HEALTH Hold your position
Pain and discomfort blighting your training? It’s time to work on your PR
90-90 hip lift
“We start people in a lying-down position because it is the least threatening (neurologically). Once you have that mastered, progress through seated to standing. The brain’s perception of threat will lock movement down so working in ‘safe’ positions minimises that risk.”
Long seated exhale with reach
“Inhale and exhale five times. On the exhale, draw your ribcage inwards to compress the diaphragm.”
Deep squat belly breathing
“This exercise works the diaphragm into a neutral position while restoring it to a zone of apposition (mushroom shape). The squat also reduces the rotational pull the diaphragm puts on the rib cage and spine.” The human body is a finely tuned machine. Though most of the time things run smoothly, one negative change can throw the entire system out of sync. As a result, chronic pain and recurring injuries can prove difficult to overcome. Your solution? Postural restoration (PR).
Conceived by Ron Hruska at the University of Nebraska in 2000, PR challenges the traditional diagnostics and treatments given by osteopaths, physios and chiropractors by focusing on diaphragmatic breathing and the nervous system to aid recovery and improve health.
Hruska summarises that because the right hemidiaphragm is larger (than the left) and is located lower down in the body, when flattened (due to stress, or bad posture), it causes the body to be pulled forward and to the right with each breath. This in-turn has a knock-on effect as the brain is wired to keep the head forward and eyes straight, so the body naturally realigns to keep the head intact. This results in the overuse of one knee or one hip.
Third Space, based in London’s Soho, works with the UK’s only trainer qualified in postural restoration science, Luke Worthington.
Here, he reveals the four best PR exercises designed to realign the body and correct the diaphragm.
PRI wall squat
“This exercise takes the spine out of extension to reduce pressure on the sympathetic ganglion (the part of the brain that controls the ‘fight or flight’ response), allowing it to shut down.”
Flex the spine forward so only the middle of the back touches the wall. Stretch arm out on the exhale.
While holding onto a bar with an overhand grip, squat (bottom touching heels) before doing 10 deep inhales and exhales.
Use heels to push down against the wall, while your bottom should be around an inch off the floor.
Push down on your left heel so the exercise fires up the left hamstring and abductor.