Pain in our low back and hips is all too common and very frustrating. The spine is our mother-board, if it is not healthy and balanced there are many other effects besides a stiff low back. The nerves that run through the spine are connected to our various systems and organs. So by improving your spine health you can improve your overall wellness. Here is a list of exercises that provide stability as well as mobility specifically into the low back and hips.
The Hula Sequence
I love this series of movements for isolating the flexion and extension of the spine as well as rotation of the hips. Standing with feet hip distance apart knees softly bent slowly move the hips side to side without moving the shoulders or head. Pelvic tilt forward and back bringing some movement into your lumbar spine. Put it all together, move your hips in a circle. Moving your hips side, back, side and to the front. You’re doing the Hula!
All 4’s hips side to side
Lean the hips to one side with an exhale breath and then to the other. Move slowly to allow the stretch of the outer hip to progress slowly. This movement brings the external muscles and tissues into balance.
Cat and Cow / Flexion and Extension
On all 4s inhale drop your belly down, open your chest and collar bones. Look up toward the ceiling. Exhale, press into your hands knees and shins. Then draw your belly up and in and bring chin to chest.
Pelvic Tilts to a Bridge
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Make sure your toes are pointed straight forward and not rotated out. Begin by tilting your pelvis forward and back with your feet on the ground. This feels like pressing your low back flat and then creating more space and arch in your low back. After a few rounds press down into your feet and lift your hips, move slowly like you are peeling your back body off the ground. Roll all the way up until you only have weight in your feet, shoulders and back of your head. Tuck your shoulders under and interlace your hands together underneath your back. As you exhale slowly release and roll back down slowly through the spine.
Practice these short sequences once a day and you will begin to notice more ease, flexibility and strength in your low spine. Then you may begin to realize there is a ripple effect through the rest of your body and mind. More strength and flexibility, clarity in your thoughts and intention in your actions. Our spine is our main control center. Keep it healthy, flexible and balanced to experience true freedom.