If you have worked with me in class over the past month, you have surely heard me talk about this one. As my study of yoga progresses, I am being gifted ancient secrets that apply to everything we do at Gumsaba, and in life! One of the takeaways that I hope you will find helpful is the development of strength and stability in your pelvic floor.
Many of the movements we do at Gumsaba are high reps, and some are more risky than others. Take a kettle bell swing. The kettle bell swing asks various muscle groups to engage both concentrically and eccentrically in order to keep the low back stable so the load is displaced mostly on the core. Since “the load’ is at the end of a long lever (your arm) this creates great velocity. The low back can be at high risk for injury if the body is not stabilizing correctly, or if there are previous injuries to the lumbar discs. Engaging the pelvic floor at the low point of the swing can definitely help you get gains from a kettle bell session, (as opposed to low back pain). Those who have disc injuries can benefit from using a light weight, or no weight, and focusing on this deep engagement. From Push Ups to Deadlifts to plank, this subtle cue can really help make your movement more efficient and effective.
At first, it can be hard to find these elusive muscles. Today I will talk through the most basic way of firming the pelvic floor, or as a yogi would say, engaging your mula bandha.
- Lie on your back as though you are preparing for a glute bridge hip extension.
- Feel the space between your low back and your mat. Begin pelvic tilts. As you exhale, close the space between your low back and your mat. Keep your hips down, this is a subtle movement. As you inhale, open that space, again, keep your hips down.
- Continue your pelvic tilts. When you exhale, think of what you would do if you had to go to the bathroom really bad, and pull up the muscles that would prevent you from doing that. As you inhale, arch your back, and release those muscles. Continue this for 10 reps. After 10 reps, pull your knees to your chest. Repeat this set of 10 3X with a small rest in-between sets.
Note: Technically, the “pelvic floor” is the area between the facilities that excrete urine and poop. That is actually the area you are looking to engage. This, however, can be very elusive, so at first, I recommend that people engage the muscles that prevent excretion to get the feeling down. Once that is learned, a person can become more specific about the exact location of engagement. Learn more about all the bandhas and mula bandha here.
Engaging the pelvic floor is extremely helpful for balancing movements too!
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Wednesday 12/7/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Karen – HIIT Humpday
5:45AM Sunrise Walnut Creek Heather Farms Co-ED class – Coach Carrie – HIIT Humpday
6AM Sunup Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Briana – HIIT Humpday
8:15AM Sunshine Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Briana – HIIT Humpday
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Rudgear Womens only class – Coach Jentry – HIIT Humpday
9:30AM Sunshine Orinda Sleepy Hollow Co Ed PRIVATE Class – Coach Michelle – HIIT Humpday
11:00AM Cytosport Next Level In Trinity – Coach Jentry (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport All Levels Cardio Kickboxing – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:30PM Cytosport All Levels Trigger Point Rolling – Coach Michelle (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Michelle D. (private class)