Learn how to keep your spinal stabilizers strong by performing side planks. Mike O’Hara explains this in his article, “Learning to Lean”, and includes video demonstration and explanation of the importance keeping your stabilizers strong to stand up to the demands of daily life. It’s time for another Fenton Fitness Love Your Jeans Challenge–see page 3 for more information. In his article, “The Periodization of Nutrition”, Jeff Tirrell gives tips on optimizing dietary intake.
Hip Lifts and Roll Outs
When designing programs for rehabilitation patients and fitness clients, I often pair up exercises. This practice is commonly called super-setting and it has multiple benefits:
Train efficiently—You get much more work done during your training time.
Abolish performance deficits—Most physical therapy and fitness clients need to work on glaring right vs. left movement asymmetries, postural restrictions, and stability limitations.
Lose weight—Fat loss is a primary goal of most fitness clients. Pairing exercises ramps up exercise intensity and creates the hormonal response that improves body composition.
Move better—Training neurologically related movement patterns improves motor control.
Hip Lifts and Roll Outs
An intricate system of muscles holds the spine upright over the top of the pelvis. This pair of exercises coordinates and strengthens this support system. If you sit all day long, have postural problems, or a history of lower back pain this pair of exercises is worthy of your training time.
This drill coordinates hip extension and lumbar spine stability. It is very beneficial when progressed to the single leg version. Lay with your shoulders across a bench with the head supported. Place your arms out to the sides. Plant the feet on the ground with the knees bent 90 degrees and the shins perpendicular to the floor. Drop the hips to the floor and then push back up with the gluteals and hamstring muscles. Hold at the top for two counts and repeat.
The roll out can be scaled to serve any fitness level. Beginners can start with a large 65 centimeter physioball, and as they become more proficient, progress to a smaller 55 centimeter ball. The closer the hands get to the floor the more challenging the exercise becomes. If you get strong enough, you can perform the forward roll out with a Power Wheel or Sorinex roller.
Kneel on a mat to keep the pressure off your knees. Your femur (thigh bone) is positioned perpendicular to the floor and the hips are hinged at 45 degrees. Place the hands on the front of the ball and the elbows directly under the chin. Brace the abdominal muscles and roll out onto the ball until you feel a challenge through your midsection. Hold in the challenging position for three counts and then return to the starting position.
Perform twelve repetitions of the hip lifts, rest 30 seconds, and then perform ten roll outs. Rest and repeat the cycle. Work up to three sets through this exercise combination.
View video of Mike performing these exercises here: https://youtu.be/Xf08rFU7A4w.
-Michael S. O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS