Imagine driving down the 401, it’s pitch black, and you’re trying to stay in the centre lane. How could you expect to do that when you can’t see clearly? Firing up a sleepy muscle is a bit like driving in the dark.
Many of us have muscles that are lying somewhat dormant, not awake enough to do their job effectively. A common example is the gluteus complex. Students often come in with sleepy glutes, maybe from the health complications of a desk job, poor gait, or from ineffective use of their hip flexors. Worse, many have been doing glute bridges for months and are still not seeing results. It can be extremely frustrating, even demoralizing.
Luckily, we have highly-effective tools to help us find our way in the dark.
We draw some of these tools from The Franklin Method, which we pair with many of our fitness and exercise regimes at Inhabit. For example, we call up our proprioception sense by tapping, brushing, or ball rolling a muscle group to help us find it and map it for our brains. Exercise becomes much more effective if we can “feel” a muscle group first. Another technique is to locate a muscle’s place on the body using bones or diagrams, then finding the muscle on our own body. Again, pinpointing a muscle helps us see it in our mind and engage it more effectively.
Mindless exercise will only take you so far and there will be little functional crossover in your daily life. Over time, being present while you exercise, imaging and finding muscles, means your whole system will be awake and strong. It will be there for you regularly – whether you’re in the studio, or walking to your desk.