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  • Writer's pictureRise Pilates Santa Fe

Hip Hip Hooray!

Why salsa dancing and hola hooping might save your gait. Walking strong and confidently even in your 90's.

Contrology (aka Pilates) to me means, to individuate and isolate. Individuate joints and isolate movement, that is. It is very prescribed and choreographed, which I adore. It helps us to structure a clients session, and rather helps certain demographics to learn and re-pattern their bodies. I find it mostly helpful for acute pain clients.

Training for "real life" and people who are moving fairly well, means we have to get weird and specific, go deep and play. Walking better will not start by walking, but by training our hips and legs. In my experience, most people have never really felt their hip flexors work. I mean Iliacus, not rectus femoris (the worst choice probably, and the one most commonly used), not psoas or even using abdominals to fake hip flexion. I mean fake in a very loving way.

Pelvic tilts, or more so forward flexion of the body, be it sitting or standing is often performed by primarily spinal movement, contracting the abdominals or/ and a butt squeeze that results in a tucked pelvis. That creates and often deepens faulty patterns, for most people resulting in SI problems, lower back pain, tight hamstrings and quads. The body has to function as a whole. It works and feels better when it does. We as human beings have the wonderful ability to choose which muscle is doing the moving and stabilizing, the resisting and the lengthening.

Cue, the side to side and hip circles

1. Side to side

This exercise is explained in detail in this blogpost.

Do it slowly, consciously and take your time, repeat 5-10 times daily.

2. Hip Circles

Stand, feet parallel, shoulder distance apart.

Slightly bent knees, feet connected to the earth, no shoes.

Hut your hands on your hip bones, slowly start circling your hips. Notice when you go to the front you have to engage your abdominals and gluteus muscle to assist your lower back and not fall into too much of back extension. It helps to pull the feet into the earth and backwards (isometric contraction=no movement but engagement).

When the pelvis moves backwards, pull the feet isometrically forward to keep work in your legs. Repeat as many times as you wont, slowly and pay attention to the range you have, and how it's starting to improve, the more you engage your legs, gluteus and abdominals.

Adequate support allows for deeper ROM, ROM IS granted by your nervous system and never sustainably "stolen" by a quick stretch.

Let me know how this worked for you.

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