If every day from the time you were two, you squatted down low to “do your business”, you would have a felt sense of the value of using those strong, stable hips to do the work of bending. For better or worse (mostly better!) we started using toilets, and we stopped squatting as part of
Boulder is full of very fit folks, but fit though they are, I often see runners whose knees collapse to the center as they run, walk or squat. It looks painful, and honestly, it probably doesn’t feel so good either. Here’s the confusing part: they may have done monster walks and clams ad nauseam, their core
Exercise is making headlines every day. And, living in Boulder, I witness and participate in a spectrum of strength and cardiovascular exercise. Some people exercise for hours and hours each week, or even hours and hours each day. Some of those folks like to compete, while others are happy to be outside just enjoying the day. So, what is the BEST way to exercise? What kind of exercise is BEST? How much exercise is BEST?
“If I hear one more person tell me to do the clam, I might just scream.” says my sister Barbara. Barb is an MD in Seattle and she has seen a few PTs over the years. They have all given her “the clam” to eliminate knee and back pain. She has done the clam over and over, but alas, the pain persists and it has stopped Barb in her tracks whenever she tries to run. She has another doctor friend who is hindered by Iliotibial band (ITB) pain while on the bike. He has been told to do the clam, but that’s not working for him either.
If an exercise seems easy, check your form. There is probably something missing, and it is probably your attention.
One exercise frequently given to physical therapy patients is called The Clam. The exercise helps you` learn to differentiate the ball and socket motion of the hip from the rotational movement of the spine and pelvis. It also helps to strengthen the gluteal and rotation muscles deep in the back of the hip. The Clam demands core strength, but most of all it requires attention.
My children have reached an age where we can ski as a family for a few runs. The runs tend to be cruisers – easy-going groomed green and blue trails. So I found this was a great opportunity to work on technique. I unweighted one leg and skied on the other to check for symmetry. My left leg felt strong and stable and I was able to change directions and hold an edge. Immediately after switching my weight to the right, I almost collapsed.