Glut Max Activation Exercise

When the Illiopsoas is tight and overactive the opposing muscle (the Gluteus Maximus) is weak and underactive which is one of the major causes of low back and/or hip pain. By doing this week’s exercise of the week after stretching your Illiopsoas muscle

(the standing Illiopsoas stretch), you can decrease your chances of experiencing low back and/or hip pain by increasing the muscle balance between you Illiopsoas and Gluteus Maximus muscles.

Download the Glut Max Activation Instructions

Exercise of the week | The Standing Iliopsoas Stretch

Main objective: To lengthen the Illiopsoas muscle


  1. Stand with one leg bent and slightly forward.
  2. Internally rotate the back leg.


  1. Gently draw navel inward towards your spine. squeeze your buttocks, and tuck your chin and gently draw neck and head backward. (The draw-in maneuver)
  1. While maintaining the draw-in maneuver, slowly move your body forward until you feel a mild tension in the front of the hip being stretched.
  1. As a progression, slowly raise your arm (on the same side sane as the back leg) up an over to the opposite side, while maintaining your pelvis position. (fig.1)
  1. Hold the side bend position while you slowly rotate posteriorly. (fig.2)
  1. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  1. Repeat on the other side.

Make sure that you maintain the draw-maneuver during this stretch. This will reciprocally inhibit the Illiopsoas muscle, allowing for greater lengthening of the Illiopsoas muscle.

Download diagram and instructions for Week Five Standing Illiopsoas

Core Stabilization: Floor Prone Cobra

The floor cobra is one of the best exercises to reverse the forward head position and to strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades.

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  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance
  • Safer Everyday Movement

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Core Stabilization: The Bridge

Core Exercise Three:The Bridge

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  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance:
  • Safer Everyday Movement

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Exercise of the week | Core: Marching

Core Exercise Two: Marching

To improve the functional capacity of the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis.

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  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance:
  • Safer Everyday Movement

View detailed instruction >

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

Core: The Drawing-In Maneuver

The main objective: To stabilize the spine. This is first of a series of core stabilization exercises that are design to activate and strengthen the muscles that stabilize your core. It is essential that you learn how to correctly do this exercise before going to the next week’s core stabilization exercise. Download the diagram & details >

This move:

  • Alleviates Back Pain
  • Improves Posture
  • Better Athletic Performance
  • Improved Balance
  • Safer Everyday Movement

Download the diagram & movement details

Trigger Point Body Work - How To Identify Them


Trigger Point Body Work - How To Identify Them

Trigger Point Body Work – How To Identify Them

Trigger points are a common cause of pain and most people will have pain points and many people will have trigger points that are so severe that they are debilitating and ruin the quality of life for the person.  A trigger point is attached to a sensory nerve along to the spinal cord and straight back to the muscle cells.  They create complex patterns such as walking, sitting and millions of other motions and activities.  

Trigger Point Body Work – How To Identify Them

When this arc starts to malfunction the trigger points start to spasm which causes pain and discomfort. The muscle spindle starts to fire unnecessarily.   It is often a small area of spasm.  Inside the muscle is a trigger point complex which pulls a taut band in the muscle which feels like a guitar string in the muscle. You can see striations in the muscle.

When you see trigger points there is a contraction in and you can’t see the striations in the muscle which is a contraction  or a knot.  This contraction knot is a trigger point complex.  The trigger point sets off a pain pattern which is specific to each trigger point.

One example of this is the muscle that goes from the top of the muscle which goes to the top of the neck.  Pinch this area hard enough until you feel pain.  The pain usually goes upwards.  This is often the pain pattern you see.  The pain is often dull, achy.

Another common trigger point is in your gluteal muscle which can radiate down the leg.  Trigger points can cause pain in your face, gluts, chest, back or all over your body.  Trigger points are the basis of chronic muscle pain and they occur very commonly.   They are cause by a muscle reflex misfiring and they can be treated successfully.

Trigger Point Body Work Technique – How Do You Find Them

A trigger point is an area of low neurological activity when stimulated becomes an area of high neurological activity with or without a pain referral pattern.   You can find trigger points with the tips of the fingers.  If you close your eyes and and thumb and run the finger over the tips of your thumb you can become very sensitive to different sensations in the body.  If you touch very gently then it is not likely to be a trigger point.  If you lift the skin up and if you squeeze there and it hurts it can be something in the skin or the tissue but it’s not a trigger point.

You then want to feel the fascia which is a covering underneath the skin but over the muscles.  If there is not tenderness there then it’s not a trigger point.  The muscles fibers are underneath this layer.  You are feeling for a tight band within the muscle.  When you feel that band, you can become aware that there might be tender point or a thickening in the band and you might feel tenderness there.  Then you can start to focus in on this area like a radar.  As you press in firmly, you might feel something vague that is tender and there might be swelling.  All of those factors make it a trigger point.

Trigger Point Body Work – How Does Massage Therapy Help

You want start to work the trigger point therapy at area of insertion of the muscles.  It may or may not have a referral pattern.  When you find the spot as you start to palpate you might feel some intensity.  As you press down on this area, it might start to get more intense.  As you press down on it you should feel like the pain is getting less or it should feel like the pain is lessening.  If that is not happening then you should decrease the pressure on the points of the body.

Trigger Point Body Work – For Chronic Pain Relief

Trigger Point Therapy can be used for all kinds of chronic pain such as shoulder pain, headaches, neck pain as well as back pain.  You want to start to find the trigger points on the top of the head and press for about 10 seconds and check for intensity to lessen.  You want to check for tenderness and sensitivity.

Massages for Golfers - Treatment of Elbow Pain

Massages for Golfers - Treatment of Elbow Pain

Massages for Golfers – Treatment of Elbow Pain

Golfer’s Elbow – What Is It

Medial Epicondylitis is also known as “Golfer’s Elbow” is a condition where micro-tears occur in either the musculotendinous junction (muscle to tendon attachment) or tenoperiosteal junction (tendon to bone attachment) of the flexor muscles, resulting in pain and inflammation of the affected tendons.

During repetitive stress kinds of motions such as keyboarding there is a different kind of stress to the muscles and joints.  In golfer’s elbow, when using the muscles to grip all day long, the flexor muscles are being tensed all day long.  This is a muscle group that is short and tight and does not have a lot of elasticity or “give” to it such as the extensor muscles.  When it forced into hyperextension this causes a lot of stress to is.  The weakest point of this muscle group can become inflamed.

Massages for GolfersTreatment of Elbow Pain

Common treatment practices include long-term rest, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections, but all of these treat the symptoms, not the actual condition.   Better long term solutions in order to treat the cause of the dsyfunction is physical therapy or massage therapy with on-going regular sessions.

By performing a simple massage, stretch and exercise routine, you can eliminate Golfer’s Elbow in a few, short weeks.  There are micro tears at the medial epicondyle which you will want to relax.  You want to mildly stretch these muscles.  You still want to do some stretching and flexing in order to stretch and strengthen these muscles.  You can massage the medial epicondyle which is the inner part of your lower arm.  This will help create length in the flexor group. When these muscles are relaxed and not so tight, then this will reduce some of the pulling on these muscles.

How To Relieve Golfer’s Elbow with Massage

The other massage move you can do is to stretch your wrist out and then flex your thumb back in order to get some stretching on the other parts of your forearm . Do three sets of four of these exercises.  You also want to stretch your pronator group muscles.     Bend your elbow towards you and stretch your thumb towards you.

Another movement you can do is to extend your arm out and bring your forearm towards you.  Extend your arms and hard towards you and away from you in  order to take stress away from the medial epicondyle.

Ulnar deviation is another exercise you can do.  Extend your arms out and then rotate your wrist turning from one side to the other.  This will strengthen your pronator and extensor muscles.

Another exercise you can do is a palm-up with elbow moving exercise.  Just extend your arm out and then bringing your palm toward you. This will relieve compression and muscle tightness.  You want to do a few sets of these but not overdo it as your muscles are regaining strength and mobility.

Golfers Elbow – Contacting a Massage Therapist or Doctor

It is best to contact a bodyworker that is trained in pain management or a health care provider in order to properly treat and diagnose your condition.  Be wary of any provider that simply wants to prescribe pills or a cortisone shot in order to manage the symptoms of golfer’s elbow which doesn’t deal with the root biomechanical and anatomical cause of the pain.

Hip and Knee Pain - ACL and Patellar Femoral Tracking Disorder

The Connection Between Hip and Knee Pain

Hip and Knee Pain - ACL Injuries and Patellar Femoral Tracking Disorder

Hip and Knee Pain – ACL Injuries and Patellar Femoral Tracking Disorder

As the weather gets nicer, many people want to get outside and start exercising such as running or jogging which ends up resulting in more visits to doctor’s office due to knee and hip pain.  Many people don’t understand the connection between hip and knee pain and why they often two common pain symptoms that happen simultaneously.

There ends up being a sharp increase in the number of lower extremity running related injuries such as hip injuries to the knee and injuries to the foot or leg.

The connection between those areas and what you can do to try to help prevent those on your own. As well as what you can do if you do have injuries there what you can do to fix them.

Hip and Knee Pain – Sitting In A Chair All Day and Weak Muscles

People that go out and try to run after they’ve been sitting in a chair for most of the day. The body will tend to try to accommodate any container that it has been in most of the day.   If you spend a good bit of our day in chair just sitting at a desk, the body will get cues that your body should be shorter so when you stand up you won’t completely extend in the hip.

On the back side of the hip are the hip extensors, which are your butt muscles or your gluts.  If the muscles on one side of the joint are tight than the muscles on the opposite side of the joint can’t function fully and quickly and that hasn’t great number of consequences when discussing hip and knee pain.

This ends up resulting in hip extensor shortening.  If you look closely at the hip flexors you will see the front side of the spine, especially the lumbar area such as the psoas major and psoas minor. The attach to the upper part of the hip flexors and the thigh bone. When those muscles shorten which are attached to the hip flexors, the gluteal muscles or the hip extensors but the muscles don’t work as well.  The gluts will work well as cushions to sit on but not something that will help get you down the running trail.

The fiber orientation on the gluteal muscles extend back down the legs and rotate the foot externally back.   So as these muscles are shorter and weaker they will extend back and rotate the foot out which will make the foot track out towards the midline.  So that person with the inhibited gluteal muscles tries to squat and rise you can see their knees collapse towards the middle or the midline. That is not a safe and healthy knee position.  The knees were meant to be a hinge joint.

Hip and Knee Pain – ACL Injuries and Patellar Femoral Tracking Disorder

If unhealthy movement patterns happen slowly and repetitively in a runner that can cause a condition such as patellar femoral tracking disorder as the kneecap is pulled across the front side of the knee. If that happens quickly and sharply with a cutting move such as a soccer player that can cause an ACL tear.

So you want to keep the hips working properly by having healthy, and stretched gluteal muscles.  You want the knees working directly above the ankles so that the knees can track well. There are various exercises for strengthening and stretching than can help with your gluts, psoas, hip flexors so that you knees can track properly and you can avoid pain.


Shoulder Girdle Pain - What Causes It

Shoulder Girdle Pain

Shoulder Girdle Pain and How To Treat It

Shoulder pain is a very common complaint responsible for millions of doctor visits, acupuncture visits and massage therapy visits each year.

Shoulder Girdle Pain – What Causes It

After back pain and headaches, it’s one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal pain complaints for patients. Pain in the shoulder can come from hundreds of causes.  Often the cause of the pain is a mystery to the patient since it has often been affected for years and sometimes as long as a decade. Nerves are responsible for messaging and signaling pain, and the shoulder area and the surrounding anatomy is covered by a dense network of nerves and muscle fibers.

Many of the nerves in the shoulder area are on their way to other sites in the body.  Often pain or injury in body part is felt in another area such as when a nerve in the back of the head can cause neck pain or a headache in the front of the forehead.  This is called referred pain.

Shoulder Girdle Pain – How To Treat It

Successful treatment of shoulder pain really depends on accurate diagnosis from your doctor or healthcare provider and correctly identifying the cause of the pain. An accurate diagnosis is the most integral part in correcting and eliminating shoulder pain.

Discomfort in this anterior chest area can possibly have referred pain from the cardiovascular areas such as the heart or the respiratory area such as the lungs, or digestive system such as the GI tract.   Cervical spine (neck) issues can refer pain and discomfort to the upper chest region also.

Shoulder pain does not often refer to the upper chest wall itself.  There are a significant number of nerves around the pectoralis major tendon that are coming out of the neck area that go behind the  clavicle, also called the collar bone on their way down the forearm along the chest wall.

So it’s easy to imagine that pain in this region can result from referred pain from this rich network of nerves traveling behind the coracoid and pectoralis minor.

Shoulder Girdle Pain – The Connection To The Rotator Cuff

We can see a significant number of nerves passing by the area of the biceps on their way down the arm. Cervically mediated pain can be referred here, pain from other chest wall abnormalities, and certainly shoulder pathology itself can also be referred as anterior shoulder pain.

The other part that can result in interior shoulder pain is a problem with the subscapularis which is the hidden part of the rotator cuff because it’s so often missed.

Occult shoulder instability can also present primarily as anterior shoulder pain. As we move on to the posterior aspect of the rotator cuff here we see the infraspinatus and the teres minor, and typically, pathology here will result in posterior shoulder pain.

 Shoulder Girdle – Causes Of Pain

Posterior shoulder pain has many different causes, tightness, muscular strain, referred pain again from the cervical spine, also referred pain in this region can come from a pinched nerve in the shoulder such as the supra-scapular nerve.

There are a large number of deeper, supportive muscles connecting the shoulder girdle to the remainder of the skeleton and a strain or sprain in any of these can result in pain in the upper back in addition to the posterior shoulder and back pain.

So it’s important to see that the shoulder girdle fits within the overall skeletal system and you can imagine if there’s abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine that might make the shoulder blade tilt forward further creating impingement and shoulder pain.