On Wednesday, I told you the story of growing up with “turned in legs”. I discovered many years later that the pain and weakness in my hips and knees I’d experienced as a child was mostly due to a very weak, very sleepy gluteus medius. It wasn’t until I found Yoga Tune Up®, that I began to find relief and fully understand the important role this muscle plays is in all aspects of running, walking, sitting, standing and my beloved yoga.
To begin to awaken my very droopy glute med, I started with Prasarita Lunges, emphasizing “pushing” from side to side, using abductors to initiate the movement and warming up the outer and inner hips. Check out the video here:
For targeted gluteus medius strengthening I practiced Abductor Lifts Dynamic. Beginning in Ardha Uttanasa, (putting hands on blocks to keep my spine straight) feet together, slowly lift one leg to the side, paying close attention not to lean into the standing leg, maintaining neutral pelvis, and exploring your end range of motion in abduction of the lifted leg
One of my favorite Yoga Tune Up® exercises is Moon Rises Minivini, which helps to build stability and flexibility throughout the entire hip girdle. See the video below for the how-to. Don’t get confused by the fancy leg! Only the standing leg and hip are actually working. Be acutely aware of each leg, maintaining Tadasana in the extended leg and acutely focusing and feeling internal and external rotation of the femur bone in the socket.
These YTU® exercises have created better balance in my body, less pain and much more mobility. Combined with Yoga Tune Up® Therapy balls, I have discovered a way to reduce and nearly abolish the day-to-day hip and knee pain I lived with for years. Yoga Tune Up is about learning to better propriocept and appreciate the body you have instead of trying to fit into someone else’s idea of what you should be. I am proud to report that I am back to jogging up to 12 miles a week, with minimal discomfort and I have a new relationship to standing poses and my “turned in legs”.