A controversial set of topics here!
But what is the common thread?
All 3 things are essential to not only performing well on the bike, running and swimming, but to the basic ‘human’ functioning of your body. And all 3 things have the same solution.
Let me explain…
If there’s ONE THING I’ve learnt in my 15 years as a Physio, it’s that the GLUTEALS ARE EVERYTHING. It’s all about the butt. Seriously! From eliminating back pain to minimising knee loading and improving alignment, all the way to simply increasing your running pace and/or power output.
IF YOU’RE NOT DOING ANY WORK TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BUTT, AND YOU SIT ON IT MOST OF THE DAY, YOU’RE HONESTLY SELLING YOURSELF SHORT!
In my personal experience, I notice I hit my power targets easier, with less effort. I “take off” when I get out of the saddle on a climb. My knees stay happy and pain free! I haven’t had any pelvis or lower back issues since addressing what was a “Pancake (flat) Bottom”.
What do we need?
Very specific gluteal strength work, because not all gluteals were created equal, or with the same role and function.
Some glut muscles are cheeky and can cause more harm than good! Pirifomis for instance tries to do ALL the work when in fact you need your deep external rotators (your who/what/where?!) and glut maximus (the’junk in the trunk’ sprinters muscle). These hold safe the biomechanics of your lower back, pelvis, knee and structural integrity any time you move, let alone boost ‘power’.
Is this something you feel you probably need to address?
Without upper limb strength and the ability to pull your bike into your chest, you will WASTE ENERGY generated from your legstrying to hold and connect the bike into the body. Or, for the runners/swimmers, it is vital to create a symmetrical upper limb movement for the motion generated from your legs.
If you are collapsing through your arms and back of the shoulder muscles (particularly over longer rides), this causes reduced breathing capacity and ventilation through restricted chest expansion. This diminishes your performance.
What do we need?
Strong shoulders. Integral muscle activation from the joint stabilisers and rotator cuff. Isometric ‘hold’ from your bicep and elbow joint. AND! The ability for your abdomen and core to connect properly to your arm via your shoulder girdle.
Shoulder postural strength cannot be skipped for cyclists and runners, just as swimmers don’t skip leg day!
This taboo topic of conversation needs to have light shed on to it far more, as the ramifications of ignoring minor leaks or problems with your pelvic floor function creates a lot of rehabilitative work… for a long time. And potentially surgery – that isn’t always successful.
MEN! Don’t turn a blind eye to this!
It happens to you as well, and let’s be honest, if your partner was pregnant at some point, chances are there is a weakness present she may not even tell you about.
In my clinical experience, targeted early intervention has amazing, quick results as muscle have great memory. No matter what age you’re at, pre/post or NOT even ‘natal’ at all, this needs addressing.
IF YOUR PELVIC FLOOR ISN’T FUNCTIONING,
CHANCES ARE YOUR CORE ISN’T EITHER.
What do we need?
Same answer here folks, you guessed it – very specific strength work, not old wives tales that it’s “NORMAL”.
The reactivation of your pelvic floor muscles do indeed co-contract with deep core muscles and also relate extremely closely to your breathing patterns and depth. This is a very niche space to work on, and it will be potentially linked with histories of clinical lower back pain or abdominal pain.
It’s an intricate web of neural pathways and automated patterning from your brain, which can certainly be corrected and improved, with the right intervention.
This area of core and pelvic floor activation work is essential post surgery, post major injury, pre & post natal and for proper full lower back pain elimination. You have my word.
If this is something I can guide you with, please reply to this email, let’s have a confidential chat.
Treatment is extremely individualised for each of these areas and requires the eye of an experienced Physiotherapist with first hand expertise.
If anything rings true for you here, or is something you feel could support a better functioning body, with training or with life activities itself, I am here to help you.
Physiotherapy consults at the Exercise Institute are able to be claimed via your health fund, with HICAPS rebates available on the spot.
I hope this guides your body management and lights up perspective for taboo topics.
In this situation, “if in doubt, DON’T sit it out!” holler out and book your Physiotherapy consult with me today.
Have a great day and til next time; “It’s all about the butt!”
Sarah Mc x 🙂
Physiotherapy with Sarah McLachlan at the Exercise Institute, Subiaco, Perth WA:
- Athlete Care
- Strength Training
- Women’s Health
- Injury Prevention
- Incorporating diverse understandings for optimal case management