Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm not the only one

Like-minded thinker blogging: Jonathan FitzGordon of the FitzGordon Method.

A really important part is his description of the butt/pelvic floor relationship: the more the butt grips, the harder it is for the pelvic floor to engage. This seems only logical since the gluteus maximus is much larger than the pelvic floor muscles. But we need the pelvic floor for, like, staying continent, keeping organs from prolapse, being in synergy with deep abdominal and spinal muscles,...kind of important stuff.

Another issue is that, since the butt is a hip extensor, grip there is going to lock the pelvis and leg into extension, and it's not going to want to move. When it is supposed to, for walking or sitting down let alone dancing or anything else, other joints are likely going to end up moving more to make up for the places that are stuck. And especially if those joints are moving beyond their range of motion, those are the places likely to get injured. The joints closest to the hip are likely to be most affected: the SI (sacroiliac) joints and lower back above, knees to feet below.

Walking with buttgrip, at the extreme, gets toward that just-got-off-the horse waddle or shuffle. Sitting is likely to be rolled back off the sitzbones and slumped in the lower spine. I once saw a woman attempting to take a seat on a crosstown bus; her hips would not bend, so she ended up doing a hinge to drop her upper back against the seat and just barely caught her bottom on the front edge of the seat--one bump of the bus and she could have slid off the seat onto the floor.

The butt is a powerful muscle set, great for climbing, big jumps, getting up and down from the floor. Wasting that power on holding yourself up is likely to leave the muscles too tight to do those things.

Jonathan FitzGordon has an e-newsletter (subscribe and find other cool information at fitzgordonmethod.com), which most recently included the Relax Your Butt post and also this Exercise of the Month:

We overwork our butt. Before you learn to let it go you have to realize how much you grip it. Spend the next few days checking in with your glutes to see how often they are relaxed, if ever. Specifically watch what happen when stress enters the picture.

PS Been away from the blog too long. Return is more likely to be monthly than weekly or daily. But I'll be back.

Comments:
Hi Gail!

I love what you're doing. Injuries are tough, and it's great to see someone like you who has developed creative ways of dealing with them. I would love for you to check out our online magazine for performers. We often cover fitness trends, and if you're interested, we could even feature you. Check out our archives at http://www.gendance.com/newsletter/gdarchives.html and you can also check out our blog as well!
 
this is a topic I ve spent the last couple of months researching.
I have one question: what about backbends? I always secure my muscles before doing them, ballet or bellydance backbends - my technique is different, but I always engage the glutes - I feel it protects my spine.
I ve just recently (after a minor injury) learned to let go of my glutes while dancing - my ballet teacher insists on us holding them tense at all times and goes around checking up on us and I don t know how to explain to her in september that approach is just not good for me. :/

sorry for the long comment, but this exact topic has been torturing me for a while now.
 
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