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Episode 126: Improving the hips and low back

Video Highlights

- Improve your hips and back.
- Two variations depending on ability.
- How to take it to the next level.

Hi, guys. Today what we’re going to look at is one very powerful exercise that will improve your walking, improve your hips, and your low back.

If I could put money on what we are asked the most about in Z-Health, it’s usually the hips, the pelvis, and the low back. In our level one program, we spend lots of time working on mobility, because walking, running … A lot of your basic human motions revolve around how well you can control and move the hips, the pelvis, and the low back, particularly independently.

In our level one program, it’s called “R-Phase,” we spend a lot of time working on basic hip motions … Trying to help people figure out where their pelvis is and how to control it.

Once you have the mobility back, now we need to work on strengthening. To do that, we’re going to look at two different exercises today. They have the same shape. One is going to be the easy version. One is going to be the harder version, where we are going to use a Step.

For exercise number one, we’re going to work on having both knees locked. The idea is that I’m going to lock my right knee and lock my left knee. In this position, I’m going to hold onto something.

You can use a chair, you can use the wall … In the beginning. Eventually you to be able to do this without holding on, but this is the starting point. Again, both knees locked, and all I’m going to do is focus on lifting up my left hip. Again, lifting up my left hip, trying to pull my left foot above my right foot. Then, I’m going to push down. Lift up … Push down. That’s the basic idea.

Now you want to focus on driving your right leg down to the floor to make the lift happen. I like to have people do 10 to 15 repetitions of this. Another possibility is, just get in this position and hold for about 60 seconds.

In this position you can also now start to play with letting go, seeing how well you can control the pelvis … Another thing to be aware of is rotation. A lot of people in the beginning will rotate their trunk.

We want to keep everything in a nice, straight line. That’s version one.

Version two, once you’re able to do that, is you want to go to a Step. It can be a nice exercise Step like this one, it can be a phone book if you remember what those are … Not the one in your phone … Anything that will elevate you off the floor a little bit.

Once again, hold onto a wall, particularly in the beginning, or a chair, and we’re going to start in the same way. Everything is going to get nice and square and lined up. Good, tall posture, lock both knees … Now, I’m going to drop that hip toward the floor, and foot toward the floor, and then lift it back up. Once again, toward the floor … Lift it back up.

Most of the work that you’re feeling should be on the stance-leg side. You will have to constantly remind yourself in the beginning not to bend the stance knee. People want to do this, and all kind of crazy stuff.

It’s a very small, isolated motion, but as you do it and as you start to gain strength, what you’re going to figure out is you’ll feel differently as soon as you’re done with the exercise.

A quick reminder of what we’re doing here … We’re going to do two different versions of the exercise, assuming that you don’t get fatigued. A lot of people in the beginning will want to start with version one, where you’re basically … Feet are on the ground, and you’re just working on lifting that foot above the other foot, keeping the knees straight.

The idea here is 10 to 15 repetitions on both sides, a couple times a day.

Once you’re feeling confident with that, I then recommend that you add a step, a phone book, or something else into the mix, and you’re going to repeat the same process, only now you’re going to do your standing version on the floor first, and then add the step so you’ll total about 30 reps on each side.

These areas get worked a lot so they need a lot of strength and endurance.

My recommendation is, do a little bit of a walk, do the exercise, and then walk again.

Notice what kind of freedom you feel in the hips, the pelvis, and the low back. It’s a fantastic exercise. Once again, you’re aiming for 10 to 15 repetitions on each side, or maybe a 30- to 60-second hold.

Do it a couple of times a day. Your hips, your pelvis, your low back will thank you.

This will not fix everything in your legs and your hips and your low back, but it’s a great starting point in combination with the mobility that we already teach.

If you know anything about Z, you know we also talk a lot about the eyes, the inner ear, and reflexive control of posture. A lot of those things also play a role in tension through this area.

If you need additional information about that, we have a lot of blogs and information available, so check that out.


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