This is another great 'go to' exercise for a great number of the patients in my clinic. Patients with the following conditions have a tendency to have decreased lateral stability in their core and hips:
Low Back pain
When there is decreased stability in the lateral core due to lack of conditioning, there will be excessive and destructive side to side movement in the knees and ankles. This adds a great deal of stress to the areas and opens the door to injuries. To deal with this, I like starting off my patients with this exercise:
- Keep your hips neutral at all times, meaning there should be a straight line between your knee and your ear
- Keep your ankles dorsiflexed at all times, meaning raising up your toes towards your face.
- Be sure to keep your head and eyes to look directly forward
- Don't let yourself hold your breathe
- Give this one a few days, most people don't get it at first
- Once you can hold the position for 60 seconds, progress to the next level (bent knee, straight leg, then elevated top leg)
Perform 2-3 repetitions, 2-3 times per day to increase your lateral core strength and reduce stress on the ankles and knees. To find out if this exercise is right for you, you need to be evaluated for an 'Exercise Prescription'.