Kristina is focusing on 3 things right now, check it out HERE!
Kath is staying focused despite her minor set back. Look HERE!
“S” is just way cool and I love her vision. See for yourself HERE!
And Bre, well she’s just full of amazing inspiration. Go cheer her on HERE!
So where does that put me? Well…..still trying to FOCUS and NOT GET AHEAD OF MYSELF.
Here’s the story. Bare with me for a moment……..
Since I was feeling “almost” injured and needing to Switch my focus on recovery, the hubs was faced with a lot of Jibber Jabber Injury Prevention talk from me! I went round and round in circles talking to him about what he thought I should do. Poor guy! But being the awesome hubs he is, he didn’t know say a word. Instead, he called his Sports Massage therapist and got me in. He said I needed the “COTTER SPECIAL.” What the heck is that” I asked. Well, I was about to find out.
Ron, from Athletic Tune Up, kindly adjusted his schedule so he could meet with me.
Yes, the butt he has is the HUBS butt. haha!
I got there an immediately plopped myself and on the table. The hubs then uttered those words, “she needs the Cotter Special.” And then it began……pushing, pulling, adjusting, tweaking, and more. WHOA! About an hour later, I was spent, but you know what? My hip and quads felt A TON BETTER!
So being that I was still in my recovery focus mindset, I just had to ask…… “okay Ron, so how did I get to this point and how do I prevent it from becoming an injury?” His response kinda blew be away. He informed me that my glutes were too week and therefore threw off my alignment while running. SAY WHAT? But I strength train 2-3x a week, how is that possible? The increase in training (cycling, running, etc.) can wear and tear on those muscles, therefore I really need to isolate glute and core work. DUH!! Again, more FOCUS on those muscles. Are we seeing a FOCUS theme here or what? sheesh!!
So, lets talk booty. How to strengthen it and more.
Here’s a little exert from TOTAL WELLNESS consulting that really explains it all.
Running is a sport which places tremendous demands on the body. Many runners eventually, after running hundreds or thousands of kilometres, begin to exhibit wear and tear injuries related to weak core and gluteal muscles. These injuries include but are not limited to low back pain, patellafemoral sydrome, wear and tear of the meniscus (in the knee), and shin splints. Fortunately, many running injuries can be prevented and/or alleviated by following a proper strength and conditioning program that focuses on strengthening the core and gluteal muscles.
Many core stability programs tend to focus on the trunk muscles (transversus, multifidus, obliques and paraspinals); however, the gluteal muscles are also very important for core stability and preventing low back pain. The gluteals are a group of muscles that make up the bum area, called the gluteus maximus (image on the left), medius (image to the right below) and minimus (image to the left below). In anatomical terms the gluteus maximus is a hip extensor muscle (pulling the leg back) and the medius and minimus are hip abductor muscles (pulling the leg up to the side). However, for the purposes of injury prevention and improving stability, the function of the gluteals is to stabilise the pelvis and trunk and not to move the legs
Stabilisers and Mobilisers (picture source)
Here’s how you know your glutes are weak, you reach down in a single let squat and you knee turns in like the picture on the left. You want it took look like the picture on the right.
And yes, that was my good leg that is pictured doing it right! hehe.
Now what? What FUNCTIONAL exercises can I do so build a better Core/Glute? Total Wellness has some great tips.
The Bridge (thanks to my YOGA, I will get this).- Video source here
This is a static exercise where the gluteus maximus must work to support the back. Start with 10 x 10 seconds, building up to 2 x 60 seconds. Keep the pelvis level and the lower abdominals drawn in. If you feel a strong contraction in the hamstrings or the lower back is straining, then you are not using your glutes strongly enough. Focus on squeezing your bum cheeks together to ensure they do the work.
The Wood Chop (video source here)
This is a dynamic exercise where the gluteals must work to extend the trunk from a flexed position. Begin with 2-3 sets of 10 reps building up to 20 reps.
The Hip Hiker (video source here)
This exercise involves recruiting the gluteals to maintain a level pelvic tilt.Stand on one leg, bending the free-leg knee slightly so it does not drag on the floor. Stand up with good posture, head looking forward into a mirror. Tilt the pelvis so the free side drops down. Your stance-leg knee should not have moved nor should your head or back. Then, focusing on the top and outside of your gluteals, pull the pelvis back until the free side is level or even slightly higher. Slowly continue this hitching motion up and down. Complete 3 sets of 10 building up to 20 reps each side.
One-Leg Squats (video source here)
This exercise is normally for the legs, but if performed with perfect technique it also works the medius and minimus very hard to maintain pelvic stability. Build up to completing 3 sets of 10 each leg.
Phew, that was long winded I know, but useful stuff. And yes, I have already begun adding these into my recovery routine. CHECK!
Keep me updated. How’s the Focus going? Learned anything new yet?
Fuel Cookies were used on the hubs 4+ hour ride this past weekend. The verdict is in……THEY WORKED GREAT! I’ll have to make another round here soon. New flavor perhaps?