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Fancy Footwork

So here we are, almost halfway through the first month of 2017 and I've just seen that I've not published anything I've written since March last year!! Many a blog post has been started but for whatever reason they haven't made it to the website, so you may see a few appear over the coming weeks!

Anyway, though it already seems a long distant memory, I had a great time over Christmas and even managed to keep moving over a time when it can be easier to reach for another Quality Street green triangle. I spent some time down in the New Forest where I grew up and still have family and boy did it pull out all the stops. The weather was very chilly and frosty, but the sky was blue and there were some amazing sunrises, so out I went for my early morning runs to make the most of it.

I'm pretty religious about stretching and keeping things going regardless of where I am, but I must say, by the time the new year came, my right hip was feeling a bit dicky. I knew I was tight in certain muscles, but I could physically feel that there was some imbalance through my right leg from the hip to the knee, to the ankle, to the foot.

The day my son returned to school was the day that the studio re-opened for 2017. I actually had no real need to be in the studio that day and had a pile of admin to do which would have been better done from my admin cave (aka the kitchen table), but I just knew that I needed to get on the Reformer - I was literally champing at the bit to get in there as I knew I needed to do the "footwork" series in its entirety. I then did some "feet in straps", working on alignment but also enjoying the mobilisation of leg circles, followed by thigh stretch. I did of course deal with the rest of my body to get a balanced session, but walking out of the studio via lots of chats with lovely clients, my hip felt instantly better. I had balanced the muscles of the legs, I'd worked them in parallel (knees facing front), lateral rotation (hips turned out) and medial rotation (hips turned in). I had given them a good balanced stretch and I'd mobilised my hips. I was back to normal and since then have done my more usual routine of getting a quick session in between clients, the odd class if a machine happened to be free (though yesterday I only managed 5 minutes before the final client arrived so had to slope off to the 1:1 room!) and then today going in and doing the same sort of programme that I did last Wednesday.

The basic fact is, for my body, I know that I now need more than just a decent stretch after running than used to be the case. I need to be working all the muscles mindfully through both the concentric and eccentric contractions of a movement which the Reformer is so good for (concentric meaning shortening while contracting and eccentric meaning lengthening while contracting which the springs on the Reformer allows so effectively). I need to be strengthening the muscles that oppose the ones that are prone to being tight in order to allow those tight ones to release. Quite simply, the Reformer works. Not just for this particular dicky hip and its underlying imbalances, but for the whole body. Thankfully I managed to get back to it before my hip got too bad and now I'm all systems go for a Reformer-filled 2017!

Happy weekend everyone!

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