Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Unlock Your Hip Flexors and You'll Unlock a Whole Lot More: Part 2

Warning! Girly talk ahead. If you are a male you'd best step away from the monitor or choose a different post to read.

Ok where was I? AHHH Hip flexors and the Psoas and that lovely menopot, flat butt and now that I'm thinking about it upper front thigh pudge.

I owe the very fact that I hit on this concept to Teresa Tapp. She talks about the concept of fat developing in areas of muscle inactivity. There was at least one study that upheld this concept. I could try to find it and link to it and may at some point in the future but for now you'll have to google it yourself if you want to read it.

If you build upon her idea and think about the fact that loss of normal range of motion in an area results in muscle tightness which results in reduced range of motion and thus muscle inactivity you're thinking along the same lines I am.

As we age we tend to develop a decreased range of motion in our hip and low back. This happens for a few reasons but the most prominent one is a lifetime of cumulative sitting. Yet another reason can be the very crunches that so many of us perform in order to tighten our abs and get rid of the menopot. There's another factor, a more emotional factor with a ton more "whoo whoo" effect but let me plant the seed and leave it to blossom in another post.

Sitting and crunches both tighten the hip flexors, which includes the psoas. A tight psoas will limit your ability to truly and fully straighten your hip. If you think back to the concepts I talked about above that could allow more fat to accumulate around the area. A tight psoas muscle will also tend to tilt your pelvis, which in turn allows the content of your abdominal cavity to fall forward against your transverse abdominal muscle, which over time will begin to weaken under the load and protrude. Voila! Fatty pot belly AKA the good ol' menopot.

You might be thinking that the answer is to stop working your psoas. If it were only that simple. The truth is that for best function we want our psoas to be strong, balanced and flexible. But isn't that really the goal for our entire body?

I personally use a few synergistic approaches to reversing the postural distortion that comes about from tight psoas muscles. When combined with lifestyle change the result has been a steadily shrinking menopot - it's now more of a meno-speed bump and still shrinking. I'll talk about that more in part 3 but for now you can check out this exercise called Organs in Place. You can also check out this previous post about why OIP works.

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