So, following up on last week’s post and another (shorter and way more reassuring) walk yesterday, I have put some good thoughts into identifying a few exercises to stick to in order to support my walks and prevent all the various niggles discussed last week (see the previous post here).
Just as a recap, my main ache sits around the left shoulder blade, mid back, which makes me think that: – I need to “free” the areas of my back that lock very easily (mid and lower) and – I need to work on hip and glutes strength and stability.
Bear in mind, I am no doctor so I am not diagnosing, I am just putting my own experience as movement professional at service of my own body by observing movement patterns and trying different routes (pun intended). Admittedly, it’s way easier when it’s not your body!
– Back release: generally speaking, mobilise the thoracic section (specially lower thoracic, in my case). Think side bends and Pilates Spine Twist. Or simply trying to draw tiny tiny circles with the rib cage – and the rib cage only, no shoulders, no hips. This gets me ALL THE TIME. For the lower back, sitting on a chair and bending to the side, sliding the same arm down towards the floor is usually a good one. Another exercise I absolutely love (if I only I did it more often…ehehe) is this: standing sideways by a wall, a forearm distance away from it, legs together. Keeping the shoulder on the wall and the arm out of the way, try to get the hip to touch the wall, without tilting or rotating. It’s useful to do it in front of a mirror.
Having said that, and as a Trigger Point Pilates teacher, it would be silly not to mention the fantastic release that can be obtained with a set of massage balls (not the hard ones) and a foam roller. Everybody can do it on their own – it’s called self release, after all -, everywhere and it truly is amazing.
– Glutes&hips: sorry guys, but a good, old, well executed shoulder bridge will still do a great deal of good, both on the strengthening and the stabilising front. And we can say the same about squats. Pilates side work and all the pre-Pilates exercises that aim at creating stability across the hip. Leg Circles. Just throwing some ideas for you (and me). Also, don’t neglect some balancing work.
Then, if you have access to a Reformer*, that’s a different story..for another post, though. Plus, this really means I have NO EXCUSES!
Ps: Yesterday walk (in case you were wondering, and even if you weren’t) was the 10k trail at Salcey Forest, which is one of my favourite fairly local spots. Really beautiful.
*If you are curious to try, just get in touch!