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      3 Tips to Improve your Squat

      3 Tips to Improve your Squat

      Yes, please help me improve my squat!

      Here’s a few mistakes we commonly see in the clinic with customers squats. Improving your technique can lead to reduced pain & better strength gains! Make sure you check out instagram or facebook @myothrive for more tips on squatting.

      clinical_exercise

      Squat Tip 1: Tucky Bum

      This is a common one that can quickly improve your squat. Nearing the bottom of the squat some people tuck their bottom under creating a flat back. If you’re going right down (ass to grass) then this has to happen but often it happens when people are at 90 degrees or just below. This can create excessive unwanted pressure through the lower back.

      To correct it, make sure you are keeping a neutral spine throughout the squat. Practice side on to a mirror if you are unsure on this one. You should see the same spine shape in the lower back throughout the entire squat. Try some self myofascial release (SMR) through your glutes and hamstrings if you are having trouble keeping the correct posture here. You could also place a strip of tape on the small of your back in neutral spine while standing. Once squatting if you feel the tape pull, you know you’re flattening your back out.

      Squat Tip 2: More core

      When you are lifting heavy weights, it is best to keep a straight (neutral) back so that the weight is shared equally between all the back segments. If someone has restrictions in their spine sometimes, in order to get their back straight, they will pop their ribs forward creating an excessive curve or arch through the mid back. This leads to the back muscles overworking and the core having a nice little holiday.

      To correct it, keep your core engaged by thinking of your lower rib cage moving backwards slightly. When you are side on to a mirror you should see a slight backwards curve around the rib cage and then a slight forwards curve around the lower back (neutral spine). If you feel this position is uncomfortable it could be a tight back or tight pecs. Try some Myofascial Release through both areas to see if it makes a difference. Again you can use tape. This time put it on your ribs downwards onto the stomach muscles in neutral rib position. If you ribs flare during your squat you will feel the tape pull.

      Squat Tip 3: Align your legs

      I am not referring to knees over toes here. A common misconception is that the knees should not go beyond the toes. Unless you have actual knee pathology or pain, it is totally fine for your knees to move forward beyond your toes, in fact if you watch Olympic lifters you will see their knees moving about 5-10cms beyond their toes. What I am referring to is where the ankles roll in and the knees deviate in. Or both!

      To correct it, face towards a mirror and do a squat without weight. Identify if you have either of these problems. If so, try tying a band around your knees and as you squat push out into the band until you see them come into alignment between your hips and your feet. Once you have done it correctly with the band a few times try it without and see if you can maintain the corrected alignment. If you are having difficulty, first make sure the band is not too tight or too strong and second you could try some Myofascial Release through your hip flexors. If you can do it successfully without the band time after time, you are ready for some weight!

      Hopefully these tips have helped improve your squat. Remember our tips should not replace personalised professional or medical advice. If you are unsure on changing posture of an exercise and whether it is right for you or not, you should always seek advice from a health professional you trust. We offer both online and face to face appointments here at MyoThrive. We even offer free 15 minute consults.

      Happy Squatting! Don’t forget to follow us @myothrive on instagram or facebook!

       


      See a Myotherapist today – book online

      3 Simple Hip Alignment Exercises – Video

      3 Simple Hip Alignment Exercises – Video

      Do you ever experience groin or hip pain during or after running, deadlifts or squats? Do you feel like you never get a good hip flexor stretch even though to you they feel tight? It might be a hip alignment issue. A hip alignment issue can lead to Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI) which means an impingement of the hip.

      FAI can become a problem for active and sedentary people alike. It may be aggravated by activity, sitting for long periods of time, operating the pedals in a car and crossing your legs.

      On the other hand, even if you don’t have any symptoms these exercises may improve the quality of your chosen exercise. Check out the video below where I demonstrate 3 simple exercises that are quick and easy to help get your hip alignment improving. Let us know your favourite by leaving a comment!

      Think you might have FAI?

      There are 3 main types of FAI but often aligning the joint can make a huge difference to pain and function. Often people we treat in the clinic avoid surgery and cortisone injections all together.

      Cam – This type of FAI occurs from a bit of extra bone on the head of the femur which then jams on the hip socket (acetabulum) during activity. This type typically occurs in young athletic men.

      Pincer – This occurs more often in middle aged women and is the least common type of the 3. This type is caused by extra bone around the lip of the hip socket at the front then as the femoral head rotates it catches or jams against the extra bone.

      Mixed – This is a combination of the two previous types; cam and pincer. As described above it causes a catching or jamming in the front of the joint capsule.

      These 3 types all describe bone issues however often the pain is from other tissues around the area including ligament, tendon and muscle. Better hip alignment helps reduce the bodies protective mechanism. If movement begins to feel easier and pain begins to reduce, we know we are on the right track!

      If these exercises didn’t help your hip alignment or hip and groin pain we have a lot more tricks in our Myotherapy bag. Reach out and we can have a conversation or click here to book. We offer both online and face-to-face consultations.

      What to learn more? Check out this other articles.

      Do you suffer from groin or hip pain? It could be FAI.

      Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) also known as hip impingement is a problem among active and sedentary people alike. Symptoms may include pain in the groin or hip area and restricted hip range of motion (ROM). It may be aggravated by activity (both intense and endurance types), sitting for long periods of time, operating the pedals in […]

      Ankle Stability

      Ankle Stability

      running, ankle stability
      Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

      Why is my ankle stability important?

      Whether you enjoy running, gymnastics, lifting weights or walking the dogs, ankle stability is important. Even moving from standing to sitting and vice versa requires some ankle mobility and stability. We want your ankles to be strong and flexible. Keep reading to learn how to test your ankles and also watch the video to learn the first steps of getting for stability.

      How do I test my ankle stability?

      Stand close to a wall or something you can grab onto if you loose your balance. Stand on one leg for 30 seconds. Now try the other side. If that was easy now try with your eyes closed. Be mindful you may loose your balance so make sure you are in a safe environment or we can go through it with you in the clinic. Again aim for 30 seconds each side. If you found you were wobbly on either of these exercises then it’s time to focus on building some ankle stability for yourself. You wouldn’t build a house without a good foundation and we shouldn’t expect our bodies to perform well if we aren’t taking care of our standing foundation, our ankles and feet. Watch the video below to take the next step!

      What if I have an injury?

      If you are suffering with any sort of pain related to or that may be coming from your feet / ankles. I suggest making a session with us to fully assess how to best remedy your individual situation. We can offer consultations both in the clinic and online for your convenience. Look forward to helping you become pain free and thrive!

      P.S – here’s the booking link incase you need it 🙂


      Want to learn more?

      Here are some more learning hub articles that might interest you.

      clinical_exercise

      3 Simple Hip Alignment Exercises – Video

      Do you ever experience groin or hip pain during or after running, deadlifts or squats? Do you feel like you never get a good hip flexor stretch even though to you they feel tight? It might be a hip alignment issue. A hip alignment issue can lead to Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI) which means an […]

      shoulder stability

      Video: shoulder stability to improve push-ups

      been doing the push-up challenge or would like to? Check out this shoulder stability video to make sure you’re using the right muscles and balance out your strength to prevent injury.

      increase-core-strength

      Video: Low Abs Strength & Test

      Why is low ab strength important? Lower abdominal (low abs) strength is really important for activities of day to day living and even more important if you’re participating in sport or general exercise. Test if you have weak lower abdominals as it can reflect in poor posture, sore lower back and tight hip flexors, legs […]

      get stronger glutes

      Strengthen Your Glutes!

      Get more compliments and reduce issues with your back, hips and knees. How? Strengthen your glutes! Free video with Myotherapist Sarah at MyoThrive.

      This blog is good for dancers, runners, gymnists, acrobats, kids in sport, weight lifters, gardeners, walkers, ballet, basketball players, netball players, soccer players.

      DOMS: 5 ways to ease post workout soreness

      DOMS: 5 ways to ease post workout soreness

      DOMS

      Ever wondered why you are at your sorest 24 to 48 hours after a workout? That’s DOMS. Ever left the personal training session feeling great only to feel tight and stiff after 6 to 8 hours? That’s DOMS. Remember those times you went “Yep that was a tough legs session yesterday”? That’s DOMS!

      The reason behind this is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, which occurs anywhere in the body which has been exposed to unfamiliar, unaccustomed, intense physical activity.

      What is DOMS?

      DOMS is caused by micro tears in the myofibrils (muscle fibres) resulting in micro-trauma. This increase in the inflammatory response alters intramuscular fluid and electrolytes and is a good thing as it is an important part of building new muscle. Not so good, it can also cause a dull ache anywhere from 6 to 48 hours post exercise in the affected muscles.

      5 ways to reduce the affects

      There are some simple ways to decrease the effects of DOMS after a tough workout.

      1. Active Rest

      Nothing is better than rest, promoting tissue healing and recovery. If you have worked to failure you should wait 72 hours before working to failure again, however we recommend light or different exercise as recovery such as swimming, walking or a easy gym workout.

      2. Stretching

      This can prevent the cycle of progression to DOMS. There are several different stretching techniques, you could try the different ones to see which type works best for you. For more information on stretching search our blog posts, we have lots of ideas for shoulders, pecs and calves to name a few. Pro tip for when you are looking up stretches: Dynamic stretching is typically done before a workout whereas holding a stretch or doing a contract-relax style stretch can be safely performed post workout. For professional advice tailored to you, click here to see one of our Myotherapists.

      3. Icing

      May reduce the amount of inflammation that occurs and help promote a faster recovery. Typically an ice bath is the way to get the full body anti-inflammatory benefits. This is great for post sporting style exercise where you are constantly pushing yourself but not necessary post gym workouts where you want a bit of inflammation to help grow the muscle and get the gains you are after. A cold shower will work best in this instance.

      4. Massage

      Increases blood flow to aching muscles to promote healing and removal of waste products within the muscle tissue like lactic acid and scar tissue. Typically it is a lighter, non treatment massage. Our Myotherapy team can help if you need some healing hands. Click here to find a time that suits you best.

      5. Anti-Inflammatory

      Natural remedies or anti-inflammatory medication can reduce the soreness after a workout. Some natural remedies include; tumeric, cinammon and magnesium just to name a few. For more information on these, we suggest you talk to a good nutritionist or dietitian on how to get these foods naturally into your diet, it’s yummier that way!

      If you have any post workout tips we would love to hear about them! Reach out on social. We are on instagram and facebook.

      Resources

      http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/doms-the-good-the-bad-and-what-it-really-means-to-your-training

      http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/sore-muscles-dont-stop-exercising?page=2

      Strengthen Your Glutes!

      Strengthen Your Glutes!

      “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey”

      ― Kenji Miyazawa

      Where are your glutes?

      You glute muscles make up your bottom. There is the biggest and one closest to the surface called the gluteus maximus, the next deepest one called the gluteus medius and finally the even deeper and smallest one called gluteus minimus. There is also one we focus on a lot when we talk glutes called the piriformis. It’s quite a deep muscle and when it gets tight it can cause hip issues and sciatica type symptoms. Getting stronger glutes can help to offload the piriformis.

      Strengthen your glutes, reduce back pain. Stronger glutes can help offload back, hip and knee joints

      Why should I strengthen my glutes?

      1. Fill your jeans! Who doesn’t want a more shapely bottom!
      2. Stops other muscles such as back, hip flexors and hamstrings from becoming over used and over worked.
      3. By building and maintaining stronger glutes, it takes the pressure of your back, hip and knee joints for day to day tasks such as walking, sitting and bending.
      4. Reduces wearing of your back joints. If your glutes and low abs are weak combined with short tight muscles in your back and inner thighs, it can cause an increased curve in your back. This increased curve also called lordosis, can lead to early onset of degeneration and other back issues.
      5. Release tight glutes. It sounds like it should be the opposite, but where there is weakness, we often find tightness. This is due to the nervous system overreacting to feeling unstable. It will tell the muscles to spasm up to protect.

      Follow along with MyoThrive Practitioner Sarah and start to strengthen your glutes! For beginners and advanced alike. Learn how to self massage the knots away, activate the glutes to fire them up and then embrace the burn!

      Sarah is a Clinical Myotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor. She is also trained in the McKenzie method (aka Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy). She draws on her training and experience to ensure your nerves and muscles are ready to go before you start the work. “In my experience, this method results in better activation in the right muscles and also reduces the chance of injury.”

      Now available online! If you’d like some extra help from Sarah and the MyoThrive team, get in contact via email [email protected] or find a time that suits you best in our online booking system.

      3 Simple Hip Alignment Exercises – Video

      How much exercise should we really be getting?

      Wether you enjoy yoga or climbing mountains, we all need exercise!

      Government guidelines for exercise are 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week and 2 strength training sessions per week. These recommendations are based on current research but what does moderate cardio feel like and how hard do the strength sessions have to be?

      150 minutes of moderate cardio per week is most achievable when broken up into 30 minute chunks which ends up being 5 cardio sessions per week. Moderate means a perceived exertion level of 7/10. If you were chatting with a friend you would need to pause every 5 words or so to catch you breath. Need something more technical? I love the 180 formula developed by Dr.Phil Maffetone. This formula is designed to keep you in the aerobic zone to avoid poor posture and gait and to decrease incidence of injury. It’s also been shown to give you greater fitness advances.

      … the take home? what is moderate for me might be different than what is moderate for you.

      Strength training on the other hand is a little more complex. Research tells us to avoid things like osteoporosis and muscle deterioration it’s important to do strength training but do you need a gym membership?

      In short no, you don’t.

      Some simple squats, push ups and pull ups can do the trick. Exercises like these you can do anywhere. They can be altered to make them easier or harder depending on your fitness levels and they can be altered to allow for any injuries or conditions you may have. We can work out a program for home that it right for you and that will keep you motivated.

      clinical_exercises

      The Classic Push Up Exercise can be done in so many different ways, here the medicine ball is designed to be a slight unstable surface to work your muscles in a balancing fashion. We can change to angled push ups, kneeling push ups and supported push ups with a band to make them easier while you learn technique or overcome an injury.

      How to get your personalised program.

      To get your own personalised program book online or fill out our contact form. We look forward in helping you achieve your health and fitness goals!


      Example Program

      • Pelvic curl x 10
      • Bridge x 10
      • Standing crab walk with stretch band x 5 each way
      • Stretch Band straight arm pull x 10
      • Stretch Band straight arm row x 10
      • Bent over row with dumbbells x 10
      • Band assisted pull ups x 10
      • Band assisted push ups with hands wide x 10
      • Band assisted push ups with hands narrow x 10
      • Stretches

      If you want to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, please contact us and one of our friendly Clinical Myotherapists will be in touch with you!


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