Butt Walks for Mobility

Butt Walks?

Butt walks, which I believe I made up and coined the name for, are my favorite mobility exercise. Though they are relatively easy to do, many find it does take attention to feel the positive effects. What I call “butt walking” is a great exercise for loosening up the pelvis and reducing low back pain and sciatica.

Before I get to the meat of this post, which I promised six months ago, let me tell you that it was again my choice to spend less time in front of the computer. Though it was an exceedingly wet and dark winter here in coastal Oregon, perhaps because of it, I realized I wanted to spend more time with people, instead of in my office. Of course, with the vitriol before, during and after the last election, my real world community has been healthier to be around than a lot of the online community. There is a lot of work to be done, but being afraid isn’t part of that. Encouraging fear is anathema to my beliefs.

Onward! How to do the butt walk.

When you ask people what body parts are used most in walking, most will say the feet and legs. In line with this understanding of mobility is the fact that most people restrict the use of their hips and pelvis in walking. The pelvis, however, is actually the keystone of human mobility. It is a beautiful, mobile, structure that is at the center of human movement. In my book I briefly touch on the reasons many men and women may feel consciously uncomfortable fully mobilizing the bones of the pelvis – basically afraid of sending out sexual signals of invitation that are unwanted. We do ourselves a disservice when this happens, consciously or unconsciously.

On the other hand, many people are simply unaware of how this midsection of the body works. BUT, you don’t actually need to understand it to do it. Most people have done or witnessed someone doing pelvic tilts – forward and backward. This is a bit different.

To experience this movement sit on the floor if you can, legs straight out in front of you. If you can’t get to the floor, sit on a long bench, or on a chair with your feet on another chair. Now walk forward on your “sitz bones”, by lifting each side and moving it forward, one at a time. Your knees can bend lightly, and you will slide or move your feet ahead as well. Now move backwards too. Try to do this from the hips, and not by leaning from side to side. Take your time. This is a great core exercise.

If your pants give you a “wedgie” while you’re going forward, you’re not lifting your sitz bones enough. If, when you move backwards, your pants want to come down, you’re not lifting your sitz bones enough.

Here is the best link I could find for a demo.  (You don’t have to keep your knees locked like she does, and I just keep my arms relaxed.) I’m sorry I don’t have my video set-up yet, lol.


If you’re interested in following up on my inspirations for this move, look up the work of:

  • Serge Gracovetsky, The Spinal Engine 
  • Gray Cook’s work in Functional Movement
  • Danny Dreyer and Chi Walking/Running

A little more catching up…

I am having a great time teaching classes in Tai Chi: Moving for Better balance. I can integrate may many years of martial arts training, exercise physiology, massage therapy, and my own aging challenges. Soon I will be teaching a regular beginning Tai Chi class.

I’ve also been taking Tribal Fusion Belly Dance classes with Janet Sutherland, who is my age. It’s amazing what we can continue to learn about our bodies and how we move them.

I’ve made time to visit a lot with a dear friend who passed away yesterday, My husband and I are working on some postural and pain issues he’s going through after feeling pretty well healed from his knee replacement. I’m staying busy in the house, garage and yard/garden with improvements. I’m part of an Enneagram study group made up of about twelve amazing people, and put out a monthly newsletter for my church, as well as a weekly blast. (Hmmm… choices.)

As I said earlier, it has become more important for me to spend time with my local friends and community, and maintain relationships here. My online presence is just not as important or rewarding. I do get tempted to just blog on ideas I have about other things than health, so we’ll see what comes up when.

I do appreciate my readers’ comments and friendships, but this blog may not end up being the best vehicle for me – at least not for now.




Build Balance and Strength By Strengthening the Big Muscle Groups

Since you are now adept at breathing and noticing we’ll move on to two exercises to improve balance and strength in the big muscle groups – upper and lower groups. Among the advantages of having strong muscles is that when we use them they pull on their attachments to bones, and that makes more and stronger bone.

There is no need to do a whole lot of different muscle building exercises (unless you want to).

We can do two exercises that can work the big muscle groups overall. I suggest some form of pushup for the big muscle groups of the upper body, and squats for the big muscle groups of the lower body.

Before you panic, Continue reading

Building Balance & Strength:

Breathe, Notice

As we age it is especially important to remind ourselves to breathe, notice exactly what we’re doing, and how it feels to do what we’re doing.

As we get older it is more difficult, and often more inconvenient, to fit a fitness program into our lives than it was when we were younger. It is also more important than ever to do so. Like Ashton Applewhite says in “This Chair Rocks” we must all be old people in training (OPTs). You have to train to be a healthy old person.

I’ll show you some simple exercises, or movements (because these are things we do everyday anyway) that can help raise your awareness about how you move, what’s slowing down or getting less functional, and how you might address that in a way that’s right for you. Continue reading