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Due to the repetitive motions and positions we get stuck in every day, it’s no doubt we experience imbalances, as one side of everyone's body is typically stronger or more dominant/over-powering, than the other. Just as our vehicles have axles, requiring regular maintenance like tire rotations/replacements to keep them running most efficiently, we need the same. Think of our hips as the human-equivalent to vehicle axles but much more difficult to replace; so it is critical we perform routine hip maintenance to make our mode of transportation last as long as we can. It is common for one hip to get pulled forward, backward, up or down, due to muscles becoming weaker/stronger or less/more flexible on one side than the other. Back, knee, foot and leg pain can often be traced to these hip imbalances. For example, if our left hamstring is weaker than our right hamstring, we may experience tighter left gluteus muscles, as they try to compensate for the extra strength on the right side, and then maybe lower left back pain as the left hip is pulled out of alignment (not in line with the right hip). Warming up with hip mobility drills, stretching our hip flexors and muscles that connect to them, and performing isolation exercises, to ensure the major muscle groups that connect and/or pull on the hip flexors, are close-to-equal in strength and flexibility, help us keep them in balance.

The following recommendations have helped prevent or alleviate back, knee, foot, hip, gluteus and leg pain for myself and others I’ve worked with:

Donkey Complex Warm-Up

  • 10 X each leg move: Kick Backs (as shown above), Fire hydrants (as shown above), Straight Leg back to lateral with knee cap and foot lateral to floor, Hurdle Trail Leg Maneuver Back to Front, Hurdle Trail Leg Maneuver Front to Back

  • 10 X Leg Swings Side to Side

  • 10 X Leg Swings Front to Back

Lunge Holds with Rotation

Ab/Back Circuit

3 rounds:

  • 10 X Stability Ball Leg Raises, per leg on top

  • 30 sec Superman or Bow Pose Hold, with Cat-Cow pose to stretch after

  • 10 Good Mornings with Easy Bar

  • Star Sit Ups X 10 per side

  • 1 min Front Plank Hold (some days replace with 30 sec – 1 min per side planks)

Keeping Hips Aligned:

3-4 Rounds Superset:

  • 10 Machine Seated Leg Adductions OR Adductor Side Plank X 30 sec per side

  • 10 Machine Seated Leg Abductions (matching same weight used for Adductions) OR Abductor Side Plank X 30 sec per side

  • 10 X 1 Leg Machine Lying Leg Curls, per leg (starting with weakest leg and using same weight for the stronger leg) OR Slider Leg Curls (if no access to the machine)

  • 10 X 1 Leg Machine Extensions, per leg (starting with weakest leg and using same weight for stronger leg) with the same weight used for 10 X 1 leg Lying Leg Curls OR Bulgarian Lunges (if no access to the machine)

NOTE: Elastic Restistance/Cables may be more effective for Adduction/Abduction than the machine, as mentioned in the following research:

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