Those Pesky Ribs – Poppin out all over the place!
Those pesky ribs. They poke out of your client! And what do you tell them? You say “Close your ribs”. I don’t mind saying that that is simply bad cueing.
What?! How rude of me! How terrible! What an insult! I just told you that you cue badly!
It’s just that it’s mindless cueing. You were taught to say that, but whoever taught you didn’t understand well enough. It’s time you understood so you can progress. Your think your clients’ ribs are open, but there’s nothing to close. Consider what’s really going on:
You see ribs poking out of the front of your client’s body. Do you also see the tight middle back? Do you understand why the ribs are poking out of the front?
Ribs poke out because abdominals are weak and back muscles are tight (and weak) and the breath is incomplete. Yup.
So, what needs to happen?
We must remember that abdominals run around from the spine all around to the front of the body. They also run up and down and criss-cross from the pubic bone and pelvis all the way in to the lower ribs. Ah ha! The lower ribs! We have abdominals there…in those ribs!
So, we need to cue our clients to connect in to their abdominals all the way in to their lower ribs.
That middle back. What do we do with that? We have to cue our client to breathe in to their backs! If they stay strong in the front, then they can use their lungs to stretch their backs and sides from the inside out! It takes breath to open the back like this! Yes…it’s a coordination that takes strength of body and mind. It takes time to develop.
So, connect in the abdominals all the way in to the lower ribs, breathe in to the middle back and…lengthen up! Yes…always lengthen. Another action to coordinate.
There are 3 actions! (More, actually, but 3 that are easy to see!) Connect in your upper abdominals, breathe in to your middle back and lengthen your spine up!
Wow! That’s what I call “an expensive cue”. It’s a cue that takes effort and understanding on the part of the teacher and effort from the client. It takes time for your client to accept the cue and make changes, but that’s why it works.
“Close your ribs” doesn’t work. All it does is reverse the incorrect curve in to another incorrect curve. Instead…take time to understand what the pathology of the imbalance is and give corrective cues that work. You will not see immediate changes to the ideal spine. Of course not. It takes time. They will approach the ideal over time.
Be patient. Cue wisely. Allow your client to develop.
With that…there is no need to even cue this rib/back/breath connection until your client has a really good command of her/her abdominals already. Without this connection will just suffer in confusion and frustration…and so will you. This is a solid intermediate cue. It’s multi-tasking and demands a great amount of coordination, concentration and abdominal strength to achieve.
I highly recommend coming in for a session and feeling what it is that I’m talking about. I will gladly teach you this with my words and hands. This works. Not just for the short term, but for the long term, balancing your client’s body when the client is ready for this complex cue.
It’s all about the long term. No one gets the ideal of any exercise or cue immediately. No one. Give quality cues that as a team you and your client will work with to develop over time.
***As always, if you wish to have a dialogue about this subject or any other, e-mail me or comment on this blog! Thank you for reading! I clearly enjoy writing!***
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