pressing a man's jaw and cheeck

This is How Jaw Clenching Destroys your Glutes!

Hi team, I thought we might talk about some stuff that you may NEVER have thought of before. It’s the links that the body has in our myofascial and neural lines of the body, and this is all about the jaw and jaw clenching and its effects on the strength of your gluteus maximus. Being a part of the face, the jaw and the jawline are often perceived as a marker of beauty, but this facial feature is more than just a mere accessory. Our jaw is part of the alimentary system, as well as our defense system when we go into what is termed our VENTRAL-VAGAL social engagement which is part of Porges Polyvagal Theory.Clenching the jaw is a primal act and if you think about it, survival of having it traumatically removed is part of keeping our species alive. The same primal move it probably accessing our FREEZE reaction, one that comes from DORSAL VAGAL SHUTDOWN which generates from about 500 million years ago and can be linked to immobilizing emotionally also.When the FREEZE component occurs it reaches along the spinal nerves and dampens the full chain of muscles that will propel us forward, gluteus maximus being the greatest in this action, the hamstrings involved as well but to a lesser degree.

Our Jaws in the Modern Day

Moving forward 500 million years where we live in a world of ongoing stress, increased hyper-vigilance, high acid systems we see more and more people you clench or grind their teeth. These habits may have varying reasons, like stress, anxiety, or different types of arthritis. Too much jaw clenching may result in cracking of teeth, TMJ dysfunctions, headaches, tension and pain in the neck and head, and farther afield including the paraspinal muscles and muscles of the lower back. It is surprising how stress and/or chronic jaw clenching can have such a significant impact on our glutes, but that is the truth of it. There is an easy way to test this, but you must first have someone else around to help you.
  1. Lie down completely relaxed, and bend your right knee up, with your foot planted firmly on the floor.
  2. Have your friend attempt to lift up your right foot, while you use your glutes to resist.
  3. Now, clench your jaw, and have your friend attempt to lift your foot once again. Try to resist.
You will notice that your glute strength has been reduced significantly while your jaw is clenched. Jaw clenching not only affects the muscles near the face, it tends to reproduce right down to our lower bodies. People must be mindful of their jaws, as a bad jaw can lead to a multitude of pain and tension all over the body.You could also watch the full demo of this exercise in the YouTube video below.

woman stretching her legs

5 Best Post-Workout Stretches to Prevent Hip and Back Pain!

When doing any physical exercise at home, your main goal is to strengthen and tone your muscles. But after those activities, you always need to do stretches to allow your muscles to return to their normal resting tone. The 5 BEST Stretches to UNRAVEL Back and Hip Pain is what we will be discussing here in this article.But why is it important to make sure that after you have a full program or workout, you need to do stretches?In our previous articles, we have talked about the different benefits of doing a stretch especially on affected areas when you constantly sit down or in a stationary position. For today’s article, we will talk about why stretching is important after physical exercises and the 5 MOST beneficial ones that that TARGET regions that can cause back pain.But first, let me answer our previous question.

Why stretch after a workout??

Stretching is an important phase not only done before any physical exercise in the form of movement through full range to warm the tendons and joint capsules but more so after your workout or any strenuous activities that you did. This is crucial because it not only helps in boosting your flexibility but also helps you avoid the risks of injuries. It also decreases the muscle tension you create when you work-out and keeps your muscles in their preferred resting tone. What’s great about stretching after is that once completed, you’ll feel much more limber, movements more fluid, your joints will have better motion range, and you will be able to move through the balance of the day/evening feeling UNRESTRICTED.Now let’s get into our 5 powerful stretches i.e. "the 5 BEST stretches to unravel Back and Hip Pain" that you can do to keep your muscles flexible and in their normal tone. This is most especially applicable to those office workers, sedentary workers, drivers or anyone who works from home.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexor Stretches

So let’s start with the first two stretches on quadriceps and hip flexors.1.The first thing you need to do is to lie down on your side, grab your top ankle and pull it toward your buttocks, try to get your heel as close to your buttocks as possible.
  1. If you feel tightness in the hip region then focus more on pushing the hip further forward to target the upper portion of your thigh muscles.
  2. Hold that position for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds. And if you have chronic tightness, hold that leg for a good 1 minute.
  3. Do these steps for the other leg for 20 to 30 seconds or up to 1 minute if needed.

Glutes Stretch

Once you have completed both sides, now in your sitting position, you can now proceed to the next type of stretch for your Glutes.
  1. From your initial sitting position, lie down on your back and cross your right leg over the other.
  2. Bring up the left leg (so that it carries the right one up) towards your chest, grab that leg behind the knee and pull them both as close to your body as you can. You should feel a deep and wonderful stretch in your butt (Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Minimus).
  3. Repeat these steps starting by crossing the left leg over the right and really spend time exploring the tight areas of the buttocks any loosening those fibres.

Hamstring Stretch

The next set of stretches is for your hamstrings.
  1. Go back into a sitting position. This time straighten out your legs but make sure you don’t LOCK the knees. This needs to be a muscle stretch and not targeting the nerves.
  2. Then reach your arms out towards your ankles or toes with your both hands.
  3. Try to keep your back as straight as you can simply pivoting from the hip joints. You want to feel the stretch along the back of the upper leg, your hamstrings, and possibly your calves and avoid feeling too much in your lower back.

Inner Thighs Stretch

Now, let’s proceed to our adductors, these are the muscles of your inner thighs and can get extremely tight. Many people forget to stretch them but in my EXPERIENCE these groups can cause a lot of issues to the hips, buttocks and back. In fact when was the last time you stretched your inner thighs?????
  1. Now again in your sitting position, spread your legs apart as wide as you can, try to keep the feeling of your sit bones on the floor so you don’t roll into a low back curve. If it’s too difficult perhaps sit up against a wall to keep the back straight. You want to feel your adductors stretching.
  2. Reach out with your arms, hands, and with the straightest back you can manage try to get your elbows and possibly your chest to the floor. We can increase the effectiveness by targeting one leg at a time, grab one foot with both hands, lean your body down towards that leg. Rest into the stretch for 30 seconds. In this way you are also working on the deep rotator muscles around the hip joint.
  3. Repeat these steps into the other leg.

Pectoral Muscle Stretch

For our final stretch, we are going to focus on our chest. Our previous 4 stretches focused on the lower body but our chest muscles are so often tight from inactivity or post bench press types of weight training. We want to open up the chest region, stretch the pectoral muscles and underlying smaller rib stabilizers by using a foam roller.
  1. Lie down place your foam roller along the line of your spine, you should feel a little unbalanced because you are only one the roller and very little of your back is in contact with the floor.
  2. Open your arms wide and rest them on the floor, this will stabilize you, now you can feel the stretch, your chest is fully open. Feel the extension of your back as well and enjoy that wonderful stretch of opening up the chest and front of your shoulders.
So there you have it, the 5 BEST stretches to unravel Back and Hip Pain, in less than 5 minutes you’ve set yourself up for happy muscles.
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