|We all have our postural faults, especially if we lose focus. Mine is rib flaring, that tendency to jut the bottom ribs forward in a faulty attempt to open the chest or lengthen the body. This often results in excess back tension and pain.
With mindfulness and an awareness of this tendency, I can better control this common error and so can you!
The secret is, no surprise, “connection”. I like to use the image of 2 vertical bungee cords connecting my front bottom ribs with my pelvis. Watch the video to test if you’re a rib flarer and learn 2 exercises to help fix it.
Teresa Maldonado Marchok, physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor, shares BoneSmart Pilates® Healthy Supported Sitting Tips when you want to sit at the back of a chair.
Osteoporosis Awareness Month is in May and I wanted to give you plenty of notice for my workshops in the area. I provide ongoing support as an educator for American Bone Health to increase community awareness of strategies that promote safety and improve bone health
Freedom from Fractures Presentation in Mountain View, CA
When: Wed. May 2 at 7pm
Where: 2500 Grant Rd at El Camino Hospital
Main Conference Room F/G
Freedom from Fractures Presentation in Palo Alto, CA
When: Friday, May 4, 1 to 2:30pm
Where: “Avenidas” at Cubberley Community Center
4000 Middlefield Road Building I, 2nd floor
To register call 650-289-5400 visit us online at the Avenidas website. Here is a direct link to registration: Class number 5808 – Register here
Having a husband and son who are hard core hikers, I’ve had to figure out how to keep up. With much encouragement (and trepidation on my part) I made it up Yosemite National Park’s iconic Half Dome for the first time just 4 years ago. Since that extremely challenging hike which literally wiped me out, I’ve discovered the magic of trekking poles and it’s made subsequent hikes so much easier!
- Stability and balance-you’ve just added 2 more points of contact on the ground in addition to your 2 feet.
- Power-as you pull yourself forward with your upper body, it creates more power and force to propel you
- Integrated workout– you find you’ll use your upper body, core and hips in an integrated full body work out as you propel yourself forward in space.
- Strengthening myofascial connections-For those interested in fascia, the connections of the posterior oblique fascial sling are magnified as you engage your latissimus dorsi on one side simultaneously with the gluteal muscle on the opposite side of your body. As the right arm extends back-you fire that right latissimus muscle, at the same time you are extending your opposite hip (left) gluteal muscle. They work in tandem in a powerful way to propel you forward.
- Aesthetics-you look sporty!
Try this now with me. As you step forward with the right heel, your upper body is rotated toward the front (right) leg-left pole on the ground in front. Then your left lats fire as you pull back w/your left arm, rotating your upper body to the left as you shift your weight onto your rt leg and your left leg swings forward.
The kinetic chain continues with firing of the opposite right gluteal muscle in a diagonal pattern. This is the myofascial posterior oblique line of connective tissue in action, firing in a coordinated fashion to promote healthy gait.
The collapsible poles that I own provide absorption of forces, increased power to propel myself, and more stability and balance to reduce the risk of falls. Poles come at set heights and adjustable heights. If you’re buying ones at a set height- make sure your forearm is parallel with the ground when you’re holding them (elbow at a 90 degree angle). If you want to share your poles, it’s better to buy adjustable poles where you can vary the height.
For me, the features most important were collapsibility (to 24 inches) and weight. I wanted to be able to tuck them in a backpack or hang them from a carabiner on my fanny pack and wanted them to be very lightweight. I have no ties with any trekking pole company. I just wanted to share my experience in the hopes that it might inspire others to get moving more and enjoy the amazing beauty we have at our fingertips.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I hear – I just don’t have time to get to a fitness class as often as I want to. Here’s a quick workout that you can do in your kitchen. It’s a short, time efficient standing workout you can do in your kitchen between latte’s! This workout targets hip and leg strength, core, flexibility and balance – great for when you’re tight on time and want a quick fix! Let me know how you like it!
What do we know for sure?
Resistance exercise stimulates not only muscle but bone formation.
When you do resistance training that’s more intense than what your muscles come to expect (like lifting more than your purse), the tendons that attach muscle to bone, pull on your bones stimulating the bones to respond. Depending on your age and the workouts, “it can either increase or maintain bone mass density” according to Steven Hawkins, PhD, professor of exercise science at California Lutheran University.
Which is Better-Weights or Bands?
Resistance training in all forms is good for our bones and in one Connecticut study, it didn’t seem to matter whether you used weights or bands, they all produced positive results for bone in general. Evidence by a recent a study in Taiwan of women over 60 y/o doing resistance band training for 40 min 3x/wk for 12 weeks demonstrated that elastic resistance band exercise resulted in increased bone mineral density.
Lots of Options
There are many options out there to increase strength such as: machines at the gym, dumbbells, your own body weight and resistance bands. In my BoneSmart Pilates® Osteoporosis and Aging Strong DVD’s, I chose to use resistance bands versus weights to build muscle and bone strength for a simple reason. Bands are lightweight and portable (so you can travel with them) and they’re inexpensive compared to gym equipment.
What is weight bearing exercise?
Weight bearing exercise is exercise in which you are supporting your own body weight through your feet and legs or hands and arms. Weight bearing exercise is proven to be essential for maintaining and building bone. When we combine standing weight bearing exercise with resistance band training, we challenge our balance, agility and coordination-key components for preventing falls. Falling is a concern for us as we age, including those of us with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Remember that 1 of 2 women over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime (NOF) and most of those fractures result from falls.
It’s important to note that after we hit 30, our biological balance of bone building and bone breakdown tips towards bone loss. If you’re sedentary and not getting adequate weight bearing and resistance exercise, your bones will pay. Add to that the arrival of menopause, where a drop in estrogen causes a big drop in bone density and you have a recipe of swiss cheese for bones.
The good news is, studies show during post menopause that with just 2 resistance workouts per week, we can slow down or even halt our bone loss. As we age we need to be vigilant about our overall health in general and our bone health in particular.
My BoneSmart Pilates Aging Strong series targets areas of decline as we age – including hip and leg strength, spine strength, bone strength and balance. The workouts in all my DVD’s capitalize on resistance to build muscle and bone strength. With my researched approach as a physical therapist, “Movement becomes your Medicine”. The workouts are designed to be safe for people with osteoporosis, herniated discs, chronic pain or general back and joint issues.
The BoneSmart Pilates® Aging Strong Enhanced Prop Bundle that accompanies my Aging Strong Pilates DVD’s includes among other things:
- 3 resistance bands of varied strength, for increasing upper and lower body strength (and flexibility) These 5 foot long resistance bands are low-protein and powder-free, reducing skin irritation and making them ideal for sensitive users.
- 2 resistance ankle loops of light and stronger resistance. These smaller cousins of the long bands pack quite a workout for your hips and legs and because you’re not tying a long band around your ankles, there’s no risk of tripping on a loose end that could come undone.
To summarize, Bands do Build Bone. I still include hand weights and Pilates machines like the Reformer and Cadillac for my studio clients for interest and variety but there’s nothing like putting your bands and loops in a zip lock bag, slipping that into your purse and having your workout with you wherever you go!
150 Wortham Court
Mountain View, CA 94040
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