Katie St Clair instantly drew me to her because she speaks my language!! She is speaking to women about the things that I preach to my clients about constantly. And that is MOVEMENT! If you have good quality movement, you are going to get the results you want!
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Katie is getting women to move by being creative. She is helping them through those, “ I can’t do it any more issues.” and getting them not only moving but moving correctly without pain and discomfort and getting the results they want. This is what I have been trying to preach to my clients at the gym for decades!! And ladies over 40, I am speaking to you… I know us ladies over 40 have some aches, pains, and creeks and I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT OUT OF THE GAME. You are not out of the game until you are in the coffin!!! So, get up and let’s get moving!
The issue we tend to see the most is a bunch of people trying to do this circuit boot camp style workouts, and I think the general public, they want to do this stuff because they have been told it will make them healthy and be able to move better.
But in all reality, it is pushing them into less movement that is healthy and creating more problems that make things harder to do with what they love! We need to re-educate you as to what needs to happen and WHAT EXACTLY good training is for people.
So how are we educating people to understand what is happening to their own body so they can make better decisions on their exercising programming and where they are going to go and who they are going to put their money with to train them??
This is when someone like Katie comes into play. She is someone you want to turn to when you need to understand what exactly is going on with your body and what needs to be trained correctly. For me, I personally took one of Katie’s programs after I had stomach surgery because I COULD NOT FEEL MY CORE! No matter what I tried and how hard I engaged, I could not feel it. And if I cannot feel it, how can I know I am working it properly? So, I turned to someone, like Katie, for help.
What I love that she does very well is that she takes the muscles that aren’t working so that the muscles that are working aren’t overworking and overcompensating for the muscles that aren’t working… There is not enough education out there on proper positioning which allows for all of the muscles to work. And once I was able to take what she taught me, I was able to engage and turn on my core again.
Let’s use pregnancy as another example. When you have a child, no one tells you what is going to happen to you when you have a child or what happens AFTER you have a child. They don’t tell you what your body does. They don’t tell you that you can have issues with your abs after called diastasis recti, or that all of your organs crunch up into your chest to make room for the baby and that you. And they sure as hell don’t tell you that it is MAJOR TRAUMA!
How many of my other mommies do I know that can’t feel their core because of a c-section or other disruptions that happened? How do you even know what is turned off? From a broad perspective, we can all as humans without a trainer learn what we need based on some own assessment measure we can do with ourselves. But really, we should be putting in as much effort as we need to lose weight and learn how to cook and feed ourselves with proper nutrients as we need to know what is going on with our own bodies. If you want to live an active joyful life, you need a body that will hold you up.
We get caught up in weight loss, and we fail to think about that if I were able to engage my core, how does that affect my weight loss. We don’t think in terms of that because it’s not sexy!!! People want to see this weight loss difference, not that someone can engage their core now!! Because externally you can’t freaking see it, so people think it doesn’t matter.
If I could give something to every general population client. I would teach them a few key things about pressure management and how to create a stable base, then you can do any workout you want and go to whatever workout you want. It’s simple, does not have to be complicated, but you have to start with that stable base.
One of the biggest things I saw from working with Katie, was that it has helped me be better at queuing my ribs and really looking at the rib cage. I totally feel like a lot of people can look at themselves in the mirror and when you lift, your ribcage is going up to the sky. Now what I have been doing is, I have been really conscious about bringing the ribs down to create pressure and work on the core when I lift things. It’s human nature, and we have all done it until someone points it out… You lift something over your head and your rib cage lifts up because no one has told you differently.
So how can you feel this in your own body?
Take an inhale through your nose and take a deep breath, where did the pressure go?
Now exhale and let all the air out. In the moment, where do you feel the movement happening? Can you connect with an exhale that is pulling the ribs back? Is it cinching the waist in? Is it putting your pelvic floor in?
We want this inhale 360, and the exhale compresses our entire rib cage, pulling our belly to a cinch, and allow our pelvic floor to come up. That is creating a stable platform for exercise so that when we exercise and inhale, we keep some of that tightness when we lift weights to help us manage the pressure when we lift the weights over our head. If you lose that pressure, then those workouts won’t be beneficial.
The biggest thing I want you to take away, that the breathing thing was the only thing that was missing from me getting my core back. I did everything under the sun, and I was like why CAN I NOT get this to engage. So just by switching my breathing, I was like holy shit it’s back! Just know, you don’t have to make it super complicated to use these concepts. This can be useful for all the people who are reading this or if you heard the podcast.
Movement is everything.
I know my population of 40 somethings has come to realize that movement is everything. But it’s the type of movement that can really make the whole difference. I have taken the workouts that Katie has given me, and I feel that those are more beneficial for us because I realized this is how I am supposed to line up and move. And we just simply don’t have enough of those or enough people to tell others this. Ladies is more about quality movement than getting your sweat on.
In these workouts, Katie tries to give some education about the body. If you can learn more while we workout, you can take that and use that at any time when you are holding your 5-year-old. If you just have a little awareness of where you are in space and how to manage that, that can make all the difference! You actually need to have a strategy.
If you’re just a busy person and don’t have time to exercise, you should still be strengthening your core. Because by strengthening your core, you are strengthening your whole body. While you’re literally like shuffling kids here and there and living the crazy life that I feel like women nowadays, we’re multitasking 24/7 and we probably need strategies to calm our system versus exercise strategies that are like getting us way up there. BUT we need a little bit of both, because moving and exercising are both supporting our nervous system, so we are coming into a present place.
What are the assessments to say to myself to check where I am with any of this? Am I doing good or not? Do I need more core work or what needs to be done?
So females with children.. Can you feel your deep abdominal muscles and your pelvis floor? (All of this will be active movement and your objective feeling, of your own feeling of your body.)
Lay down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground and get in a comfortable position. Then, all you would do is inhale through your nose, and sort of just let everything relax, don’t think much about it. In that inhale, you should feel your pelvic floor, sort of drop-down, or like there’s pressure pushing down into your pelvic floor, just pay attention to it. And then on the exhale, you’ll do a long sigh exhale, what you should feel is this building back up, so the pelvic floor is like a hammock and it’s sort of tightening. — On the inhale, we’re all coming together, and the parachute is dropping down and has less tension. Then on the exhale, that parachute is sort of coming up, and it’s building this tension into your abdominal wall. — And so, you can just lay down and see if you can feel and get connected to those muscles.
If you can, great, that’s number one! You’re probably able to find your deep abdominals, your core, and you’re going to set yourself up for all your exercises to be better by just taking an exhale before you start an exercise, literally two seconds. Or if you got a good exhale, maybe it’s eight seconds. Do this before each exercise.
If you don’t feel it, secondary, I would say stand up and reach towards your toes. There’s going to be one or two scenarios that are going to happen. You either are way far away from those toes, you can’t touch them at all, you can’t flex forward, OR you literally just fall over and fall on the floor. So in either of those scenarios, we need to give you what you don’t have!
Now, the person that can literally just fall over and palm the floor probably needs more stability. And that means that they need to find their hamstrings and lying on your back with their feet on the wall, you will need to find your abdominals. They will need to find that deep pelvic floor connection to sort of contract and get everything working together.
For this person that that can touch the floor, Katie recommends you to be put in a bridge position or a hip thrust positioning your pelvis and lifting your butt. You can feel your hamstrings and glutes. And then you would breathe air in and find that deep abdominal tension.
So, for the person that literally can’t move past their knees and they’re just stuck in that position. They need to learn to let go, they need to learn to breathe and expand into their back and feel this lengthening of all those tissues and get in a better position so that they can start to improve. And it’s not necessarily a stretch, it’s more like a stretching from the inside. So when we fall, you feel that expansion into your back, you feel everything.
For this person, Katie recommends going into Child’s Pose. Just sit back in Child’s Pose and feel that closing off of the front side and sort of expanding the backside. Start there, just breathe into your backside, get some kinks, stand up, redo your toe touch, and you should see some changes.
Another thing we see a lot that requires the core working is a prolapse. It is something that you have to work on with the core and breathing and trying different exercises. Do you go pee and you can’t hold your bladder, pain with sex, pain when working out or bending over. (Prolapse is SOMETHING ELSE they don’t tell women about that can happen when they have children.) This is another problem that women face from the trauma of childbirth and it needs to be worked on after. I did an entire episode on this if you want to check it out called “Who Else Wants To Know The Mystery Behind Pelvic Floor?” so take a listen if this is an area that needs to be worked on.
So what I am trying to get at from this recent podcast with Katie is, just because you can move doesn’t mean you can move efficiently. And the more efficient we are able to move, the less we will have aches and pains later in life. The less we will have those excused of “Oh, I can’t do this because of my shoulder bothering me, etc.” So many of us want this and we want to get our clients the ultimate results.
This is why we are so committed to working with women to do great things! Take time for yourself to take care of yourself. Make it so that YOU feel good and your BODY feels good too! Make yourself a priority if you are not feeling right about your body or something feels off. We want to help women feel good on the inside and outside and that is why we are so committed to helping you reach your goals and get to where you want to be to FEEL YOUR BEST!
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