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Core Archives | Hope Zvara s2uy5juvtzxj.hopezvara.com.
Pelvic Tilts & Their 20 Benefits for Beginners

Pelvic Tilts & Their 20 Benefits for Beginners

Beginners Core: How to do Pelvic Tilts.

What if reducing back pain, increasing core awareness, and strength. Reducing hip pain and aiding the natural curves in your spine “were” easy to do?

It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that we as a society often overlook the power of simplicity. Is it that we are lead to believe that if something isn’t complicated? Or expensive or taught at a fancy center that it cannot truly be helpful?

I occasionally have students mention that they are off to PT for this or that. Only to find that what they are being told to do are the very things they are learning in my classes. And the therapists are amazed at their sense of awareness and ability. Now, this is not to toot my own horn. But rather push my point that sometimes we don’t realize the power of something until we step away from it.

And the same goes for simple movements.

Have back pain? Who doesn’t?

Struggling with your, ahem, pelvic floor? You’re not alone.

What if there was something you could be doing right now to help those areas improve?

Would you be O.K. with the notion that the approach was simple, elementary, small and lacks a fancy name and does not end in a complicated arm balance? Would that be O.K.?

Sometimes to truly take a step forward, we do in-fact have to take a step back, and that is where pelvic tilts come in.

Not in the sense that we are losing ground or less than, but rather that we are in deep need to create a deeper sense of awareness and understanding of our body and how it moves.

Pelvic tilts truly are one of my most favorite moves, and I often think of it as a secret weapon! This small movement packs a powerful punch! That it simultaneously free your lower back release your hip flexors. In addition, pelvic tilts improve core function and awareness and ungulates your entire spine.

I know what you are thinking now, “where can you sign me up” for learning how to do pelvic tilts??

Except as a yoga and movement teacher for over fifteen years now I have learned that one: I was practicing pelvic tilting all wrong. And two: I see many following in my similar footsteps.

Let’s fix that!

There are tons of benefits to pelvic tilting and it SHOULD be an exercise that everyone does regularly. Because you can do it in just about any plane of motion and position.

If you need a list of reasons WHY pelvic tilts are not just good for you, but necessary!

What are the benefits of Pelvic Tilts?

  • * Pelvic tilts create a sense of awareness of the pelvic floor muscles
  • *Pelvic tilts release sacral (SI joint) pain
  • *Pelvic tilts release the femur, tailbone, sacrum connection for more mobility and motility
  • *Pelvic tilts help one access and tone the lower abdomen muscles
  • *Pelvic tilts release lower back
  • *Pelvic tilts liberate the entire spine
  • *Pelvic tilts loosen tightness hanging on the shoulders
  • *Pelvic tilts release tightness of the inner hips and inner pelvic attachments
  • *Pelvic tilts tone the pelvic floor and core muscles
  • *Pelvic tilts activate the glutes/buttocks
  • *Pelvic tilts increase awareness of the hip-spine relationship
  • *Pelvic tilts assist in a deeper breathing and better lung use
  • *Pelvic tilts enhance your body’s natural alignment and curvature
  • *Pelvic tilts assist your lumbo-pelvic relationship to sit in neutral with less pain and restriction
  • *Pelvic tilts improve posture
  • *Pelvic tilts help you look taller and leaner
  • *Pelvic tilts teach you how to wear your core on the inside of the body rather than the outside
  • *Pelvic tilts release the lateral side body
  • *Pelvic tilts stretch the abdominal walls from sitting all-day
  • *Pelvic tilts release the fascial netting of the lower body and spine.

By now you are wondering how do you effectively and properly practice pelvic tilts?

How To Do Pelvic Tilts:

  1. Pick your position. You can practice pelvic tilting lying down, standing in a slight chair pose, sitting, or even prone. I think supine is the simplest way to practice and the floor gives you good feedback as to what you are doing for starters.
  2. Lying down with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, make sure your heels are not too close to your sit bones, when they are too close it inhibits the range of motion for pelvic tilting.
  3. Find your breath, a deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose to settle into your body.
  4. Keep your body relaxed for now, INHALE and work to arch your lower back away from the floor, like there was a pin poking you. Do not lift your hips off the ground. Go as far as you can comfortably and keep stretching until your inhale is complete.
  5. Pause for a moment.
  6. Now EXHALE and glide your lower back into the floor, WITHOUT squeezing your buttocks together or lifting your hips up off the floor while pelvic tilting.
  7. Now repeat again drawing a deeper sense of awareness to the movement, between what moves and what doesn’t.
  8. After a few rounds, on the exhales work to draw awareness and attention to your anal sphincter, with the exhale on the posterior tilt (when you tip back into the floor) work to contract that part of the pelvic floor. Notice what else wants to contract, more than likely trying to do the job for this part of your pelvic floor, especially if you have never used it before.
  9. Inhale release the anal sphincter. You will notice if you contracted when you proceed to release. Do this several rounds.
  10. Now mentally move forward on your pelvic floor and work to contract the vaginal passageway or for men the soft tissue behind the scrotum. For many, this will be more difficult, especially if there was trauma (like giving birth) the nerves and tissues may not be connecting back with the brain properly.
  11. Repeat the process of EXHALE contract and tip back, and INHALE release and tip forward. This will feel more internal. Think about contracting while in cold water, or for men like flexing an erection, women engaging during intercourse. (I see potential practice opportunities to engage your pelvic floor here).
  12. Now finally move even more forward on the pelvic floor and think about where your pubic bone is and work to contract the lower front belly and pelvic floor on the exhales. This will feel more like pulling inward on the belly, but this time it’s triggered by the pelvic floor not the navel. Think of the action of cutting off the flow of urine or holding when you have to go to the bathroom. Good news, those two actions ask you to use your pelvic floor muscles.
  13. Repeat tilting trying to engage each of these three areas, all individually, and all together. Notice what is easier and what takes more work.

A few other tips about pelvic tilts:

As you become more comfortable with the movement, especially while lying down. Consider adding in the arms to the movement. INHALE and arch the back, release the pelvic floor, AND reach your arms overhead! STRETCH. Exhale and return back to the floor and contract the pelvic floor.

By incorporating the arms in you get more of a full spinal interaction. Plus, the hip flexors and lower back get even more limelight. Notice when reaching if one arm hits the floor and the other does not. This can easily become a tool for not only teaching pelvic floor activation and releasing the lower back. Which can also assist spinal and fascial assessment as well.

Here’s to happy pelvic tilts!

P.S. Not sure where the heck your pelvic floor is??? >>> CLICK HERE.  <<<

And learn about it NOW!

PPS Here is a great video I shot of an entire series of pelvic tilting, core integration, and full spinal release! Because everyone needs a visual!

 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Getting to the Core of Things

Getting to the Core of Things

“Now, activate your core,” is a phrase you’re likely to hear in any fitness class, yoga included.
But I wonder, what does that mean? And does the instructor even know what that means? 
It’s been my experience teaching both students and teachers from all over the country that most people assume they’re using the core, assume they know where the core is and assume the cues they are using are helping more than hurting.

To be able to cue the core, one needs to understand why it’s so important. 

Everything is an extension of the core, and every muscle above and below eventually feeds into the core (or more specifically the pelvic floor). Muscles in the body are not separate but connected, one turning into the next.
Our body consists of layers, and our core is no different. These layers help us better understand the concept of the core being the Motherboard for all movement. And if one does not know where the Motherboard of any device is, then how will you ever be able to tweak it to operate better?
Every person needs to begin at what I know as the Local Layer. This is the permission layer. The layer of the core in which we stabilize before we mobilize.
Sadly, even in core-focused classes, this is often ignored because it’s difficult to locate, awaken and continually keep awake. It can take many sessions before someone feels confident they are using the proper muscles.
It’s important to remember that the body is an amazing piece of machinery unlike any other. If one body part can’t do what you are asking it, and then another body part will step up and try to do it for us. The problem with this is that it gives us a false idea that we are properly performing the movement.
So this local layer consists of the transversus abdominus (which is a hoop-like muscle), multifidus, diaphragm and the pelvic floor, consisting of the perineum, anal sphincter, and area surrounding the urethra (to simplify things). This is our permission layer, our layer of stability, and I like to focus here.
I created Core Functional Fitness as a way to teach people how to find and use their true core. It’s better for you and your health. You can find many other core-specific works in my Mindful Movement Premium Online Studio.
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Trim Your Waistline – Outrageous Obliques

Trim Your Waistline – Outrageous Obliques

As a fitness professional for over a decade, I have pretty much seen it all. Especially when it comes to core-based exercise. When you consider trying to bring some more attention to your midsection (and your obliques), a few things are important to consider:

Core work flat on your back is out!

Think about it, how do you spend your day? Upright! So doesn’t it make more sense to work with gravity in that manner?

Focus on feeling rather than doing.

Find guides that really help you tune into not only what you should be doing, but what you should and shouldn’t be feeling. If you need somewhere to start, consider my Mindful Movement Online Studio (just $9.99/month)

Work from the inside out.

No matter what you do, everything is core work. That being said, it all starts with a conscious pelvic-core (pelvic floor muscles plus deep core muscles) contraction.

We have a deep oblique — called the internal oblique — and an external oblique. These muscles overlap each other.

We need our obliques for many things: They offer support and stability for the back and hips. When developed properly, they improve spinal support, movement and function, as well as the relationship between the rib cage and pelvis. Strength to twist, bend sideways and rotate comes a great deal from our amazing obliques.

Here is one of my favorite tributes to our famous obliques:

  1. Start in a kneeling position (be sure to pad your knees if necessary), and grab your weight (if using one).
  2. Find neutral pelvis (your pubis bone and hip bones should run parallel with the wall you are facing).
  3. Contract your pelvic-core muscles (think bathroom muscles and torso muscles, much like when you cough).
  4. Steadily extend your right leg out to the side, turning your right foot parallel to your knee. Be sure to anchor your foot into the floor.
  5. Holding your weight in front of your chest, draw your elbows wide and relax your shoulders.
  6. Inhale, tip to the left as far as you can control, without folding in your left hip.
  7. Exhale, feel your waist (obliques) carry you back up with control. You should not feel any downward pressure into your pelvic floor when you lift (remember to keep those muscles strong).
  8. Repeat this process 10 times on each side. After you have repeated this on both sides, go back to your weaker side and complete the process again for a 2-to-1 ratio (weaker to stronger). If the weight creates too much tension work, do this exercise without added weight in front and instead hold opposite elbows with your forearms at chest height.

 

Here are some more resources on firing up your obliques!

Fire Up The Obliques With The Ring Of Fire

Get your Arms and Obliques Beach Body Ready — Oblique Lift & Lower

Better Obliques with Stretch and Strengthen

Oblique Jump Start, a Journey into the Real Core!

Arms & Obliques Oh’ My with Side Plank Lift & Lower

 

Have fun and keep at it!

 

 

This post was originally published on Nature’s Pathways, and updated on 10/4/19.

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