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Exercise for Sway-Backs

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I recently developed a movement exercise that dramatically helps reduce anterior lumbar sway in people whom I call the “fourth body type”. These are people who are overweight, have large over-developed gastrocnemius muscles, large, over- developed quadriceps, deep anterior sway of the lumbar spine, and round faces. (They differ from Jan Sultan’s “diplomat type” who have a posterior lumbar spine and tightness in the piriformis.)

In addition to working on everything else in the sixth session, notice what happens to the lumbar curve when you give them isotonic tensing of the gluteus maximus muscle. Have them lay on the stomach. Work one side at a time. Have them bend the knee as much as possible. Then lift the knee off the table a half inch is enough. Keep the anterior superior iliac spine on the table to keep them from substituting other muscles to lift the leg. Hold for thirty seconds or as long as they can hold out. Give them a pat on the head, even if they hold it for only ten seconds: it might be the hardest thing they have done with their muscular skeletal system in years. After thirty seconds on each leg, stand ’em up and look for the changes, especially in the lumbar spine. If you want to, you can give them a yoga stretch after the strengthening. To stretch the right gluteus, sit upright on the floor. Place your right foot over your left knee. With your left elbow, push your right knee to the left. Now, twist your waist and face to the right. You look like a pretzel, but it works.

Isotonic tensing balances muscle tone. It can be used effectively on hyperor hypotonic myofascial units.

Stanley Rosenberg is a Certified Rolfer in Silkeborg, Denmark.Exercise for Sway-Backs

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