Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weak Hips Lead to Back Pain

Many people – especially women – have an embarrassing secret. Most don’t know this about themselves until the situation is desperate, until the consequences are dire, until it is almost too late to correct the problem. The secret is this. Their hips are not strong enough to carry their body weight.

It seems like an overnight phenomenon: a sudden, unexplained occurrence of back pain. But the conditions have been building, unnoticed for years. After age 35, our muscles turn to fat at the rate of about 1% a year in a process called sarcopenia. As we get older, we also tend to add pounds. The muscles that stabilize the hips get weaker and weaker, the body adds unconscious compensations, until eventually the back muscles that have been substituting finally give up. The only solution is to rebuild the strength of the hip stabilizers, usually starting from square one, a long and tedious process.

I encourage you to prevent this problem in your own body. Appreciate a strong, well-endowed touché. Start early and exercise often to build your bum. (In other words, it might be better if your rear was bigger.)

One of the easiest ways to learn if you have developed destructive compensation patterns is to observe yourself in a single leg stance. This exercise also builds balanced strength around the hips. I’ll give step-by-step instructions for a Single Leg Stance, as the Exercise of the Month, in my next blog post. You’ll also get to meet my new assistant, Tori, who will model correct single-leg posture and demonstrate ineffective patterns. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very fascinating and per usual wish i'd started this sooner
Ruth Ann