Clint – Great questions especially about the upward dog.
1. I do the Pressup with hands @ shoulder length and just outside my body. My sequence is to load the outside parts of my hands, run the oral-fascial drivers from eyes to nose to tongue, then extend the neck, then the arms. Goal is to have no activation below the scapula. Tension in the low back, glutes, or hamstrings is a mistake. Keep looking hard and extending the neck the whole movement @ at the top. If you can’t breathe @ the top, you have gone too far.
2. Upward dog can be tricky, but I think the report card comes from the strength you have in the arms and stability in the shoulders, more than the hips. I actually don’t feel much of a stretch in the low back when I do it. But a posterior pelvic tilt I think would be a good idea here. When doing the Brettzel 2.0, I want to go through lumbar movement, then into the push-up as Gray suggests to try to reorganize anything I’ve gained from the breathing and length of the posture. I could probably do without the upward dog, but I want to give them a try.
Your mention of Upward Dog got me wondering what your thoughts are with respect to a movement that goes by various names in different circles, namely the Hindu Push-up/Divebomber Push-up/Yoga Push-up, etc.
Normally this movement tends to be performed by folks in a manner that makes my lumbar spine shiver, but do you feel that this movement can be potentially useful if performed in a manner that focuses on movement in the right areas and curtailing the range once stability would be compromised in areas where we should not allow it to be?
Fred – I think it is an advanced move where, again I think you are correct, the bulk of the movement comes out of the pop/drop of the hips and backward bend of the t-spine.
I would love to say the lumbar spine does not exceed its requisite 12 degrees of motion into extension with an outer core response. This move would not have integrity without the ability to breath during the technique.
I have two questions for you, which might come across as somewhat silly, especially to a brilliant mind like yours.
1) How is a pressup performed? Sometimes I see this term used in place of push-up, but I suspect that is not how you were using the name here.
2) For the upward dog pose, I have seen some coaches advising against this. Is this movement solid provided You focus on posteriorly tilting (as opposed to going into posterior tilt as you pointed out in recent posts) and derive movement from the T-spine and not from the lumbar spine?