A lot of the exercises I recommend are what are known as Muscle Energy Techniques.
But what are they exactly?
Muscle Energy Technique (MET) a collective name for stretches or movements that aim to relax, lengthen and strengthen muscles by using a person's own effort and movement in the form of gentle isometric contractions. (An isometric contraction is where there is a contraction of a muscle but that muscle does not move.)
Whatever the issue, be a muscle weak, strong or tight and regardless of whether it is a primary component or secondary problem, it does not matter, Muscle Energy Techniques can often help.
MET is based on the concepts of Autogenic Inhibition and Reciprocal Inhibition.
1. Autogenic Inhibition (also known as Post-Isometric Relaxation) is where, immediately following a period of isometric contraction, the muscle that was being contracted (the agonist) becomes inhibited and more hypotonic (relaxed).
2. Reciprocal Inhibition on the other hand focuses on the opposite muscle (also known as the antagonist). Therefore when the agonist muscle is contracted, the antagonist (opposite muscle) becomes inhibited and hypotonic.
MET's introduce a temporary state of relaxation or inhibition and because of this it works well on muscles that are excessively tight with the primary aim being to release this excessive tension and restore normal length to the muscle.
That being said, METs also work to activate muscles that are not contracting the way they should be. In a way you could say that an MET is like a reset button for the body.
And the great thing about it is that you can do it yourself.
When I first came across METs many many years ago when I first trained as a Fitness Instructor, I dismissed them, believing that they couldn't possibly work THAT well. After all, they were gentle (doesn't something need to hurt to work?) and easy (surely they were too simple to have such an effect).
Oh how wrong I was.
Not only do METs help release excessive tightness but they can help to restore function, aid in pain relief and generally kick ass despite being one of the gentlest forms of exercise you will ever come across.
I only wish I'd been open to the power of METs all those years ago!
The video includes some METs that you can use to release your Pelvis. Hold each one for 10-20 seconds using roughly 20% resistance. This can be completed multiple times a day or as part of your warm up/ cool down.