Hips Rx with Dr. T and Salesforce
Dr. Theresa Larson joined Mike Parker, the vice president of strategy and business development on the executive team at Salesforce, for a talk in Vetforce’s Wellness Session. In this talk, Dr. T talks about the importance of getting your hips balanced in strength and flexibility.
Having limitations in the hips, whether strength or mobility, can impact the lower back and knees especially. These limitations can happen due to spending too much time in one position, ie sitting at your desk all day, and will not only impact how well your hips are able to move, but also the strength of the hip muscles. Most importantly of these being the glute muscles that help protect not only your hips from injury, but the knees and lower back as well.
Single Leg Squat Test: Stand on one leg in front of a chair (ideally have the chair up against a wall so it can’t move from behind you). Sit your hips back while keeping a neutral spine, and slowly lower yourself chair. Control the decent and sit softly on the bench/chair. Maintain knee position over toes without letting knee to collapse inward on the way down and up. Try to keep the other leg off the ground throughout the movement. Test the movement once on each side, then you are going to perform as many reps as possible in 30 seconds on one leg, rest, then repeat on the other side.
Hip Rotation Test: Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat on floor a little wider than shoulder width apart. Drop both knees to the right until they are on the floor. Return to starting position. Do the same to the left, and return to starting position. How did each side feel? Did one direction feel tighter? Were you able to get both knees down to the ground each way? Were you able to keep your sit bones on the ground with each direction? Take note of how each side felt.
Posterior Hip Mobilization: Start on all fours, down on your elbows, and move one foot towards midline while keeping knee in place. Take the opposite leg straighten it and place it on top of the other leg. Your body weight should be on one knee (the leg that’s not straight) and your elbows. Shift weight around (forward, backward, side to side) until you feel a good stretch in the back of the hip. Spend 90 seconds to two minutes in this position on each side.
90/90 Hip Rotations: Get into the same position as the hip rotation test before. First just start with some gentle muscle activations, gently pressing your knees down into the ground, then relax. You can practice 10 reps of 3-5 sec holds each side. Then to add a challenge, from this position, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up, coming into a kneeling position on your knees; slowly lower back to the floor. Perform 10-20 reps each side.
Hip Thrust: Place your shoulder blades on a bench or the seat of a chair, with feet flat on the floor. Drop your hips down toward the ground, then squeeze your glutes and drive your hips back up. Perform 10-20 reps, or for an increased challenge, try lifting one leg off the ground and performing the movement with one leg at a time.
Slider Lunges: Standing on one leg, place your other leg on a slider (or use a plastic lid on carpet, or washcloth on wood/tile). You’ll perform a small squat on the stance leg, moving the slider forward, then stand back up. Next another small squat with the slider moving out to the side, stand back up, then once more to the back. 5-10 round each leg.
For the full demonstration of each movement, be sure to check out Dr. T’s full talk above! To learn more about how you can gain the knowledge and tools so that they lifetime of physical and emotional freedom, check out our next 21 Day Mindfulness Experience!