work with safety and proven efficacy.  If you are de-conditioned, experience back pain or just want to avoid back pain, these exercises are for you!  Watch the video at the bottom of this post to see the exercises in action.
The Stuart McGill Big 3 exercises are:
  • Curl Up

  • Side Bridge

  • Bird Dog
I would insert that the side bridge demonstrated in the video below can be difficult if your shoulder girdle isn’t strong and stable. If that’s the case, just de-weight your hips slightly if able, and over time with repetition, you’ll get stronger and will be able to lift your hips higher off the ground.
You’ll see me in the video below cueing to hold the position for 6-8 seconds. This timing targets endurance. Typically endurance is built first with repeated sets of relatively short holds-no longer than 7-8 sec’s. This is based on recent evidence indicating rapid loss of available oxygen in torso muscles contracting at these levels. Short relaxation of the muscles requires oxygen. The endurance goals are achieved by building up reps rather than increasing the time/duration of each hold. (McGill et al., 2000)
Important note: you should not experience pain with any of the above exercises. Watch for spine deviation or loss of neutral. Maintain excellent technique.
In a future blog, I’ll address the spine, hip and leg stretches that best accompany these core stabilization exercises.
References:
McGill, S.M. 2007,  Low Back Disorders: Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation, 2nd edition 12: 213-235
McGill, S.M. et al (2000), Lumbar erector spine oxygenation during prolonged contractions: Implications for prolonged work. Ergonomics, 43: 486-493
McGill, S.M. (2006) Ultimate back fitness and performance,  Backfitpro Inc. (www.backfitpro.com)

Aging Strong Pilates Volume 2 is at the printer right now and I’m so excited to make these workouts available to you!  This DVD is a brain body challenge with 2 efficient workouts ~ 25min each, for when you’re tight on time!  In addition to standing weight bearing exercise and core mat work, It includes a bone building stomping dance and a bonus posture coaching section. If you have all 3 of my DVDs, you’ll have a workout for every day of the week!  Pre-order by 8/19 and enter code FREESHIP to get Free Domestic Shipping!

Sakinah Salahu-Din hails from Ohio and has been a dedicated and consistent user of my DVD – BoneSmart Pilates® Exercise to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis.

“My daughter asked me to share this feedback with you because she’s watched my transformation and felt it was important enough to share with others.  I am 71 years old and was having arm and neck problems when I started using this program in January 2016.  The shoulder and neck pain affected me to the point that I could not do certain exercises without modifying the range of motion or making the resistance band less taut.  About two months ago, however, I was able to do the resistance band exercises with full range of motion, with stronger resistance and remarkably, with no pain!   
I like the fact that BoneSmart addresses pain or weakness in arms, hips, back, and knees which is what many people my age have problems with.  I also like that the program is set up in a way that I can break it into parts.  For example, I do the resistance band upper body program and the hip blaster 3 days a week and MAT exercises 2 days a week. I’ve gained strength and flexibility and am very pleased with this program and the positive results that I am experiencing.

 

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No matter your stage in life, keeping fit is essential to doing the things you love with ease, power and grace. In this class, you’ll increase body awareness and learn healthy functional movement strategies grounded in science. Expect improved posture, injury prevention, coordination, core strength, flexibility and balance with crossover benefits to your daily sports and activities. This class is appropriate for beginner to advanced intermediate levels. If you have low bone density, weight bearing exercises are incorporated and safe mat variations will be offered. 

View Video Preview of class Here

Please bring your own mat.  Various small props are used to enhance your movement experience. Also bring a resistance band and 9 inch inflatable ball if you have them. Balls are offered free of charge to new participants. Low allergy/low latex 5 ft resistance bands are available for purchase in class for $10. Free video links will be made available for participants to encourage consistency of practice. The instructor, Teresa Maldonado Marchok, is a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, former professional dancer and ambassador for American Bone Health. She believes exercise should be challenging yet fun so bring a flexible mind, open heart and be prepared to laugh!  For more information email  teresa@pilateswithteresa.com.


To foster a safe, cohesive and consistent environment, drop in sessions are not permitted, however a trial class at no initial cost  
for newcomers is allowed if the class is not full already.

With 55 people in attendance and a long wait list, Teresa shared her key secrets to Aging Strong and included plenty of science, practical demonstrations from volunteers in the audience and a rousing dance that got everybody up and moving. “It was both helpful and fun, I brought 5 friends and they all raved about it!”  ~Katy D. “Your presentation was great-like Live Dr. Radio!”  ~Mercy F. “I am shocked how slumped I was sitting & immediately am sitting straighter” ~Elayne M. See a Sneak Peak of Aging Strong in Action IMG_1860

Save the Date: FREE Workshop April 20

Aging Strong

When: Monday, April 20 7:30PM  Free but call to reserve a seat 650-988-9800 

Where: East West Bookstore, 324 Castro St., Mountain View                                                                                                    

              
Learn how to strengthen your body and reduce your risk of falls, simply by changing the way you move. If you have spine issues, bone loss, or just don’t feel as strong or steady as you’d like, this interactive workshop is for you. 

Teresa Maldonado Marchok, PT, is a licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, and representative for the national organization American Bone Health. Her award-winning DVD, BoneSmart Pilates®: How to Prevent or Reverse Osteoporosis, is helping people worldwide. A free inflatable exercise ball and handout are included only if you register by Apr 19. Call 650-988-9800

Pilates For Boomers at Stanford*
*You must be affiliated with Stanford University – student/faculty/staff or family of student/faculty/staff in order to enroll in this program.
Pilates for Boomers
Tue 03/31-06/02
5:30 PM-6:30 PM
Instructor: Teresa Maldonado Marchok
Location: Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC), Studio 111
REGISTRATION STARTS 03/18
As we age, keeping fit is essential for enjoying life to its fullest.
In this Pilates class we will utilize resistance bands and inflatable 9” miniballs to provide resistance or creative assistance as needed.
Expect improved posture, coordination, core strength, flexibility and balance with crossover benefits to your daily activities.
If you have low bone density, weight bearing exercises are incorporated and safe mat variations will be offered.
BRING A MAT, resistance band and 9 inch inflatable ball if you have them. The instructor is a national presenter, licensed physical therapist, PMA certified Pilates instructor and ambassador for American Bone Health.
“Older Adult Friendly” class.
A Stanford University ID card that is activated for the Card Reader is required for entry into the building. If your ID card is not activated, please contact the HIP office to initiate the process.
Call: 650-723-9649 or Email: healthimprovement@stanford.edu HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES: A Rec Card is required to gain access to the facility where your class is held and is limited to the day(s), and the times of the class only. If you do not have a Rec ID Card, contact the HIP office at healthimprovement@stanford.edu or call 650-723-9649. Please note: You must obtain the Rec ID Card from the Stanford ID Card Office http://campuscard.stanford.edu. There is a $20 one-time charge due at that time.
BeWell Berry BeWell Fitness Berry
Category: Fitness : Pilates Mat/Healthy Back
Levels: All Levels
Fee: 110.00 (BeWell Fee: $30) , STAP/EA Funds: No

Class Code: pfb-01

I had the recent pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Susan Brown, via live video “Google Hangout”, about my BoneSmart Pilates® method.   Dr. Brown, located in upstate New York, is an expert in the field of natural remedies and proactive treatments for osteoporosis and she endorses the BoneSmart Pilates® DVD and Method.

View the Hangout Here or click on the image below

Click to learn more about Dr. Brown