Eliminate the Pear-Shape!

18 May 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

My wife and I were walking along the harbor in San Francisco a few years ago when two ladies ran by. They were jogging, talking, and laughing, and you could tell they were great friends. This run wasn't anything new for them, and it seemed that they both were enjoying themselves. I think anyone would look at them and agree that they were both in shape. However, one of them had pear-shaped hips. I turned toward my wife and said, "That lady on the left runs every day, but no matter how far or fast she runs, she can't lose her hips. She can't get rid of her pear shape. She wakes up, looks in the mirror every morning and sighs, saying, 'Well...I guess I better go run again' but she can't figure out why her body never changes."

I know that she probably isn't 100% pleased with the way she looks. Sadly, that's what most likely gets her out of bed in the morning. As much as she'd like to tell herself that she enjoys running and enjoys time with her girlfriend, that's just not true. Deep down, she doesn't like what she sees staring back at her in the mirror.

So, why doesn't her body change? Simple...her pelvis is completely out of position. Take a look at this picture, and you'll see what I mean:

Notice how the waistline on her shorts is lower in the back than it is in the front? As her pelvis starts to tilt more and more posterior, she begins to develop her pear-shaped hips. Her body is working inefficiently and thinks that it needs to save energy (a.k.a. fat cells) for a rainy day. The fat cells are stored in the spot with the least amount of (efficient) movement. In addition, the lymphatic system running through the hip isn't functioning properly to clear out the lymph. The lymph begins to pool, it combines with the fat cells, and...voila...she ends up looking like this:

AND SHE LOOKS LIKE THIS DESPITE THE FACT THAT SHE IS RUNNING DAILY! So, what's the answer? How can we get your pelvis aligned so that you start to move efficiently, lose fat cells and say goodbye to your pear? We have to stay focused on your posture! Your pear-shaped hips are simply to body's way of telling you that you're out of balance, and our job at Egoscue is to return you to a balanced position. Only then will you be free of pain, start to lose weight, have more energy, and run more efficiently again.

Ready to eliminate your pear shape? Great! Take the following exercises, in order, to begin changing your pelvic position

1. Modified Floor Block

Sets 1 | Reps 1 | Duration 0:06:00

 

Description

  1. Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor
    • Your feet should be pigeon-toed and your buttocks relaxed
  2. Elevate your bent arms 4 to 9 inches by placing your forearms and elbows on blocks
  3. Breathe and relax your upper body
  4. Hold as directed

 

2. Modified Floor Block--Prone Ankle Squeezes:

Sets 3 | Reps 20

Description

  1. Lie on your stomach in the Modified Floor Block position
    • Your feet should be pigeon-toed and your buttocks relaxed
    • Elevate your bent arms 4 to 9 inches by placing your forearms and elbows on blocks
  2. Place a pillow between your ankles/feet
  3. Bend both knees to about 90 degrees and flex your toes down toward the floor
  4. Press and release your ankles/feet into the pillow
  5. Repeat as directed

 

3. 3-Position Toe Raises:

Sets 3 | Reps 10

Description

  1. Stand with your body aligned straight up and down, with your hips directly over your heels
    • Hold onto a wall or doorway loosely to keep your balance
  2. For the first set, point your toes straight ahead
  3. Roll up onto the balls of your feet, keeping the weight evenly distributed over all five toes
  4. Lower you heels back to the ground in a smooth motion
  5. Repeat as directed on your menu
  6. For the second set, point your toes outward at about a 45 degree angle
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as directed on your menu
  8. For the third set, point your toes inward so your big toes are touching
  9. Repeat as directed

 

Make sure you do these e-cises before you run or workout. Then tune in to what your body is doing and how it is functioning during the activity. 

QUESTION: What changed with your run or workout after doing these e-cises?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well.

Bunions: The Window to Your Hips

10 May 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Ok, friends, let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: Feet.

I'm sure many of you think feet are totally disgusting. They smell bad (at least if you have three boys in your house like I do!), they look bad, and often times, they feel bad. Ever heard someone say, "my dogs are barkin'!" when referring to their foot pain? There's a reason why they make that analogy. I believe it's because barking dogs are loud, annoying, and the only thing you can concentrate on when it's happening.

Foot pain is no different.

Today I want to talk about a specific foot symptom--bunions. Those of you who have bunions know the pain I'm talking about. It's "loud." It's "annoying." And, it's "the only thing you can concentrate on."

Yet, years ago, you had no idea that what you were experiencing at the base of your big toe would become what it is today. Innocently enough, you noticed a "bump" on the inside of your foot. Slowly and gradually over time, that bump became more prominent, and as it grew, you noticed your big toe started a directional shift toward your other four toes. Your shoes started fitting differently, or not fitting at all, and the pain started slowly creeping in. That's when you realized that your little "bump" from years ago was now a full-blown bunion.

In order to address the bunion, many of you have gone the surgical route. Some of you have commented that the surgery helped, all of you noted how painful the recovery was, and many of you have seen the bunions return after all is said and done. If you fall in that last group, or if you're contemplating surgery and are curious about why the bunions returned, then this is the post for you!

The short answer to why the bunions returned is that the focus was on the effect, rather than the cause. You went to the site of the symptom, rather than the source of the symptom. In the Egoscue world, bunions make our therapists' job extremely easy. Bunions tell us exactly what is happening at the hip. More accurately, they tell us exactly what isn't happening at the hip. Like the title of this post says, bunions are the "window" to your hips.

Very simply, our clients with bunions always have a hip dysfunction that accompanies them. The hip is exactly where you need to look if you're searching for the cause of your bunions. Now, let me explain why bunions form (I actually talked about the cause last week when I went on Facebook Live).

When you take a step, you're designed to flex at the hip, pick your foot off the ground, and have there be enough room for your foot to clear the ground, swing forward, and come back down, striking the heel, then the ball of the foot, and then coming off all five toes, before starting the process over again with the next step. As your foot starts to leave the ground, it should look something like this:

 

However, for those of you with bunions, the necessary hip function just isn't happening. The hip isn't flexing properly, which means there's not enough foot clearance, and the body has to adapt and compensate. As a result, the leg swings out and around (it circumducts), rather than swinging straight forward, and the foot everts (points to the side). You land on the outside of the heel, continue to the outside of the foot, before rolling the weight across the foot to the the big toe. Your big toe now becomes your last point of contact with the ground as you propel yourself forward. And it's that exact repetitive stress and friction that causes your bunion! As your foot starts to leave the ground, it will look more like this:

 

 

The cool thing is that your body knows this foot strike isn't correct and begins to protect itself by building up a bony "blister." Continue that dysfunctional gait pattern over the next several years, and--poof!--you have a bunion! You might feel like it popped up overnight, but the reality is that it took years to form. What's true about the body is that it gives us various warning signs that it's out of alignment and out of balance. Perhaps you get daily migraines or struggle with back pain. Maybe you have limitations at the gym--certain lifts you can't perform, or you get winded easily. Or, because it's the subject of this post, maybe your bunions are your body's warning signal. 

Remember, to get to the root cause of all of these symptoms, it's crucial that we take a step back and look at the body in its entirety. We have to keep in mind that the foot bone's connected to the leg bone. So, YES, that means your bunions are connected to your migraine headaches, and everything in between. All of your symptoms have the same cause, your misaligned body. Fix your posture, and fix your symptom!

QUESTION: What have you been told is causing your bunions?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well.

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well. - See more at: http://egoscue.com/blog/item/142-becoming-pain-free-egoscue-sonima#sthash.YpHWD8kQ.dpuf

My Observations in London

13 April 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I was in London last week and made some observations that I think you'll find interesting. Check out this video!

 

 

What are your thoughts? Do you struggle to lose your saddlebags? If so, get your body moving in ways it normally doesn't. Remember, if you need to modify those exercises, then do so! For example, you can bear crawl on the ground instead of down the stairs, and for the side-to-side vaults, you can keep your hands on the ground rather than on the bench. If you struggle in the beginning, THAT'S OK! Keep working hard, and you will reach your goals!

QUESTION: What has been your biggest weight loss challenge?

As always, thanks for sharing our posts (it's easy--just click below!). If you have specific questions about your pain contact us now, or find the clinic that's closest to you. And, don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter as well as myself.