The SI joint acts like a shock absorber (great article from Taylored Training and Fitness)

To my 11 faithful followers– thank you so much for sticking by this blog, even though I’ve probably been bombarding you with far too many posts this week!

Much of this blog is still a work in progress, and to an extent I’m still treating it as an open workbook where I post notes and ideas I’m working on.  Over time I’ll be able to see which types of explanations and resources seemed to work the best, and I’ll be able to refine my approach to create more educational materials.  (I’m also thinking of someday releasing an e-book on the SIJ).

Anyway, here is a really great article I found from Taylored Training and Fitness, that put into words some concepts I’ve been wondering about for a long time.

Important excerpts:

Shock absorption

“For a long time it was thought that the SIJ was immobile. It is a very inherently stable joint; however, it is now known that mobility and movement of the SIJ is not only possible, but also essential for shock absorption during weight-bearing activities.

This is a protective mechanism in the human body to alleviate some of the strain on the lumbar spine. What this motion looks like varies between individuals, but the quantity of motion is always small.”

Muscles do not act directly on SIJ

“There are a number of very strong muscles that surround the SIJ, including the erector spinae, psoas, quadratus lumborum, piriformis, abdominal obliques, gluteal muscles and hamstrings. Even though these strong muscles surround the joint, none of them actually act directly on it to produce active movements. Instead, movements are produced indirectly by gravity and by these muscles acting on the trunk and lower limbs.”

Muscle Imbalance

“Research published in Clinical Biomechanics in 1989 determined that muscle balancing is key, and in order to have optimal SIJ stability and movement you need to focus on what they called the powerful two.

What are the ‘powerful two’?
1. The gluteus maximus, a.k.a. your biggest butt muscles
2. Biceps femoris, a.k.a. your hamstrings

These researchers also determined that weakness in the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) and tight psoas muscles can lead to aberrant SIJ motion and loading.

This means that in order to correct a hypermobile SIJ, we need to focus on the surrounding muscles, especially those in the posterior chain, and correct any imbalances. Most commonly this means improving the strength of the gluteals, hamstrings as well as your lats (think upper back muscles) but individual cases do vary.”

Overall I thought this was a really fantastic article.  The owners of Taylored Training and Fitness seem to have really interesting, accessible approach to health and fitness, and have published some other cool articles you might want to check out.

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