Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 73- Straight Leg Circles with Lumbar Rotation

This exercise is intended to increase lumbar flexibility, and it also distinguishes hip mobility and its relationship to lumbar spine rotation.  And quite frankly it’s really fun!
To do this exercise you will need a mat.  Start by lying on your back with one leg extended long beneath you and the other leg reaching long towards the ceiling. Inhale as you cross the top leg over the midline of the body.  Continue reaching that leg across your body until it has gone as far as it can go.  Then continue the movement by letting the hip follow the leg as it lifts off of the ground slightly.  From this position lower the leg down towards your feet to continue the circle, then exhale as you allow the leg to come back for the second half of the circle.  This time be sure that the pelvis has centered itself again and is stabilized as the leg circles to the outside of the body.  Inhale at the top and repeat 3-5 times in each direction. 
Things to think about
This exercise increases the range of motion of the hip, but it also adds the rotation of the lumbar spine.  It is important to go slowly at first so that the lumbar spine is protected.  Be sure to use muscles to both lift the hip and to send the hip back to the ground.  Gravity can do this for you, but then the chance of injury is increased.  If you use your muscles you are protecting your spine and increasing your flexibility
If you are suffering from any Lumbar pathologies, or recovering from any hip surgery, be sure to be careful with this exercise. 

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