I was having an online chat today about hips and pain. There is a real belief that the only thing you can do to manage pain is to stretch, and although I think stretching is fantastic and it is one of my super most favourite things to do, it isn’t always the best solution to a problem.

It is possible to have joints that are unstable and don’t have enough muscular support, but still have a sensation of being “too tight”. This can often happen when it comes to hip and sacro-iliac (SI) pain. While it is very tempting to forge ahead with lots of pigeon, butterfly/cobbler and figure 4 stretches that feel great in the moment, you may wonder why, after doing all your stretches for years on end you still have the hip pain!

If a contributing factor to the problem is a lack of stability/ hypermobility then strengthening the area is a good option.

The problem with THAT is that if you have a lot of mobility, it can be hard to identify your active range of motion and you end up going past the place where you get optimal alignment for the best, most targeted work.

One of the things that is so hard to believe is that little tiny movements make any kind of difference.

Shouldn’t it be no pain no gain?

Shouldn’t we push to our limits to make things better?

Not always.

In fact, when it comes to pain management, not often.

When it comes to re-training your body you need to go slow (avoid cheating), go small (avoid surpassing your active range) and go pain free (avoid triggering your sympathetic nervous system to take over and squash any new learning your muscles may have done).
At this point I would like to stress that every body is different and every person’s relationship with pain is different. I do not EVER suggest that following exercise suggestions on the internet is an adequate replacement for hands-on, in-person assessment and treatment by a body work professional. If anything I suggest causes the kind of pain that makes your face wrinkle up, please stop immediately! There is a difference between working your muscles pain and hurting yourself pain. Please respect the difference. Thanks.: ))

So let’s talk side lying leg lift…


Top 5 Take Away Points!

  Keep your pelvis stable. Even the tiniest bit of hip hike will take you out of maximum alignment.

2   Keep your pelvis stable. Rocking into a wee bit of pelvic rotation will rob you of hip work and may recruit back muscles.

3   Keep your pelvis stable. (Do you see the theme…?) Lifting from your foot is likely to take you past your actual hip range. Think of lifting the top of your femur (thigh bone) in your hip socket in order to target your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus for the best possible bang for your movement buck!

4  Be humble. The weirdest thing for those of us with what seem to be awesome ranges of motion is the discovery that sometimes we get there by bypassing the appropriate muscle for that particular movement.

5 Be patient. It is better to lift your leg 1 inch with the right muscles and develop the stability to support your body without pain and do that for a month than it is to rush the process and end up recruiting a host of other muscles, continuing to aggravate the joint through inefficient mechanics and robbing yourself of the opportunity for a whole new relationship with your body!

Once those leg lifts feel pretty good you can add in some other hip shapes. You have a full 360 degrees of hip to support and it takes a lot of musculature to do the job!

http://www.fromthegroundup.guru/2015/04/healthy-hips-better-booty.html This one’s all about hip rotation and this one http://www.fromthegroundup.guru/2015/04/more-healthy-hips-better-booty-part-2.html starts to add gravity.

All this work is aimed at getting you out and about, walking in your world with strong, able hips, so anything you do lying down is just a starter exercise!

Let’s talk more later, but that’s it for now,


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