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  • Why do we start with the ground? What is the ground’s importance?

    Posted by Max on June 26, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    For those that don’t know, the ground decompresses the body. Performing exercises on the floor allows us to take complex movements and simplify them. When working on the ground, especially in the rocker position, we decompress the knees and ankles. In doing so, we are trying to elongate the fascial tissue by using the floor to stretch the tissue in different directions. That’s why when we first begin with ground exercises, it can feel tight when we get out of certain positions. If your ankles are tight in the seiza position (rocker position), doing the rocker position consistently will help promote more access in your ankles. The more you do it, the easier it becomes on your body and the more mobility you are creating in your ankles and hips.

    We always want to respect our body’s tissue and not do anything forcefully, especially when starting with groundwork. That’s why we use specific tips and tricks to ease the process. So, if you stand up or get out of a groundwork exercise, such as the rocker position, you will feel how tight the foot is and it might be tough to walk at first. That’s okay. You will notice that the tight/aching feeling will disappear after no more than 30 seconds; most will go away after 10 seconds. That is just your body acclimating to the new access it is enjoying creating. It’s almost like rolling out on a foam roller. It’s tough at times while you are rolling out, but after, it feels a lot better. It’s the same idea with groundwork. The more you spend time on the ground and in beneficial groundwork exercises, the more your body will decompress. You will also. gain mobility access to areas your body has never had before.

    Groundwork exercises also help our kinesthetic motor system jump back into natural movement. For most people that aren’t as kinesthetically gifted, starting with our “drop-in” position or the most advanced traveling drill is not the answer. Beginning with the basics is almost always the best idea, especially if you aren’t one-on-one in person with a coach. The reasoning behind the ground is that it targets an area of the body so you can master everything else before up-leveling the exercise. When someone is in the rocker position performing groundwork exercises, everything below the knee is taken away so that he or she can focus on making sure the hips and everything above the hip are mastered. Yes, the feet need to be in the upside-down Inside Ankle Bone High shape, but we always want to have the feet right when we exercise. We will talk more about IABH shapes in the coming weeks. Just to reemphasize, when we are on the ground in the rocker position, we are not standing on our feet and performing the exercises. Therefore, groundwork exercises simplify the body so that we can master everything from the hip up before going into standing.

    Some exercises may be a little intense on the knee or ankle region when starting with groundwork. Again, we never want to force anything when we are on the ground. So, there are a few tips and tricks to take some pressure off the knees and ankles. In the rocker position, put a pillow underneath your hamstrings and on top of your calves. The pillow between your legs will help decompress the knee more and take some pressure off the ankles. Another great idea is to use some tool to act like a seiza chair. Many of our students will place foam rollers between their legs in the rocker position. We advise all our clients to sit on a foam roller, med ball, or mini chair to help take pressure off the ankles and knees when sitting on the ground. Depending on what you use, it will allow the user to sit in the rocker position longer, helping to acclimate to the groundwork exercise. Lastly, in groundwork exercises and the rocker position, moving your hands closer to your knees will help take some of that pressure off the ankles. Absorb the weight in your shoulders by bringing your hands closer to your knees in the groundwork exercise. Your arms can absorb the pressure if the ground is too intense in the beginning.

    Comment with any questions you may have! Also, comment on your favorite groundwork exercise & why you love it!

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Max Mover.
    Max replied 1 year, 9 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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