Release Hips and Low Back Exercise

February 22, 2015

(0:00) Now I have a really easy and simple exercise. It’s very similar to another one that I showed earlier.
(0:05) This one is actually for,
(0:09) again, lower back pain and
(0:12) tightness or pain in the hips or imbalance in the hips.
(0:15) So if you’ve got some kind of higher hip or structural imbalance, perhaps,
(0:20) if you’re a runner, or a cyclists, or a triathlete, and you’re experiencing some pain
(0:25) in your low back or in your trunk
(0:29) because of an imbalance in your hips, this is a great one. Often,
(0:32) when there’s an imbalance in the hips, one hip, when you’re walking,
(0:36) will swing well the other one won’t. So this is another good one
(0:40) for getting the hips to swing more symmetrically relative to one
(0:43) another. The first thing you’re going to need is a yoga brick. I’m
(0:47) currently using a foam one. Wood is actually the best alternative,
(0:51) but I don’t have one of these in my office so I use a hard foam brick
(0:54) and it’s good enough to give strong enough
(0:57) feedback so that I can get the changes that I want quickly –
(1:01) so that’s critical. I think of a brick, if it’s hard,
(1:04) it seems like oh that’s going to hurt. Well, the hurt is actually giving you
(1:09) feedback that you can act on. So you’re trying to train your body,
(1:12) retrain your body with these exercises. So the first step is
(1:16) to step wide, step very wide and
(1:19) I’m going to do this from the front, then I’ll show you from the side. I’m going to grasp
(1:23) the brick between my legs so I have a hand underneath and a hand in front.
(1:28) I’m going to bring this all the way up. One of my clients called this
(1:33) riding the saddle, mounting the saddle.
(1:36) Now the brick – you want it to stick out a little in front
(1:40) because when you bring your legs together it’s going to push the brick back.
(1:43) You don’t want it to slide back. You want to bring it forward.
(1:46) Now if you have really large thighs or you’re short, you might need to turn the brick
(1:51) this way, but I would try this way
(1:54) first because it’s going to be more effective. If you absolutely can’t
(1:58) fit this way, do it this way. If you’ve stepped
(2:03) as wide as you can possibly step and it still won’t fit this way,
(2:06) then do it this way. So you can see I really want you to use
(2:09) the width of this because it’s helping to get your hips to release.
(2:13) So you bring it all the way up, all the way up,
(2:17) and then step your feet about hip width distance apart and you should feel
(2:21) a little bit of discomfort, actually, in the inner thigh
(2:24) area because this brick, as you step together, will start to really
(2:28) press in on those muscles and start to activate them.
(2:31) Very straightforward and simple.
(2:36) Parallel inner feet. If you have wooden floor, the floorboards are great –
(2:41) it’s great to align your feet with the floorboards so you can really get a sense for
(2:44) your inner feet being parallel, as parallel as possible.
(2:47) Hands on your hips, elbows back. Now
(2:51) if you put your hands on your hips with your elbows back and it causes your low back to really
(2:55) push forward, try and drop your buttock and put your weight onto your heels a
(2:59) little more to get your back to relax, get your low back to relax a bit.
(3:04) For most people this isn’t a problem, but for some people who have more
(3:07) of a lumbar curve, it can be a problem
(3:10) sometimes so just do your best. If it still won’t work and you’re still feeling really
(3:15) uncomfortable and strained in this position, in your back,
(3:18) then maybe let your elbows come a little bit wider, but that’s kind of a last resort.
(3:22) Then with your weight evenly distributed across the soles of your
(3:26) relaxed feet, you’re going to just do a quick bend
(3:29) of the hips and the knees. Notice, I’m bending, but I’m bending fairly symmetrically.
(3:34) If there’s a rotation in my pelvis, I may want to bend like this,
(3:39) but the brick really helps me to see that this is the way to bend.
(3:43) It’s the beauty of the brick. Then I come up and I’m going to squeeze the brick as hard as I can
(3:48) with my inner thighs. Now,
(3:51) I’m going to put my awareness into my pelvic floor
(3:55) and if my buttock is really gripping and tight, I want that to release
(3:59) so I’m going to let it release.
(4:00) That allows me to spread across the back of the pelvis
(4:04) so my legs will start to rotate
(4:07) in just slightly like this way. So the femurs rotate in
(4:10) this direction and the heels tend to push into the ground
(4:14) a little more. So squish, squish, squish,
(4:17) and then I’m going to release, do a movement, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish,
(4:22) release, and do a movement, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish, squish,
(4:25) release and do a movement. And then step apart,
(4:29) pull the brick out. I generally recommend trying this three times –
(4:33) so one set of three. If you pay attention and you actually do
(4:37) it mindfully, it will generally be effective in three. You generally
(4:41) don’t have to do more than that. Anyway, great for low back and hip tightness,
(4:46) hip pain, and sometimes even knee pain. Have fun with it.

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