If you attend one of my barre or Pilates classes you will hear me talking about stacking the ribs on top of the pelvis and not popping the ribs.


What the heck does, ‘don’t pop the ribs’ mean? Do I mean not to pop them like a balloon? Well not exactly!! The ribs insert into the spine. The thoracic spine is the upper part of the back.
If you check out the image of Regulus our studio skeleton.

Regulus, in excellent posture!

Notice how the ribs are in line with the pelvis. The spine, when the ribs are in this position is what is called a neutral spine. There is a natural curve to the thoracic spine.


When the term “popping the ribs” or “thrusting the ribs”is used this means the ribs are pushing forwards in front of the pelvis and the thoracic spine is flat. What is happening is you are physically pushing the bottom of your rib cage out in front of you. Which can lead to upper back pain and abdominals that are no longer working efficiently, due to moving the ribs away from the pelvis, day-in-day-out. Your core is unable to switch on when you keep moving these muscle attachments away from one another.

Regulus popping it like it’s hot!


The human skeleton should be aligned so that the front of the ribs actually sits flush with the front of the pelvis. Think vertical line!
If you catch yourself slumping or slouching, whether it’s seated or standing, do you automatically lift up your chest to accommodate and re-align yourself?
Or perhaps a parent/teacher/significant person in your life may have said one of these phrases:
“Sit up straight!”“Stop slouching!”“Stand up taller!”“Pull your shoulders back”


Sound familiar?


Maybe you are getting pain in the upper back between the shoulders and compensating by pulling your shoulders back…
When you pop your ribcage out in front of you on a regular basis, believing it looks better for your overall posture, you’re effectively closing the space at the back of your rib cage which:
Makes it harder to get oxygen into your lungs and breathe optimallyDoesn’t allow your spinal cord to properly lengthenANDCan be a contributing factor to the cause and rehabilitation of abdominal separation

Go back up and look at Regulus the skeleton again….go on take a long hard look at it. From the side view, Regulus skeleton IS aligned with:

Ear on shoulder

Shoulder on rib,

Rib on pelvis,

Pelvis on ankle

I hope this helps, next time you re-align use the above alignment points to help you address the basic improvement of posture.
If you are pre/post natal and experiencing pain between your shoulder blades or any other area. Book a bundle of 3 x 1-1 sessions and I will help to address strengthening and releasing these muscles.
If you sit at a desk all day, I can come to your office and offer simple exercises to do throughout the day to counter balance sitting with a Desk Energiser session.

 

As a Mum I understand that excitement when you finally manage to attend an exercise class ALL BY YOURSELF. Having one hour to yourself, to actual listen to what the instructor is saying…bliss!
As a postnatal qualified instructor I would like to share with you my three top tips for checking whether an abdominal exercise is unsafe when attending a mainstream class.

It’s important for you to observe and understand what your tummy is supposed to look and feel like when you add weight to it in a certain way.
These tips will help you determine if an abdominal exercise is too difficult for you.

Read more

Are you in control of your movements during your exercise class?

Fundamentals of Pilates Workshop tackling the principles of ControlThe fundamentals of Pilates, the principles underlying this unique form of movement, teach and train individuals to develop control while exercising. The fundamentals, also known as the principles, are the main components of all Joseph Pilates’ exercises, including mat-based and standing exercises.

There are typically 8 principles included in Pilates’ exercise method, all of them helping to improve the effect of the exercise. Control is one of these principles and indeed, Joseph H. Pilates’ book, written in 1945, is titled ‘Return to Life Through Contrology’.

Read more

Here’s Part 2 of “5 FAQs on abdominal separation”.

Abdominal SeparationI hope you found the previous blog post informative.
I’m often asked about diastasis recti (the medical name for abdominal separation) by postnatal clients and do believe that education is key when it comes to rehabilitating this condition.

Below are 5 more FAQs about abdominal separation, which I’m happy to answer:

WILL THE GAP GET WORSE IF I HAVE MORE CHILDREN?

If your alignment is way off and you have a lot of poor postural traits, then it’s possible that the more pregnancies you have, the wider the gap in your abdominals will remain.  If your diastasis recti wasn’t tested after your first baby, then after subsequent pregnancies, you’re more likely to have a slightly wider gap each time you get pregnant.

Read more

Abdominal Separation

Separation of the Abdominal MusclesEveryone has abdominal separation. Diastasis recti happens when there is a gap of 2 fingers or more. Abdominal separation is most common after having a baby. What happens during pregnancy is the six-pack muscle (Rectus abdominis), which runs down from your breastbone to your pubic bone, is joined together by a fibrous sheath called the Linea Alba. This mid-section of the body stretches and expands to allow room for the baby. The muscles don’t actually split; it is more an abdominal “separation”. A bit like a piece of cling film coming apart.

Read more

The pelvic floor Kegel exercises diagramAfter giving birth to my son in October, I was not surprised to be told by my Midwife to start doing the old pelvic floor squeezing to tighten up my lady bits! I was however shocked by the vagueness of this statement.

As a trained pre/postnatal fitness expert, who enjoys keeping her education on this subject matter up to date, these squeeze and lift exercises in recent years have most definitely changed.

Obviously strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is really, really important. Also keeping these muscles in check during pregnancy is vital too.

Read more

Happiness quoteNormally at this time of year, everyone is focusing on what is not right or what they need to change. Make 2018 less negative and find your happiness.

Recognising when you are happy and remembering what that feels like makes it easier to recreate.

In this day and age, it is very easy to analyse our unhappiness, faults and flaws in order to find the causes and make improvements. Have you ever thought about analysing your happiness?

As humans, we have the ability to observe our emotions, meaning we can recognise our feelings of glee and contentment. This allows us the power to harness and savour these moments and to take time to be grateful for them.

Read more

Keep those tootsies cosy this Autumn.

The View studio grip socksThat special something in the air at this time of year definitely indicates that autumn is upon us. A crisp breeze, crackling logs on the fire and the bristling colourful leaves rustling under foot. The amazing array of colours and picturesque scenes inspire many.

Autumn brings tradition with Harvest Festivals, dressing up ready to trick or treat with Halloween and all to be followed by the thrill and excitement of Guy Fawkes’ Bonfire Night.

The perfect excuse to sneak a hot chocolate (topped with marshmallows and cream!!!), the amazing aromas of scented candles, snuggles under the duvet, the return of fluffy onesies and the joy of hearty comforting food makes autumn a dream.

As with everything in life, there are always draw backs and in Autumn it has to be the start of the return of ice-blocks for feet.

Read more