At Motivate we talk about your selfcare/home exercise program needing to have a length-tension balance. Muscles that are always short and tight are not able to function at an optimal level.

For example;  if the muscles of the front of your hips are always short and tight (from say sitting at your job 8 hours a day) then the back of your hip muscles are over-long (also due to said prolonged sitting on the job) than that imbalance will create problems at some point. Namely, we lose strength and control to get in and out of said chair and eventually our knees, back, or even our shoulders learn to hate the dreaded work chair. Even your bladder falls victim to prolonged sitting. One of the most common complaints we pelvic floor therapists hear regarding urinary leakage is patients leaking or feeling severe urgency when they stand up after sitting for a while.

So, while stretching is important, strengthening the muscles of your hips and deep core-throughout all of the stages of your life-is key to aging gracefully and to eliminating or reducing back, hip, knee or pelvic pain.

The back of your hips, legs, and well-your back-is where the majority of the power comes from to lift you out of the seat. Working on improving the control and strength of these muscles is important -in isolation, and more functionally.

The exercise shown here is isolation the largest muscle in our bodies-the gluteus maximus. This exercise SHOULD NOT hurt your back. Put a pillow under your pelvis, exhale and draw in your lower belly as you activate the leg, do not lift any higher than is comfortable on your back.

Try first pushing the ball of one foot into the bed. Next, straighten the knee. Then tighten your butt muscles. Lastly, as you exhale-point the toe but do not lift the leg any higher.

Hold 5-10 secs. Start with 3 reps and build your way based on what you know your exercise tolerance to be.

Watch for our next post to try a more functional way to train the group of muscle responsible for important core functional mobility.#happyjuly #letfreedomring #motivatetherapy #occupationaltherapy #physicaltherapy #pelvicfoortherapy #pelvichealth #education #wereinthistogether #selfcare #selfaware #healthyhabits #happyhips