One of the most important movements for quality of life.
Two weeks ago I made a little trip to Wales to take a bit of a break and change scenery because I was going a bit nuts being in one place for a long time. :) Since I intended for this to be my holiday, I took time off from my usual training. I still wanted to keep moving though so I decided to do a lot of walking.
I find my walks to be a king of meditation, helping me to clear my head and come up with new ideas. But walking is also one of the most crucial movements that we need to maintain until old age if we want to have a good quality of life! Most of the movement in our hips are generated or at least facilitated by our gluteus muscles. And here, once again, we touch on the evil of evils, one that most of us musicians tend to do a lot of, which is prolonged sitting.
What happens with our gluteus muscles when we sit in chairs for hours and hours? They get weak. What’s more, as the body adapts to the “new normal” which is sitting for a long time, we might also lose the neural input that makes our brain recruit these muscles in crucial movements like walking. This doesn’t mean that we stop using those muscles altogether, rather that we may begin to use a smaller portion of them – fewer of their fibers. This may also result in the movement being overtaken by other, smaller muscles which are less equipped to do the job. Over time this can lead to tightness, imbalances, and sometimes unnecessary wear and tear on our joints.
So while hip opening postures concentrating mainly on stretching that we love to do in yoga are brilliant, it is also important to work on engaging muscles like the glutes. It’s important that we look for variety in movement.