I have a lot of clients who have osteoporosis and I teach them this exercise so that they can train for balance, stability and strength in their hips. It’s always surprising that one hip is so much stronger than the other so do a few more reps of this exercise on your weaker side. You can also download this exercise from my website – the exercise changes monthly so check back at the beginning of each month!
Exercise of the Month for December 2011
Joan Breibart, head of the PhysicalMind Institute in New York, created this exercise and included it in her book “Standing Pilates”. I love this exercise because it can be done just about anywhere, anytime. It’s great for mobilizing the hip joint and for strengthening the muscles that support the hips. This exercise is fantastic if you have osteoporosis because it’s weight bearing and I’ve included in my Personalizing Pilates/osteoporosis workout. It’s also in the Runners workout since runners need strong hips and balance because there is always just one foot on the ground when running.
- Stand with your weight on the four corners of your right foot (base of big and baby toes, inner and outer heels).
- Place your left heel on top of your right foot.
- Your hips will be facing forward (a) and your eyes will be on your horizon.
- Inhale and slide your right hip out to the right side (b).
- Exhale and slide it back underneath you (a).
- Repeat six or eight times and switch sides.
Slide your hip
Good Morning Everyone!
The Toronto Marathon was completed this past weekend and I have several clients and acquaintances who ran the full or the half marathon. I want to share a stretch with you that I teach my runners. It’s also a great stretch to do after you have been sitting for a long period of time.
The hip flexors are a group of muscles that fold the hip. They pull the leg forward and they all attach at the pelvis or in the case of the psoas muscle, to the vertebrae of the lower back. When the hip flexors are tight, they can cause lower back discomfort.
I would recommend doing this stretch every day, whether you have gone out for a run or not.
- Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet wide apart (wider than your hips).
- Reach your arms to the sides
- Look at the ceiling.
- Sway both knees to the right (as shown in the photo)
- Reach your left (top) knee away from you so that the front of your left hip lengthens. Your left hip will lift up off the mat a bit.
- Hold for 3 breaths and switch. Repeat 3 times on each side.
It’s common that one hip is tighter than the other so I recommend holding the stretch longer on that side.
I have a great Pilates for Runners workout available. It’s a downloadable MP3 iPod workout that comes with photos. Kathrine Switzer, the first woman who ever ran the Boston Marathon, does the workout and she says its “tremendous”. Please check it out!
Let me know if you have questions!