This is a favorite 'go to' exercise for a great number of the patients in my clinic. Patients with the following conditions have a tendency to have decreased spinal stability while extending their hips:
- Herniated lumbar spine discs
- Back Pain
- Hip impingement
- Patellar tendonitis
- Meniscus tears
- Sacroiliac dysfunction
When there is decreased spinal stability with hip extension, there will be excessive and destructive movement in the pelvis and lower back. This adds a great deal of stress to the areas and opens the door to injuries like low back pain. To deal with this I like starting off my patients with this pilates and physiotherapy exercise:
- Start with both feet on the floor, if that's easy then progress
- Hug one knee towards your chest. Don't bring the knee up too far though because then you're tilting your pelvis, which we don't want
- If you had discomfort or difficulty with the single leg bridge, squeeze your hands together in front of you to activate your spinal stabilizers.
- Don't let yourself hold your breathe and hold the bridge for 2-3 seconds
Perform 5-10 repetitions, 2-3 times per day to increase your upper torso flexibility and reduce stress on the neck, shoulder and lower back. To find out if this exercise is right for you, you need to be evaluated for an 'Exercise Prescription'.