The Heart Butt Challenge – Week 5
by Ashley Black
Over the weekend I took some time to go through all your 30 day progress videos and I’m so blown away by you amazing women! Watching you all making the conscious decision to improve your fascia health and muscle performance, as well as get that booty poppin’ is motivation enough for anyone! I’ve been doing the challenge right alongside you all, and I actually think that I need to take a step back, cuz it’s just at a whole ‘nother level. These exercises work and you’re all amazing proof of that!
Week 5 is dedicated to recap and evaluation. We’ve already talked about so many factors that are very important and contribute to your HeartButt, and now it’s time to step back and re-evaluate.
Follow this simple test to evaluate where you were, where you’re at now, and where you want to be. Each of these steps will help you define your goals more clearly.
The 5 P’s Test
1. The Perception Test
Stand in front of your mirror and look at your amazing body. Which areas have improved? Which areas do you still want to work on? How are you going to target those areas, and what’s the plan of action? The following steps will help us pinpoint the answer to those questions.
2. The Pinch Test
The pinch test is a great way to figure out which areas are fascia bound, even though the fascial distortions may not be visible. Where the fascia is healthy, the skin is not bound, and we should be able to pinch up the skin easily. If you can’t pull up the skin, you have fascial distortions in that area, so make a note of it. It’s important to remember that there are some areas where your fascia is healthier than others.
3. The Poke Test
The poke test helps you uncover fascia issues that you may not detect in the perception test or the pinch test. This is where it starts to get interesting, and you can actually see how tightness in one part of the body affects the appearance in another part of the body.
To do the poke test, you want to push with your finger away from the bone in a downward and outward direction. As you apply pressure, you are looking for a visual change somewhere other than where you are poking. Where you see the change in appearance is where there is fascial distortion.
4. The Posture Test
We discussed the posture test is, or the “wall test” in Week 3. Performing the posture test will help you locate any areas of restriction, adhesions, and distortions (R.A.D.). The 7 lines of structural fascia run throughout the body like highways and intersections, so you may feel restriction in a location where you least expect it! Wherever you feel tightness, the fascia is adhered and restricted, so that’s where you’ll want to focus on next blasting session!
For more details and depictions of the fascia lines, read pages 119-125 of The Cellulite Myth.
5. The Position Test
With this last step, we’re evaluating our range of motion and identifying where there are restrictions or impingements. Perform the position test stretches demonstrated in pages 120-125 of The Cellulite Myth. The purpose of this test is to simply see how tight you are along the that particular line of fascia. It’s helpful to check your progress by doing the position test on a regular basis to see how your range of motion has increased. Ultimately, you want to feel the stretch along the complete line of fascia from one end of the stretch to the other.
Tips for the Restoration Process
Now that we’ve evaluated where we’re at and what we need to work on, it’s time to form a plan of action. The best way to target surface adhesions is by restoring the fascia layer by layer. We don’t want to start restoring too many layers at a time and break into the deeper layers too soon. We talked about this extensively in week 1, and this theory has been tried and proven time after time. Determining whether you’re ready for deeper treatment or not plays a huge part in the process of fascial restoration. If your tissue is not ready for deeper treatment in the next layer, it’s possible for your skin’s appearance to gain a more lumpy look.
Here’s a story from a real life user who made a whole post to share her experiences with the restoration process and gives some amazing tips. There have been countless successful restoration stories, but Julie tells it like no other!
I wrote a whole post with helpful tips on how to gauge if your tissue is ready for deeper treatment but I’ll summarize them for you here:
– You should always be able to stay at a manageable pain level. One way to gage this is to stay at about a 2-4 on a scale of 1-10. Do not go past a 7!
– The area you’re treating should turn red and warm when you blast. This means that the area is receiving proper blood flow. If after you blast the area has not turned red or is splotchy, or cold to the touch, that area is not getting good blood flow and you are not yet ready for advanced techniques; you need to continue lightly FasciaBlasting to increase blood flow and venous return to the surface layers!
– If you’re still bruising from light FasciaBlasting, there’s no need to “go deeper” yet. I don’t want to see any monster bruises showing up in my inbox!! You want to restore layer by layer for best results. Be sure to not blast over bruised or sore areas! Read more on bruising and recovery!
Add resistance to the Heart Butt exercises
If you’ve been incorporating all the information we’ve provided over the past 4 weeks, your posture and form are on point, and you’re firing each muscle individually, you may be ready to add resistance! Please note that the key to building your HeartButt is not about lifting tons of weight; it’s focussing on activating each individual muscle and getting full access to it. If you feel like you still have some work to do on your form or you cannot feel the correct muscle fire during the exercises, keep focussing on restoring the fascia to gain access to the muscles and use these activation tips to improve your muscle performance.
This user made this awesome real-time video where she works up to using resistance bands to add another level of difficulty to the Heart Butt exercises. Notice how she focusses on correct posture and “squeezing” the muscles throughout each movement.
Incorporate this week’s tips and your results are sure to skyrocket. Sending you all my best for this next week – and I can’t wait for the final 60-day results!! Remember I’m always available via my Ashley Black Guru inbox if you’d like to send over your pictures or videos and get some extra coaching! You got this, ladies! Let’s do it!
Action Steps – Every other day
– FasciaBlast 20-30 mins 3-4 times a week
– Do the Heart Butt exercises 3-5 days a week and add resistance (if you’re ready)
– Aim to drink a gallon of water a day
– *Optional* 10-20 minutes of low impact cardio 2-4 times a week