The “core stabilizer” is one of the most useful and effective exercises to use with patients/clients that need help stabilizing their pelvis. It involves mobilizing the hip joint without releasing the core muscles, thus not allowing pelvic tilt to occur. This exercise can be used for beginners and even the most advanced individuals. Check out the following video and bulleted points to ensure you’re maximizing benefits and minimizing risks!
- Lying flat on your back with your hands by your side, bring your knees up, feet flat, and find a neutral spine position. This means your low back has a slight natural curve to it. From here, engage your abdominal wall and brace your core. Next, lift legs to 90 degrees.
- Slowly move your feet out and straighten your legs while focusing on slowly breathing and keeping your core strongly braced so your back stays neutral and does not move. Inhale as your legs move out.
- The end of this exercise is right before the point where you feel you can no long hold your lower back still and in neutral: It is crucial to stop the movement before this point because once your back loses position, the strain has now moved into your lower back – you are training your core to fail!
- From this point, pull your knees back in towards your chest, exhaling, slowing and stopping your legs at 90 degrees. Feel the workout in the lower abs section.
- Repeat exercise from this position, maintaining core braced and not releasing the engaged muscles.
- Start with sets of 5-8 reps of moving your legs slowly in and out (slightly faster in than out) and then progress to increasing range further and further out, with reps of 12-15 and multiple sets with rests in between.
This is an exercise everyone should be doing (with appropriate modifications for select populations) regularly. It engages several lower extremity muscles and stabilizes the pelvis (core and postural training), while developing and promoting proper movement and mobility through the joints.