The Migas Project, Diagnostic Session #1 Holly

As I sat down with Dan and Holly for our first session I was very excited to see their level of motivation. This is always a major factor in the success or failure of many training programs. Trainers understand this with each new client they get. Those that come in motivated are much easier to work with than those who are not. This does not mean someone who may not be overly motivated to begin exercising will no be successful, it will just take more effort. So my relief when they arrived was all I needed to know that this was going to be a great session.

We began with the basics of information gathering. Here is a quick synopsis of Holly. I will not put unimportant information on here, just the basics you need to know to understand where she is at in her life.

Holly has just turned the big “40” although she has the energy still of any twenty year old I know. She works as a Chaplain for a local Fire Department and is very involved with volunteering in her church and kids school. She has two sons, one now in College and another about to graduate from High School. She is on call 3-4 days a week for the Fire Department which can turn into 5 hours of walking or 3 hours of sitting at a time.

She is currently bothered by sciatic pain in her right hip, tightness in her IT bands, and she constantly has a significant amount of tension all across her back and shoulders which causes aching throughout the day. She also notices she is unable to type for long periods at a time without serious discomfort in her wrists.

She has not had any major injuries in the past but was involved in a serious rear-end collision that caused significant whiplash symptoms.

Her goals are to improve her posture, eliminate the pain symptoms in her body, and maintain her ability to move efficiently in an effort to fight aging. She also wants to be able to do a lot of traveling for many years to come.

Below are Holly’s first round of postural photographs.

For the first round I want you to focus on the two pictures from the side. Holly has several postural issues but trust me we all do. This was very brave of her and Dan to do this. It is amazing what you learn about yourself when you get put on the grid. We will dissect a few other issues in the next few posts because I think certain issues will look worse before they look better. From the sides look at the position of her pelvis. There are two issues. The first being that her hips are way out in front of the anatomically correct position.

Look at the picture here of the skeletal system. Notice how each of the structural joints (shoulders, hips, knees, ankles) are all vertically stacked on top of one another. If you compare that to Holly, notice how far out in front of that line her pelvis is. This is what is causing many of her issues. Secondly her pelvis is tilted forward or as we say, she has an anterior tilt. These two things have a drastic impact on the position of her spine which is causing her muscle tension and aching through the shoulders and back. Notice how unlike in the skeletal photo that has a nice “S” curve to the spine, Holly’s forms more of a “C”. This creates a significant amount of muscle tension in her neck as the muscles are trying to hold her head in place. We call this a cable example. The muscles of her upper back and neck are being used as cables to hold her head in place. This is where the tension and tightness that she feels is actually coming from. It has very little to do with her upper back but rather a pelvis that is completely out of position.

The first few exercise routines for Holly will be focused in pulling her pelvis back underneath her as well as leveling it out. This will then correct the exaggerated “C” curve in her back.

Next post we will go over where Dan is starting at.

1 Comments on this post


  1. The Migas Project, Diagnostic Session #1 Dan wrote:

    […] you missed the post we did for Holly's diagnostic routine click here. Just like I mentioned in regards to that post, I was so thankful that Dan was so eager to get […]

    January 31st, 2010 at 7:38 pm


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