Forum / Let's Discuss! / core activation: multifidus and gait

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On: November 18, 2014 12:33 PM
I found week two of the Mat Refresher Course Core Activation quite interesting. Could you please talk more about the exercise which activates the multifidus (and psoas) in gait? Are there books you might recommend on gait? Thanks much.
On: November 19, 2014 18:30 PM
Hi there Alesia! I am happy you are enjoying your mat refresher course! Watching your client's gait patterns tell you so much about how your clients organize their body in gravity. Gait can be a observation diagnostic that can lead to wonderful new awarenesses for you and your clients. In our studio we often have our clients walk around in a casual manner so we can pick up on the subtle compensations that happen without the client correcting. This can lead to great inspiration in movement reeducation choices that are custom catered to your client's unique patterning. As for the psoas and the multifidi, these muscles are so important to easy fluid gait for a variety of simple and complex reasons. To keep it on the simple side, think of the multifidi and the psoas muscles as four plump soldiers that stabilize and gap the sections of the spine where they attach. Optimally you would want their tone and tune to be similar so that the vertebrae and disc space is pressurized equally. This aids in creating the space that is needed for the rotation and counter rotation in the spine and pelvis for gait. If one multifidi or side of the psoas muscle is locked up, this will lead a habitual stabilized spinal rotation which can impede gait as well as many other ranges of movement. In healthy gait patterning the core muscles of the body turn on and off in a spiralic manner, easily shifting weight, force, and work between each other in harmony and with ease. This is why it is so important to train this musculature in a detailed and subtle manner as best to reinforce the symphony of activation that is demanded for walking. I hope this helps you to understand gait a little more, and keep the questions coming! Much Love, Casey Marie Herdt
On: November 22, 2014 11:43 AM
Hi again! I have been thinking about books on gait... Anything from Eric Franklin who talks about osteo-kenetics or bone rhythyms would be a great read. Also,Mary Bond's book "New Rules For Posture" would be fabulous too. You can check out her workshops on our website as well as Leslie Powell's pelvis and femur workshop! Both would be a great resource! As for the MJ "walking multifius" exercise in the refresher this is just a demonstration of how the multifidi fires in gait helping to stabilize the rotation of the spine in walking. Of course you are not actually palpating the multifidi here because those muscles are much deeper into the body. But this demonstration gives you a great sense of how these muscles plump up to help gap the joints of the spine for better movement. This can also really show you how most humans walking the earth have a discrepancy between the activation of the right and left side of the spine! No wonder there are so many back issues walking around in the world! And no wonder people come into us. It is great to think of the multifidi as the life line, or kite line up the spine... The place where are core structure of the torso unite and counter gravity. This isn't a forced contraction but more of a gentle tensioning for axial elongation. Exactly what we are looking for in all of our movements, inside and outside of the studio! Hope this additional info helps! Much Love, Casey Marie Herdt
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