For Your More Mobile Folks

     So here's a quick video showing ways to maintain tension through 180 degrees of motion in the hip. Hypermobiles can already sail through ranges of motion, what they need to work on is creating strength and control in those motions. Doing intentional and slow movement creates a better opportunity to increase proprioception in the joint they're working. 

        In this exercise you can add on some work on the leg/ankle complex. It's always a bonus if you can work on multiple goals, of course without compromising either movement. In the foot/ankle you can push into the floor creating an eccentric contraction(contraction while lengthening) in the dorsiflexors(calf) while your body moves over the foot. You can also concentrate on the muscles of the foot by pushing all the toes, the big toe, or sides of the foot into the floor depending on what area of your foot needs work.  

     For the the hip portion of the exercise you'll work on a 180 degree sweep of the leg. Now in this movement you can also create a lot of variation. One variable that you can work with is the speed, by going slower you force the brain to pay more attention. Eventually after practicing multiple times this will lead to better proprioception of that joint. 

     For the first pass through just go through the motion as simple as you can just getting the brain and body familiar with the movement first. If you are having difficulty stick with this first before you start adding on advanced variations. 

Here are the other variations you can do which is shown in the video with each leg sweep:

  1. You can push down into the floor creating tension in the hamstring or adductors depending on how much you externally or internally rotate at the hip.
  2. Next you can attempt lifting the leg off the floor to work the hip extensors when the leg is in the back, and then hip flexors as the leg moves to the front.
  3. You can then do a pass putting your torso in flexion if you need to work on closing angle range in the front.
  4. The last variation I do here is sitting more upright to work on that hip extension which more of the work is being done at the initiation. This is good for those working on leaps, for those who need to stay upright and get more strength getting that trail leg up. 

     It is good to video yourself doing this exercise because you can more accurately see what your hip and torso are doing to compensate for weakness or lack of mobility. You can see how I hip hike and move my torso to the side to get the leg around at certain angles. For hypermobiles it can be hard to sense where you are without  seeing it on video. Good luck, have fun with this one. 

Catherine Cowey