08 Nov 2022 Should I Squeeze my Glutes when I exercise with hypermobility?
Squeezing, pushing, pulling – all words I try to avoid when teaching my hypermobile clients. Why – because they tend to put more tension into the body rather than helping someone move with ease and less pain.
Let’s take the Bridge as an example. We’ve probably all tried a Bridge – often called a Glute Bridge. Were you told to squeeze your glutes when you did it?
Bridges have many benefits in a hypermobility exercise programme. It reminded me of a question that came up in The Zebra Club members forum – should I squeeze my glutes in a bridge pose? The member had noticed I never cued ‘squeeze the glutes’ whereas every other person in the past had always said to. And the bridge always pinched the back.
My answer is no. In fact, I never use the word squeeze in any of my videos. I avoid words that have implications of force like push, pull or brace. These put tension in the body and a hypermobile body probably already has way too much tension just trying to operate normally. Why put more in when exercising?
I also avoid the whole squeeze glutes in a bridge because it blocks the integrated movement of the body. (Plus, it can cause tension and pinch the back.) The bridge is a fantastic opportunity to build communication up from the feet to the pelvis. Very useful in walking. The weight of the feet into the ground helps lift the pelvis off the floor. The whole system is lifting the body up – not one group of muscles of the glutes. Why inhibit the function by squeezing?
Think of the consequences of squeezing the abs when you have hypermobility? Created abdominal pressure, restricting movement around the pelvis, creating breathing pattern disorders, pelvic floor issues and so much more. You can read more on this in my book Hypermobility Without Tears. And also my YouTube video called The Truth About Stability.
I believe we need to teach the body to respond naturally to the forces placed upon it. Easy, fluid movement. But if we persist with squeezing and bracing, that’s not achievable. And it can lead to more pain.
What’s your experience of a Bridging?