Gut Smashing 101 at Mobility and Corrective Exercise


This Saturday we'll spend an hour addressing your psoas, diaphragm, and icky sticky matted down muscles in your trunk.  We will be GUT SMASHING!

Please join me for Mobility and Corrective Exercise class at CrossFit 5885 (Saturday March 11th, 2017 10:00 am - 11:00 am) we'll focus on addressing dysfunctions, fascial restrictions and alignment issues in the tissues surrounding the Diaphragm, Trunk and Psoas.

If you have chronic low back pain, poor posture, problematic movement patters, or constantly laid up from your workouts, and/or struggle to get quality sleep, this is the class for you!

Your trunk and all the muscles that act on it are responsible for maintaining stability throughout your day and even more so during exercise.  Unfortunately, this area can get severely tacked down and dysfunctional without us knowing there's an imbalanced problem there. 

Learning how to mobilize these tissues not only allows them to relax, but has many other benefits for athletes of all ages and abilities such as:  

  • Decreased Low Back Pain 
  • Increased Quality and Ease of Movement 
  • Increased Recovery 
  • Better Sleep 
  • Decreased Stress Tension/Anxiety Response

To begin, gut smashing helps address tension, restrictions and adhesions that have affected the origin point of the deepest and longest hip flexor, the psoas major.  A dysfunctional psoas and how it interacts with the entire trunk musculature can wreak havoc on our posture and function. 

Originating from our lumbar vertebra and inserting down onto the femur, the primary function is that it helps us flex our hip. When we sit for prolonged periods of time (multiplied day after day), this muscle along with the others that act on and affect it's ideal function causing it to become shortened, tight, or chronically tense.  Looking at the picture above, it is easy to see how it affects both the lumbar spine (low back) and pelvic girdle and can be a major contributor to symptoms of low back pain.

Other causes for restricted mobility in the trunk and abdomen area can stem from things like: 

  • Abdominal surgery 
  • Asthma/breathing problems 
  • Poor breathing mechanics 
  • Poor posture 
  • Stiff thoracic spine 
  • Acid reflux or ulcers 
  • Stress 
  • Pregnancy

If you are an athlete that feels “pinchy” in the front of your hip crease when you squat, stand up from sitting or during walking or running, that is a sign of dysfunction in the diaphraghm, psoas, trunk and hip musculature.  Essentially, there are muscle imbalances affecting normal movement patterns.  Gut smashing helps restore the tissues of the trunk, allowing them to relax and restore a more ideal muscle length tension relationship and function caused by habitually poor postural positions they've been subjected to.

Remember, the muscles and connective tissues in the abdomen and trunk are just like any other muscle group.  They can lose their contractile, elastic and distensible properties.  Any change in these muscle and tissue has a direct impact on the surrounding muscles, organs and connective tissues. 

When there are imbalances in the trunk and abdomen, it can open up a pandora's box causing a domino effect of ensuing problems around and away from the area. Because of the vital processes that occur in this area, when the trunk is not functioning properly, the entire body is placed out of balance.   These imbalances can present in many ways, either through organ type symptoms (chronic constipation, loose bowel problems, acid reflux, gall bladder dysfunction, menstrual  issues,etc.) or muscle/joint issues (decreased mobility or pain) because you are more than just a part.   It’s all connected!

Gut smashing can also help you relax. Your Vagus nerve which originates up in the brain continues down through your neck, chest, and abdomen. It affects 12 major organs and how they function, and it relays sensory and motor information from various parts of your body to the brain and plays an important role in stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system (one of the systems involved in the fight-or-flight response). If you are restricted in this area, you can have symptoms of increased anxiety, problems breathing, and acid reflux to name a few. 

Gut smashing can help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.  Because of how it tracks and innervates organs through the abdomen, gut smashing helps stimulate the vagus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system. Balancing out this area can help you sleep better, recover from activity more effectively, and calm you down.

Equipment:  

We'll be using a 

  • pliable/squishy ball that is easy to inflate (a pilates ball), or one of those 12 inch cheap playground balls you can buy in the kids toy section at Walmart, Target or the dollar store.  
  • double lacrosse ball taped together (like a peanut)
  • single lacrosse ball 
  • foam roller
  • yoga mat 

Remember, addressing your muscle and joint balance and function is important for all human beings, not just CrossFit  or recreational athletes.  The activities you do the most (sitting, working at a computer with your head forward and using a mouse or texting) creates your day-to day posture habits and function.  Repetitive stress of these daily postures DEMANDS that muscle and joint imbalances be corrected BEFORE you take that posture into repetitive strength building movements that require excellent body position and human kinematics.

Come and undo the damage from faulty form/bad technique and poor/incorrect posture and learn how to do some basic maintenance and repair work on your beautiful self.  I hope you can make it!

This class is open to both CrossFit 5885 members and the public.

attend, simply purchase a 10 class punch pass (come on in early, and we can help you before class starts).  Punch passes include CrossFit WODs, CrossFit Swimming, Spin class, Barbell Club, Yoga for Athletes AND the Mobility and Corrective Exercise class.

Questions?  Please contact Deb.  Hope to see you there!

Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Head Photo Credit:  Melissa Thome Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.   

You can follow Deb on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram pages.


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