Everyone has some degree of bad posture and body mechanics. You might not know this and it's pretty interesting. We all move our bodies in the same 5 common ways. Whether you are a top athlete or couch potato, the body in gravity, equals the same kind of compression, misalignment, weakness and pain in everyone.
3 PARTS TO THE BODY: Upper (lowest rib to the head) Middle (360 degrees around the core) Lower (top of pelvis to the feet)
Most men use their legs (Lower) for everything which is why their hips are tight. Most women stick their chest and butt out, (Upper & Lower) which leads to compression and pain in the low back.
The core (Middle) should actually be the first muscle group to engage in any motion. Just ask a Pilates teacher.
SIZE MATTERS (WITH YOUR HOOP): When and adult between 110 - 220 lbs uses a hoop that is too light (under 1.5 pounds) and under 10'10" circumference, or a hoop that is over 2 lbs, it puts great strain and torque on the body. I've seen this in thousands of people over the years. They move at a frantically rapid pace.... in the wrong area of the body!
LEARN THE TOP 5 in 5
Structural Misalignments Check Yourself Before you Wreck Yourself
1.) Frankenstein: Tipping the torso up and down. This mistake uses the upper 3rd in one rigid motion. hurts the lower back and the hoop will fall after a few rotations. It locks out the core so one cannot use it.
2.) Chicken: Thrusting the head and neck forward and back while pulling the elbows back. This mistake uses the upper 3rd (thrusting from the shoulders, ribs and neck). It pinches nerves and discs in the neck and compresses the mid back.
3.) Surfer: Trying to hoop with a stance wider than hip distance. If legs are wider than hips in any motion, it will limit range of motion in the hips and prevent one from being able to engage their core muscles. This mistake uses the lower 3rd (legs)
4.) Belly Dancer: Most common in hoopers. This mistake uses the upper 3rd (ribcage) in small circles. Contrary to many youtube videos - YOU DO NOT - want to ever - roll ANY part of your body in circles. Kind of common sense here, but you will be rolling and pinching discs whether you roll your ribs around your pelvis or roll your hips in a circle to try to keep the hoop up. ALSO, simple physics but the hoop is your wheel and it needs an axis (something which stays in a vertical plane) for the wheel to spin on. So if you try to move in a circular fashion, the hoop will not have anything to push against and fall.
5.) Camel: Most common in hoopers, yoga teachers/students. This mistake uses the upper and lower 3rd. The motion prevents one from engaging the core muscles. The hooper will stick the butt up. For the body to keep its balance, the chest will pop forward. (Similar to The Chicken) This compresses the whole spine and shoulder blades and pinches nerves and discs.
THE RIGHT WAY: Retraining your body to move the Right way takes time! Be diligent and patient.
1.) Don't move the upper and lower 3rd
2.) First just move your bones. Rock the hips side to side and or back to front.
3.) Then try using your core with the Belly Pump Method. When the weight of the hoop pushes into your gut, push into it. DO NOT thrust into your lower back and DO NOT lift your chest (which will compress your whole back) 99% of people make these 2 mistakes when trying this method. Practice isolating each 3rd and just move your middle. The action in the core muscles are a quick, powerful, repetative contraction IN TOWARD THE SPINE.