Heather Jeffcoat, DPT has been a featured writer in a number of print publications, and her increasing recognition as a leading expert in her field has resulted in appearances on "Loveline with Mike and Dr. Drew", Popsugar, Health, Cosmo, ABC and more. The demand for her expertise is on the rise as more and more folks seek to remedy the issues that Heather and her team regularly deal with.
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Here are some of the facts and science that can really help you maximize the effectiveness of this simple exercise.
The article begins by highlighting some reasons why adding a resistance band into your routine can help:
If you're ready to take the classic wall sit to the next level, try adding a resistance band around your thighs while opening and closing your legs. Also known as a banded wall sit with hip abduction, this variation targets more of the smaller muscles in your glutes, and with the right focus, it recruits your pelvic floor muscles.
When doing a wall sit with a resistance band, engaging your pelvic floor also ensures that your spine stays in a neutral position and remains stable, says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, founder of Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy.
That's because when your pelvic floor is contracted, your transverse abdominis (deep core muscle) is also engaged. Your transverse abdominis creates stiffness throughout your core and stabilizes your trunk, which can help protect your low back.
Also known as the "corset muscle", strengthening and toning the TA can really go a long way toward reducing "muffin top" or "mommy belly", as so eloquently stated over at the Moms Into Fitness website. Here at Fusion Wellness we always have resistance bands on hand, and our trained therapists can guide you through proper techniques to get you on your way to reducing or even eliminating "mommy belly".
When you think of your "glutes" your mind probably goes directly to the gluteus maximus muscles, but there's much more to a toned butt and hips and stong core than just targeting the largest muscles in your body. Fine tuning your routine to include the gluteus medius can yield results that go far beyond the norm to strengthen your hips and pelvic floor.
... targeting your gluteus medius — the smaller glute muscle that wraps around the outside of your hips — as you do in a banded wall sit with hip abduction is just as important.
The gluteus medius also plays an important part in daily activities, like walking or climbing stairs, by keeping your pelvis and hips level and stable.
Toning your core involves not only working on the glutes and TA, but also your oblique muscles. Here I refer to the Biology Dictionary for their definition and the accompanying image to the right:
Oblique muscle refers to two abdominal muscles – the external and internal obliques. These provide trunk flexion and rotation. The external oblique is the thickest and runs from the lower ribs to the iliac crest. The internal oblique lies under the external muscle and also originates at the iliac crest before reaching the pubic bone. Here, it joins a sheet of connective tissue shared with the transversus abdominis muscle.
So how do we make wall sits affect the obliques? The answer lies in how much attention you pay to your spine during the exercise:
Wall sits are basically wall squats with an isometric hold. In a wall squat, you slide your back down against a wall until you're in the wall sit position, hold for a few seconds, then press back up.
These deep core muscles stabilize your spine to keep it upright. Without them, your back could sway to the sides, Jeffcoat says. So when you're keeping your spine stiff during this exercise as you lower down into a squat, your obliques are working. And by engaging your pelvic floor muscles, you train these deep core muscles even more.
Our last tip is a nod to looking at the body as a whole system, rather than isolated parts. Anything you do to get your heart rate pumping is going to have beneficial effects on your overall wellbeing.
Because you're sitting still, you might not think of wall sits as a cardio exercise. But in a July 2013 study in the Journal of Sports Sciences, when people held isometric wall sits for bouts of two minutes, their heart rate soared to 139 beats per minute — as high as it might get on a light jog.
Adding a resistance band to this move makes it even more taxing and can help drive your heart rate even higher. So you could incorporate the resistance band wall sit into a heart-pumping circuit of other moves and get your cardio fix, too.
Your pelvic floor is integral to staying regular. In case you’re unfamiliar, the pelvic floor is a hammock-like group of muscles that sit in your pelvis and support the bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs. These muscles are responsible for a number of bodily functions, not only controlling when you pee and poop, but also for pleasure during sex. Furthermore, your pelvic floor can be both the cause and solution to constipation.
While specificity is only one training principle, it is a critical component of any comprehensive athletic program or fitness routine. Here, we take a closer look at the principle of specificity, how it’s applied, its pros and cons, and how it compares to cross-training.
Many people are probably familiar with sucking in their stomach, either to get into a tight pair of pants or to contort their stomach to appear smaller. The truth is that there's nothing wrong with having a stomach of any shape, and when it comes to chronically sucking your tum in, your anatomy isn't really into the action.
"Chronically sucking in your tummy means continuously activating your upper abdominal muscles to make your stomach look flatter," says Chelsea Waldkirch, PT, DPT, a pelvic floor therapist at the New Jersey-based Renew Physical Therapy. "Gripping or squeezing your upper ab muscles changes the function of your core, pelvic floor, and breathing strategies."
For most women with large breasts, the relationship between cup size, back pain, and posture problems is unsurprising. You might often have neck and shoulder aches to prove it. However, it might be validating to know you’re not alone (because you’re totally not).
A 2020 study published in Women’s Health London surveyed 269 women with varying bra band and cup sizes. They found that participants were more likely to report breast-related back pain with every increased cup size. This means that as they climbed from A to B to DD and beyond, respondents were 13 percent more likely to experience pain.
Getting up to pee during the night can be super disorienting. It turns out that it can give you some insight into your health. To be clear: Getting up to go to pee every once in a while is perfectly fine, according to Heather Jeffcoat, DPT , Fusion Wellness & Femina Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, California. But if you're waking up to pee (and you're not on medication like a diuretic) it might help to examine what's going on.
People can develop nocturia for a whole host of reasons. Some of the reasons, according to Dr. Jeffcoat, are mechanical or based on the literal musculature function of the bladder and pelvic floor.
During a powerful flow, your yoga mat does more than merely protect you from slipping and absorb your perspiration. According to Vinita Laroia, a 300 RYT-certified yoga and meditation instructor with over 20 years of experience, “unrolling and stepping upon it sends a signal to our brain and body that it’s time to calm down.” When you consider that you will be touching your yoga mat every time you practise, make an informed decision. Comfort and balance are influenced by materials, durability, thickness, non-slip grip, and other small design changes amongst mats.
Many people live with pelvic pain, which affects the lowest part of the abdomen between the belly button and the groin. The pain can range from mild to severe, and its intensity might fluctuate over time.
You can often treat minor pelvic pain at home with a heating pad, warm bath, or OTC medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you’ve never invested in a foam roller — commonly found at sporting goods stores for 20 to 40 bucks — you’re doing your muscles a major disservice. Regularly using a foam roller offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage, including reduced inflammation, scar tissue and joint stress, as well as improved circulation and improved flexibility.
Foam rolling helps with increasing muscle flexibility and joint range of motion, especially when used in conjunction with an active warm-up routine,”
says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, certified facial stretch therapist and owner of Los Angeles–based Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy.
But when it comes to how to pee correctly, it seems we're all perpetual students of Water Closet 101. (Case in point: Every public bathroom, ever.) Over the years at Well+Good, we've collected an endless stream of tips for achieving what some call "the perfect pee"—and (you're welcome) we've finally collected them all in once place.
Below, you'll find the hottest advice from urologists and pelvic floor therapists nationwide about being number one at going (I hate myself) number one. You'll learn why you should stop power peeing, whether or not it's actually necessary to squat in public restrooms, and the truth about relieving yourself in the shower. Mentally prepare yourself, because there's sure to be some reality-shaking realizations ahead.
With more employers embracing fully remote and hybrid operations, people now are freer than ever to choose where they log their hours. Some are even giving working from anywhere a try for the first time.
That’s something I have plenty of experience with. I was a digital nomad for more than a year before the pandemic, and in the last several years I’ve done my fair share of working from planes, trains, cars, Airbnbs, and hotels—from the far-flung mountains of Otavalo, Ecuador, to the shores of mid-coastal Maine.
No matter your destination, if you’re considering taking your work-from-home office on the road, here are the top 14 essential items for working from anywhere you should pack.
I work a desk job and was experiencing neck and shoulder pain, so I tried switching up my chair to see if it would help.
Hi! I'm Farrah, and like a good portion of all office culture employees, I am still working from home during the pandemic. My current "office" chair cost me a total of $30, but I've been having an increase of shoulder and neck pain, which I attribute to hunching while working at my computer. Basically, I'm desperate to try something new, which led me down the rabbit hole of ergonomic chairs.
We asked the BuzzFeed Community if they ever had a question to ask about ~down there~ that they might be too embarrassed or intimidated to ask, and they came through with lots of insightful questions! So, we reached out to Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a licensed pelvic floor physical therapist and owner of Femina Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, to answer your pelvic health inquiries.
1. "Why do I have to pee so often? I barely drink any liquids throughout the day, because otherwise I’d be peeing even more than I already am."
Located at the base of the pelvis, the pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles that provide support for internal organs, including the bladder, rectum, uterus and prostate. The muscles are also involved in posture, urination, bowel movements and sex.
Working out at home is more common than ever right now, and everyone is on the hunt for space-efficient gym equipment that doesn't cost a fortune. Upgrade your exercise routine, with a few of these recommendations for the most effective home fitness products on Amazon. Best of all, each of these items costs under $40, so you can break a sweat without breaking the bank.
When the pandemic struck, those unaccustomed to working at home found themselves scrambling to put together makeshift workstations. Many spent the past year-plus using laptops on the couch, hunching over a tablet at the kitchen table or looking down at their phones while simultaneously trying to help their kids stay engaged in virtual school.
But now we’re feeling the effects of those bad work setups we thought we’d been getting away with. And even some seasoned work-from-homers aren’t doing things in a posture-friendly manner.
SHOUTOUT LA nominated Heather Jeffcoat this month for a Los Angeles based shoutout. In the interview they discuss Jeffcoat's legacy and career, her approach to care for chronic pain, her book called "Sex Without Pain: A Self Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve", and, finally, a locals recommendation on the perfect weekend for a visitor to the LA area.
"Compression therapy does just that - compresses an area of the body to reduce swelling and speed up muscle recovery," Dr. Chad Walding explains. ...Any athlete putting major stress on their lower limbs — say, ultramarathoners or triathletes — could benefit from using the compression boots for recovery. "Compression [therapy] can help add to their recovery routine and potentially improve performance," he explains.
Sports recovery aside, however, Heather Jeffcoat, D.P.T., owner of Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, adds that compression boots for recovery, like the Therabody RecoveryAir, can also provide important medical help for certain patients. For example, in people with venous insufficiency (when the veins in your legs don't allow for blood to flow properly back to the heart), patients will often require more manual lymphatic drainage, mechanical support with compression boots, or compression socks or hosiery, she explains.
If you're looking to try out yoga, you'll need a mat. But if you're wanting to cultivate a regular practice, it's important to think very carefully about which you buy: "When we first begin a yoga practice, we are looking for a sanctuary to slow down and breathe. It needs to be a place that you recognize as your time to slow down," Vinita Laroia, a 300 RYT-certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 20 years of experience, told Insider.
Considering you touch your yoga mat every time you practice, this item can create that familiar space as soon as you step onto it, whether you're unrolling in your living room, a studio, or while traveling away from home.
Pleasure is a basic human need, but when it comes to catering to people with a disability or chronic illness, it may seem like the sex toy industry missed the mark. If you know where to look and what to look for, however, you’ll find that there are a number of affordable and accessible sex toys for people with disabilities just waiting to be enjoyed, over and over again.
As someone who deals with painful intercourse and a flaming urethra (symptoms of endometriosis and interstitial cystitis) on a regular basis, I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching and trying out different toys and lubes to see which ones are safe, effective, and work best for me and my needs.