Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fit Tip: The Importance of Back Body Strength

Some people have no idea what they look like from behind. When we look in the mirror our front body is our general view point. Yes, we do turn around to check out the back sometimes but even then it’s not typically a straight-on view. There’s a different self awareness between front and back body for most people. Most of our daily movement is front body; we move forward, lifting our knees, flexing at the hips and moving our arms in front of us. There also is a tendency in exercise for people to emphasize strengthening these same muscle groups because they want to tone what they can see in the mirror - of course!

Spine extension during the recent workshop intensives in Venice Beach, CA

At the Dailey Method we know for a balanced and truly healthy body and life we need to have strength inside and out, upside and down and front to back so we continually emphasize balancing out the work between the muscles all the way around the body. We believe that quality back body strength has components to help anti-aging.  

What do the back muscles that The Dailey Method targets do for us?

Postural support: we need the muscles of our upper back to hold our shoulders in place in order to have good posture and to allow for ease and full range of motion for our shoulder joint. Good posture makes us look and feel more confident. In addition, strengthening the scapular stabilizers (including the rhomboids and the serratus) takes the load off of the muscles of the neck and rotator cuff resulting in greater comfort through all of our daily activities

Core power: People tend to think of their core as solely their abdominals. The core consists not only of the abdominal muscles but also your gluteals, pelvic floor, deep spinal muscles, and even your diaphragm. The deepest layer of abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis is more than just a front body muscle. It wraps around your waist and connects to your spine via a layer of connective tissue called the thoracolumbar fascia. Use of the core from all four sides helps to support your low back, preventing injury and helping you to move with a more graceful and balanced posture.

A high lifted seat AND a healthier spine! The Dailey Method is well known for the strong back body appearance that comes with our signature seat and thigh work.  But did you know that at The Dailey Method you are also creating a more stable pedestal for your spine to live on and better back body support for your knees? The gluteal and hamstring muscles are crucial for many functional movements such as climbing stairs, getting out of the car, and bending down to pick up groceries. Equal strength and flexibility in your front and back body will keep you injury free and create healthier joints from head to toe.

We hope this inspired you to give it your all during prone seat work and spinal extension!

Happy extensions,

-- Jill and Kerry

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