Body Sense

AUTUMN | 2015

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www.massagetherapy.com—your resource for all things bodywork 11 You may not realize this, but your gluteal muscles—those that make up your derrière—affect nearly every movement you make. Many massage clients only seek out gluteal massage work when they have a specifi c issue—a tight hamstring, for example. But you might want to think more broadly if you want to maintain your overall physical health. The truth is, dysfunctional gluteal muscles can be tied to low-back pain, shoulder issues, even foot and ankle problems. WHY THE GLUTES? Receiving massage work on your gluteal muscles is critical for several reasons. Consider your glutes as the force that connects your upper and lower body. As such, it impacts everything above and below it. "Working on the gluteals should not be confi ned to just clinical therapeutic work," says bodywork educator and Certifi ed Advanced Rolfer Art Riggs. "It should also be included in any full- body massage as a way to integrate the important connection—energetically and structurally— between the client's lower and upper body." What Are The Glutes? The gluteal group is comprised of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. These muscles stabilize the pelvis and spine and create powerful movement at the hip joint. As a group, they affect our posture and gait, and are crucial to most movements we make throughout the day. • The gluteus maximus is the largest, and one of the strongest, muscles in the body. It creates the shape of the posterior and is responsible for movement of the hip and thigh. • Under the maximus is the gluteus medius, a fan-shaped muscle that works to stabilize your walking gait, among many other functions. • Finally, the gluteus minimus sits underneath the medius, and is the smallest and deepest of the group. It works in tandem with the gluteus medius to create critical movements. The All-Important Glutes By Karrie Osborn { {

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