Continuing on from last week's discussion we remember that some exercise is better than no exercise. Regular exercise is very rare these days, and I really want everyone to understand how lack of movement is affecting our society. If you take the population of this great nation and condense it to 100 people we can make some startling discoveries. Of those 100 people statistically speaking 35 will be obese, another 35 will be overweight and the remaining 30 will be healthy adults. Of course, this is a very basic break down but statistically accurate, scary right?
Being the sedentary nation we are there is one characteristic flaw 80% of us tend to face - Low back Pain. One of the major factors of this is sitting too much, which results in tightened hip flexors and muscular loss of the glutes. Sitting with your hips in a flexed state all day with no stretching leads your hip flexors to a tightened condition. Add in lack of functional movement and you loose gluteal strength, people do not realize how instrumental your glute muscles are to your well being.
Sick of hearing about the problem and ready for a solution? Don’t worry, I got you covered. Let’s talk about a fantastic move that everyone should master and perform daily - the glute bridge. There are tons of variations, which I will go into later, but today we focus on the good ole, plain Jane glute bridge. This move works your posterior chain and core. Your glutes, hamstrings, rectus abdominus, erector spinae and adductors. Working a huge group of muscles with a super simplistic movement - what more could you ask for!
First, lie of your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Next focus on your pelvis, you need to find your neutral position. You may do this by arching your back and then rolling your hips forward - think very slow and not sexy twerking. You are trying to find a nice “middle” point between arch and drawn forward.
Once you find neutral you need to “draw in”, which basically means bring your belly button toward your spine while contracting and holding the muscles below your belly button. You should still be able to breathe while holding that position.
Now that your core is engaged bring your butt off the ground and bring your body to a straight line from your knees to hips to shoulders.
Contract your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Hold this for 5 seconds and return to the ground, that was 1 rep.
Do this 10 times with no rest in between and you have a great little exercise.
Will this cure back pain? NO! But, it is a step in the right direction and will help you out immensely. Try to do this move every day for a week and tell me how you feel :)