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I am not a LEGO guy

My son recently created a LEGO masterpiece that included several little “guys” (hard to determine gender when all the pieces get interchanged freely…) doing a Restorative Exercise™ class. I would like to put forth the hypothesis that this was the first-ever LEGO Restorative Exercise™ gathering, but feel free to correct me if you have evidence otherwise. The guys were all positioned with one leg held out in front of them a bit- as if they’re about to take a step. However, this positioning brought up some issues for me. After all, I’ve learned quite a bit about gait and what’s optimal vs. what most of us actually do, and lifting one leg in front of you is NOT what I’d encourage. They ought to be practicing their pelvic list! It’s all the LEGO guys can do, however. They don’t have quite as many joints as a real person.

Lego RE

Yellow guy in front is having an issue with his elbows… or maybe it’s his shoulders?

If you look at an average guy, you can see they seem to have pretty great alignment when standing. Everything stacks up straight, no hyperkyphosis, no head held out in front of them, no pelvis pushed forward or ribs thrusted out. Their elbow pits are even facing forward! When standing up, they can hit all 25 points of alignment set out by Katy Bowman.  Good job, guys.

Alien Guy is demonstrating Lego Hip Extension.

Alien Guy is demonstrating LEGO Hip Extension.

They look good, but they’re a little stiff, no? More specifically, they don’t have the “strength” to (among other things) pelvic list– the motion of tilting your pelvis so that one foot lifts up off the floor with both legs straight. To be fair, they don’t have the right kind of hip joint to pelvic list, but I’m trying to make a point. Which is: Just because you can get your body into a specific position does not mean you have achieved Alignment. 

Gasp! 

Standing with my ear over my shoulder over my hip over my knee over my ankle isn’t Alignment? Well, it is and it isn’t. Those are (part of) a set of points we are shooting for when standing. But. The real goal is to have muscles and joints that MOVE the way they’re supposed to, and if you have those, then when you stand straight you’ll have the aforementioned alignment points. But just muscling yourself into a position (See?  I… can…. stand… like…. THIS…!!)   doesn’t create Alignment.

He's a bit frustrated...

He’s a bit frustrated…
No pelvic movement. Lack of lateral hip musculature? Maybe designer (rather than operator) error in his case.

If you are straining anything to get into that position, it’s not great alignment.

If you’re straining, there’s probably muscle tightness, or weakness, or an unyielding muscle, somewhere. Which means that, all the “posture” in the world isn’t going to make those tight, weak, stubborn muscles healthier. They need to be able to move.

So the stretches and exercises I teach as a Restorative Exercise Specialist™ are specifically designed to help coax those tight, weak, stubborn muscles into movement. And I’d be happy to show you some, if you come to a class or schedule a private session!

And if you don’t have the time or resources or location to make that possible, try one of Katy Bowman’s Alignment Snacks (click here!), which are half-hour classes each with a target muscle group. My current favorite is “Balance Using Lateral Hips,” which is exactly what these LEGO guys need. I guess we do have something in common.

**And before anyone accuses me of belittling LEGO guys, please know: Their alignment is perfect for who they are. I love LEGO guys. No criticism intended. 😉

 

1 Comment

  1. So cute and smart! I’m having nostalgia for Legos and wanting to practice pelvic list at the same time. Thanks!

    Reply

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