Postural Restoration® uses something called references in their exercises. These references are areas of the body that need to be sensed correctly in order for muscles to be recruited appropriately.
For example, a very important reference is the left heel. In order to walk and breathe utilizing the proper muscles at the proper time, we need to initiate walking with heel strike.
Heel strike ensures our left hamstring kicks in to posteriorly rotate our left pelvis. Without a left hamstring, you don’t have much.
In the typical left AIC pattern, our weight is shifted forward because our left pelvis rotates forward compared to the right side. In this pelvic position our left hamstring will not activate properly.
Once the left pelvis rotates forward, our weight falls more anteriorly on our left foot. Instead of sensing our left heel, we sense our weight on our left mid-foot/arch area.
Over on the right side the situation is reversed. In the left AIC pattern our right pelvis is often posteriorly rotated which results in the weight on our right foot being sensed back towards the heel and towards the outside of the foot. This causes the someone to walk with all their weight on the outside of their right foot and they will never sense their arch or big toe.
This is not proper walking mechanics.
So we have:
- Left Foot: weight sensed at midfoot/ball and inside arch. Left heel is not being sensed.
- Right foot: weight sensed at heel/outside border. Right arch and big toe are not being sensed.
You can test this for yourself. If you stand with your feet parallel and underneath your hips, try to sense where your weight is being carried.
You may find it to match the scenario above. It’s quite common, but not everyone ends up like this.
The important thing to realize is that if we can’t sense our left heel and right arch/big toe we won’t activate our muscles correctly as we walk and we will be forced to move, walk, run, jump, throw, and lift with compensation.
We can include references in common exercises like a Bulgarian split squat:
I go into further detail about references and how they can be used on my other site: