Similar to a massage or taking aspirin, moderate therapy ball rolling induces similar relaxing effects. And a great compliment to a regular Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Ball rolling practice includes strength and stability. I’ve modified my lifestyle and environment with small consistent changes over the past couple years and am enjoying the measure of increased movement I experience.
But at over 30 weeks pregnancy, I need strength more than ever! In my first Trimester, I did an exercise that was “not for me” during a group Mat class. Rather than abstaining (or modifying), I just followed along with the rest of the class. Mistake. The first dull pain I felt from that exercise progressed into sharp shooting pain down my leg. It took six weeks, therapy ball rolling, abstaining from my beloved swing dancing, sessions with my physical therapist, and corrective exercises to resolve the pain.
While this might not be your story, what health challenges are you facing that could benefit from a little posterior muscle activation? Perhaps getting up and down from the floor (or a chair) with greater ease?
Well… let’s drop it like a squat!
To find your squat and drop it:
- Position your feet at hip width distance.
- Relax your shoulders and toes.
- Keep your spine neutral.
- Hold onto a fixed support (handle/pole, etc.) as needed.
- Contract your glutes.
- Pause at your “edge,” and hang out!
While executing this move, we flex the hip with the help of the rectus femoris (part of the quadriceps femoris group) and activate the gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus). The gluteal muscles also help to flex the hip and, along with the hamstrings, quads, and calves, provide support during our squat descent. Additionally, a host of other muscles are activated in any move that we execute. For example, to keep our spine in a neutrally upright position, the erector spinae group (which runs from the sacrum to the occiput along the vertebral column) works to extend the vertebral column.
This is a light overview of muscles recruited during our squat, and it’s good to keep in mind that our bodies are a reflection of the food, movement, psychology, history and trauma we may have experienced in our lives.
Practice this stability boosting move and reflect on how it feels on your body and how many of the alignment points above you can maintain while moving through each pose. To new beginnings and to your health!