Challenge your hips
Our bodies have two types of muscle: movers and stabilizers
Today I’ll share with you an exercise that focuses on the hips and how they act, combining mobility and stability. This is a fun, creative and challenging exercise – much more challenging than it looks!
I’ll also share some great exercises you can do to build up to this exercise.
Until then, I’d like to talk a bit about hip mobility and stability since this entire exercise is based on these two things.
Hip mobility = hip disassociation
One of the most difficult things for people to do is hip disassociation. What does that mean? Being able to move the hip in its socket without disturbing pelvic stabilization. Essentially, hip mobility.
Learning how to use the full range of motion of the hip while stabilizing the pelvic region will allow the hip to strengthen, without pulling on the lumbar spine. It will also increase hip mobility, which directly takes pressure off the low back.
Why should I care about hip stability?
Lower back, hip, knee and ankle problems can be related to inefficient pelvic and/or hip stabilization. The body works as a whole and when certain body regions are inefficient, then the body will find a way to make the movement happen using another muscle or joint in a way that was not intended.
The stabilization of the hip is provided by the gluteus medius. This muscle is responsible for maintaining good biomechanical function in the lower body while walking or running, which prevents injuries at the hip, knee and ankle.
Poor alignment of the pelvis due to weak hip stabilization can lead to compensation from other muscles, creating muscle imbalances. The gluteus medius works in combination with the muscles of the core, trunk and legs that have attachments in and around the pelvis. Strengthening the hip stabilizers will help to create a stable base and minimize the risk of injuries.
Build up for the exercise:
- supine hip folds
- supine neutral bridge
- side lying hip abduction/adduction
- side bridge
- quadruped leg reach
- standing on swivel discs turning both hips/legs out and in
- Use a low resistance chair spring.
- Stand facing the chair with one foot on the disc and the other on the chair’s pedal.
- Turn the whole body to the side of leg on the disc, using the disc movement for this. At the same time, push the pedal down.
- Slowly, using control, swivel back to face the chair while releasing the pedal.
I hope you enjoy using this exercise for yourself and with your clients. Unfortunately I don’t have a name for this exercise. Please let me know if you’ve got any ideas!
Is there a modification of this neat exercise that doesn’t require a chair spring? Thanks.
One modification is to place one foot on a stationary chair, coffee table, etc. and the other on a disc. You can pivot your body around the flexed hip joint (the one on the chair, table, etc.). If you’d like to add more challenge, try adjusting the arm position (on the head, raised “V”) or closing the eyes.
I hope that helps.