How to Exercise Gluteus Medius

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Now, from reading my last blog, you know how important this muscle is – so, let’s do it!

Method

Lie on your side with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Keep your thighs in line with your body.

Place your top hand at the back of your top buttock. This is important, as you’ll use your hand to stop any movement of your pelvis.

Gently pull in the lower stomach muscle (inner core) the smallest amount you can.

Feet togetherRaise your top knee off the lower knee. Use your hand on the back of your buttock to push and keep your pelvis still.

Any backward movement of the pelvis/buttock means that the gluteus medius (Marvelous muscle) isn’t working and, believe me, your body will try its best to get other muscles involved!

Try to raise the knee as much as possible whilst keeping the pelvis forwards.

 

 

Feet apartTo work the whole muscle, raise your top foot off the lower foot just a couple of inches. So, now the knee and foot are raised with the knee higher than the foot.

Hold for up to 10 seconds and do 10 repetitions.

Note: Your knee must always be higher than your foot.

 

 

Does it hurt?

If you get a muscle pain anywhere in the leg, or even your lower leg then stop. Try holding for less time. Keep coming back to the exercise until the pain, height of lift, number of repetitions, length of hold improve.

How many times to exercise the muscle

If you can do 10 repetitions with a 10-second hold then you only need to do this exercise 3 times per week.
If you’re struggling to get the number of reps, then practise twice a day to get the muscle stronger, quicker.

 

 

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Marvellous Muscle!

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Jumping for joy!When all your muscles are working correctly (ie, they know when they’re supposed to work, and they do), life’s a dream… your body is taking care of itself.

However, bodies get into BAD habits. And by that I mean some muscles try not to bother if they can get away with it, and other muscles are busybodies and try to dominate.

One muscle in particular is really, really important. However, it’s a shrinking violet. It’s always trying not to bother, letting other less able muscles take over.

The muscle in question is called glutius medius. One of the buttock muscles. When you walk it keeps your pelvis level. When you sit or stand it keeps your knees from knocking together. It helps align your knee over your foot, thus keeping foot arches strong. It helps align your kneecap as you bend and straighten your knee.

So you can imagine what can happen when this muscle gets its nose pushed out and it becomes weak. When it’s too weak to do its intended jobs you get:

  • Low back pain
  • Anterior knee pain
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Fallen arches
  • Hip strain
  • Gluteal tendinopathy

In fact, the list could go on. Don’t let the names fool you – all the above are very common.

This is where, once again, PAIN PREVENTION is such a good idea!

Certain features in our musculoskeletal system are really worth checking and maintaining. This is one of them. And that’s why it is covered in my Positive Posture Pain Prevention strategy for office workers.

Blog coming up:

Glutius medius exercise: How to do it properly. And the terrible mistakes I see in the gym with this muscle, even when a professional is teaching how to do it.

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Rowing in the Gym with Good Posture

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I can’t help myself but I always want to ask people when they’re on the rower if they are nearly there yet? It’s just the way I am.Good Posture on Rowing Machine

So… the rowing machine. Lots of people I treat say that they avoid the rower. Why? If you start on a lowish resistance, gradually increase the time, use a varied selection of other exercises as well, and of course keep in good posture whilst rowing, what can go wrong?

Good posture on the rowing machine

Sit in pelvic neutral. When you’re in pelvic neutral there will be a slight inward curve in the lowest part of your back. Simple!

When gliding back and forth holding on to the hand grip and pushing with your legs, make sure you keep pelvic neutral.

Keep your shoulders wide and don’t let your chin poke forwards.

If you start to lose your good posture you’ve had enough, so stop. Recover then try something else.

The mistakes

People bend their backs and reach too far forwards on moving towards the wheel. This strains their lower back, mid-back, neck and shoulders. Then, when they push back they lean backwards and strain their back.

Always start with quality (by this I mean good posture) rather than speed and resistance. Once you have the quality, gradually increase your time and then you can speed up or go for more resistance.

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10 Signs that You Need to Act on Pain

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Jane Tells us what to do about pain!

Pain in the lower back or neck always comes for a reason.

In the office, you’re either overdoing or under-doing something.
Identifying the culprit is half the problem.

So let’s just think about when you should act on pain.

1   You get pain when you’re sat at work

Most of us have to work, and that’s good. But what if the very nature of your work is giving you pain? That’s not so good.

If you have to do anything repetitive or static, such as sitting in the same position every day, and you get pain, then something must change … and that’s probably your posture and workstation and your work habits.

What really helps is movement, so getting out of your seat regularly, or even wriggling, will really help.

2   You get pain first thing in the morning

This usually means that you’ve strained the area that’s sore. Whilst you’re inactive in bed or sitting still for a while in one position, the repairing soft tissues tighten in the position you’re holding. When you eventually move or get up in the morning that tightness is stretched and gives you pain.

The lesson here is to move gently first thing in the morning and do gentle exercises. And don’t be still for long periods whilst at work. Keep getting out of your seat.

3   Pain is stopping you from doing things you like to do

How annoying is that? You really must take action.

Perhaps you could just start gently on an activity that gives you pain. As long as you don’t feel worse after the activity it probably isn’t doing you any harm. Pace yourself.

4   You’re taking painkillers every day

If the only thing you’re doing to stop the pain is taking painkillers, then seek advice. Go and see your doctor, find out what the matter is and what the remedy is. It might be exercise you need, or a workstation assessment, perhaps. Find out.

5   The pain is getting worse

OK… If you continue to do the same activity that gave you the pain in the first place, then the pain will get worse. This can easily happen to office workers.

Find out about your own personal good posture and do a display screen equipment assessment for starters. If you’re worried, seek medical advice.

6   The pain alters the way you do things

Pain has a nasty habit of making you limp, move differently or sometimes hold strained postures. This is your brain’s way of trying to reduce the pain you’re feeling. To begin with you will have less pain but, oh boy, at a price!

Altered movement patterns means that the main muscles that should be working aren’t. So your main stability muscle gets weaker and you’re less protected.

When the pain settles, that doesn’t mean you go back to the good ways of movement. Oh no, your brain has learnt a different habit and you will have to practice to get back into good habits. You can find out about your own personal good posture for one thing, and practice coming back to that posture many times a day.

7   Grumpy?

Oh dear. Pain is horrible. But for everyone’s sake you need to do something positive. Let this article be the motivation to get help. Or it might be a friend or colleague who’s grumpy. Are they in pain? Ask them. People do what they do for a reason.

8   Worried about pain?

Act now. Worry can make a pain ten times worse. Speak to your doctor, make an appointment. Tell someone.

9   Not sleeping?

Please get help. We all need a certain amount of sleep or we can’t function efficiently. Try looking up the best sleeping posture for you and your pain. Maybe side lying with a cushion between your knees would help. Pillows are important. Too deep or too shallow can give neck pain.

10   Pain’s affecting your work

If you’re in the office and in pain, speak to your manager. This should not be how it is. Go through your risk assessment again. Look for what needs to change — because something needs to if you’re in pain at work. You’re not being difficult, just practical and I’ll bet if you ask there will be plenty like you too at work in pain.

Remember… Don’t let pain get you down! Be proactive. Seek help. Speak to sympathetic friends. Do something.

Can you think of any other signs that tell you to act on pain? Let me know so that we can discuss them. It might be personal experience?

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How Exercises Help Prevent Office-Induced Pain

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Exercises play an important role in the prevention of office pain. But exercise gives us so much more…let’s look into this a bit more first.

Exercises are a massively underused resource that are so often disregarded. Doctors still don’t fully understand why exercise is so effective in combating diseases and medical conditions.

There are plenty of articles and websites on the internet that give you more information on how exercise can help prevent:

  • Some cancers,
  • Heart disease,
  • Diabetes,
  • Osteoporosis,
  • Asthma,
  • Autoimmune system,
  • Depression
  • …plus Back Pain and a myriad of injuries that develop through work.

With this in mind, surely exercise should play a major part of our lives.

So, how much exercise?

In the UK, medical advisers to the government say that we should all take 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, such as brisk walking. General physical activity like this can help treat and prevent many of the conditions I’ve mentioned. But we can get much more specific with exercise to prevent musculoskeletal pain (structures including the muscles, tendons and ligaments around bones and joint), such as office-induced back, neck and shoulder pains.

Exercise to Prevent Office Pain

How come? Because we’ve studied the occupational strains we subject our bodies to in an office, we all know that to not get injured we must be able to withstand these strains. Here, we use specific exercise to strengthen the stability of joints and their attached structures, plus exercise to give us better skills to maintain good posture. Both these activities increase the protection of our joints.

However, there is only so much that our bodies can take and this is where wriggling in your chair, getting out of your seat and just plain movement comes in to reduce occupation strain and so help our bodies cope without getting pain.

 

So in Positive Posture we prevent office-induced pain by just doing this. Our On-Screen  Reminder regularly brings you back to the position of less strain good posture. The exercises we teach you enable you to better keep good sitting posture. Plus, some exercises give your joints better strength to resist strain. A couple of the exercises also stretch tightening structures. So this is how we prevent pain…With a specific, evidence-based protocol, all of which you do whilst working, which is when they really matter.

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Stand-Up Desks

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I’m often asked what are my views on Stand-Up Desks.

On the whole I think they are fantastic because a Stand-Up Desk, as long as you can alter the height, gives you the option to stand or sit whilst working at your computer.

Now, one of most important ways to prevent office related pain is to move.

This could be:

• Fidgeting – giving a minimum amount of movement or
• Walking and Exercise being the best form of movement.

A standing desk possibly allows you to move about more easily and certainly you should alternate throughout the day – when you’re tired in standing then choose to sit. So that is movement.

Causes of office pain

One of the main causes of pain when working in an office is static loading- holding the same position. This puts strain on the same structures over a period of time. Static loading can lead to fatigue in soft tissues which would cause pain…an injury. And this is why I think we should mix up standing and sitting, adding in the good posture, fidgeting and exercise.

Cor blimey –  if this would happen I’d be out of a job!

So you can see that standing for long periods is just as bad. I always feel sorry for shop assistants – many of them complain of back pain because standing for long periods really challenges back posture. We tend to sag which accentuates the curves in the spine placing more pressure on these structures.

So I hope my perspective on this subject helps you make an informed choice on the subject. Then I could talk all day about tredmill/bike desks!

So what do you think about standing desks?

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Neck Exercise: Powerful pain prevention Exercises

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Neck PainNeck pain is very common, especially amongst people sat in front of computers all day. So it’s an area I’m very interested in.

What we do makes us what we are.
By this I mean that our everyday activity, or inactivity, greatly influences what our body becomes. An example would be that if you’re on bed rest your muscles become weaker or if your knee is in a plaster cast the joint becomes stiff. It’s not rocket science.

Sat in front of a computer screen all day has an effect. We tend to sit in poor posture which in real terms means:

• The muscles that give our neck strength and stability get weaker
• Neck joints stiffen because they’re not moving
• Poor postures increases strain on your neck

So it’s no great surprise that neck pain amongst office workers is very common.

The exercise that takes pride of place here has to be good. It has to change our activity because we are what we do day in, day out, remember? It’s not enough to strengthen neck muscles or to make your neck move more easily, it must also improve your posture and the way we move.

Improving static posture and moving in good posture will help us attain:

    • Strength in deep stability muscles
    • Mobility in neck joints

So what are you waiting for?

Neck Retraction Exercise

Neck Retraction

Retracting Neck

Method
Sit on a chair with your back supported.

Keep your face straight and upright, then pull your face backwards and upwards.

Because the neck joints are at an angle you should grow taller. You are now fully retracted.

Relax back into the starting position and repeat 5 times, am and pm whilst at work. Of course.

The exercise is to go from normal sitting to an over corrected position. This action will work the muscles that give the neck strength and move the joints and improve your ability to have better posture.

To improve your posture on the last retraction just relax partially so you’re keeping a little retracted.

But you still must make that massive step for mankind and choose your improved posture regularly.
Because if you don’t, remember… what we do makes us what we are!

Have a look at this video of the exercise:

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