Lesson 3: Coactivating

Last week was all about raising your awareness of compensation patterns. You learned how to identify 3 compensation patterns:

  • Shifting
  • Gripping
  • Tilting

Quick Question

Did you notice how each of those 3 things came into play in your gluteal muscles as you went about your week?

Indeed, your ability to recruit your core and gluteal muscles properly is mostly related to how your spine and pelvis are positioned. It all relates to each other and to your legs, arms and entire body!

This week’s theme is: Co-Activation

Everything is connected. This third lesson of MEA 3 is all about creating co-activation, and the focus workouts for this week will help you feel that happening!

Here’s a cool fact about your core: It will co-activate with other  muscles all by itself with no thought from you IF you aren’t dealing any dysfunction.

This week’s workouts are: Balanced and 21 Tone-Up

They will really highlight how our gluteal muscles help us achieve balance and co-activation among all the working groups in our bodies!


 

Creating Coactivation

 When compensation patterns threaten co-activation and keep it from happening naturally, here are 3 ways you can start recreating co-activation between your glutes and core:

1. Eliminate patterns that prevent co-activation

I’m fairly certain that after last week’s lesson on compensation, you started noticing yourself compensating a lot.

Maybe that discouraged you and frustrated you, but here’s a truth: Patterns are repetitive, and so is correction.

When you notice your butt gripping, your pelvis tilting, and your weight shifting forward over and over, those are opportunities to use your muscles to align you body correctly over and over.

And over and over and… which can feel like you’ll never get it right.

At first you’ll find yourself correcting your compensation pattern 89 times a day, but before you know it, you’ll only be correcting 53 times a day, then 41 times – then back to 49 because everyone gets sick or you go on a long trip that throws you off – but then you get back into your regular routines and it drops to 39 times a day, then 27, and then just a few times a day…

2. Line up opportunities for co-activation

Line your body up right so the right muscles can do the right jobs at the right times.

Then – and I promise this will happen – one day, you’ll find yourself naturally ungripped and aligned without thinking about it.

The muscles that are attached to your pelvis cannot function right if your pelvis isn’t aligned with your legs and spine right.

This is why I hyper-cue alignment in ALL the workouts on Fit2B.

Some people have asked me to stop talking about alignment so much in every workout.

They want me to just teach the moves and shut up.

I cannot do that.

The second I do that, we all get sloppy.

Because it’s not about the moves.

It’s about HOW you do the moves.

It’s not about doing. It’s about being.

  • Being in good alignment.
  • Being consistent.
  • Being aware.
  • Being a stronger contributor to your family, community and world.

You have to reprogram your brain and body to see every movement as a chance to bless or hurt your body.

As good alignment becomes habitual, you’ll notice more and more how your core and glutes both work together and separately as needed!

3. Consciously create co-activation

Here is one simple way I want you to mentally connect your core and glutes on purpose this week:

Grip at the bottom, not the top. Whenever you are sitting down or using the toilet – right before you stand up, I want you to do the following:

  • take 1 extra second to plant your feet shoulder width apart
  • exhale to engage your core up and in
  • purposefully flex your side hips and bum
  • AND THEN stand up strong
  • finish in perfect standing alignment with no gripping, tilting or shifting at the top.

To demonstrate more of what I’m talking about, here is an old “Beth in real life” or “BIRL” video that shows my bum in various alignments.

Yes, you heard that right. I’m going to show you my backside. Don’t worry, I have clothes on: leggings and a sweatshirt. We’re cool here.

Okay, now as you go through the focus routines this week, pay close attention to when your glutes and abs are working hard at the same time compared to when they’re not. I’ll be cueing your alignment, so as long as that’s in place, you should notice some natural co-activation.

It will happen more and more as you improve your alignment and one day soon – if not already – you will feel muscles switch on and do their thing without you prompting anything. That is a super exciting moment, friends!

That’s all for now, folks! Have a great week!

Here’s to Great Glutes,

Beth & The Fit2B Team

P.S. Next week is about Coordination! Because when your glutes and core co-activate nicely, they can create some fascinating coordination patterns!