What does pelvis, hip and sacrum have to do with bodywork? Everything. Many dysfunctions that occur in the low back, glutes, legs, etc. are linked to the lack of openness and mobility in the pelvis, hip and sacrum. When there are issues in the pelvis, hip and sacrum there can be difficulty throughout the lower body and into the back. Some of the issues that can be affected are sciatica, piriformis syndrome, low back pain and chronic pain in the lower body due to posture dysfunctions from tight hips, pelvis and sacrum.
I want to share a simple set of stretches using a tennis ball that can help to loosen this area and reduce pain caused by lack of mobility.
Stretch #1: Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Align the hips as much as possible, knees and center of the feet. Keep an equal distance between the knees and feet. Check in and notice the difference between the left and right sides. Relax your hips. Place a tennis ball under the middle of your sacrum. Stay in this position for several breaths. As you exhale relax and sink deeper into the ball without pressing into it. Remove the ball and relax with your arms and legs extended. Notice how your body feels on the floor. Any changes?
Stretch #2: Sit on the floor with back against the wall, sacrum placed flush against the wall. Extend your legs in front of you. Sink back into the back of your legs and remain upright. Place a tennis ball beneath your right sit bone. Do not lift the pelvis. Flex your ankle. Take several breaths. Remove the ball and feel the difference. Do the same sequence on the other leg. Stand up when finished and notice how you feel.
Stretch #3: Sit on the floor with your back against the wall, sacrum placed flush against the wall. Extend your legs in front of you. Place a tennis ball under your knee. Keep legs aligned. Slowly flex your ankle. As you move your ankle try not to lift your knee. Remove the ball and observe any differences. Rest and do the same on the other leg. Stand up slowly and walk. Observe how you feel.
These are a few stretches you can do to help open up space in your hips, pelvis and sacrum. A tennis ball is an amazing tool that can be used to open up tight or painful areas with ease and gentleness. Remember to be gentle with your body…allow the part of the body you are working on with the tennis ball to melt over it…do not press into the ball.
Another exercise that can increase flexibility in this area is called a “hip cleaner.” Standing on one leg (if needed, hold onto a chair at your side) lift your leg and bend it at the knee then swing the knee of the lifted leg in front of your body and then behind your body. You are making a figure eight with your bent knee that goes in front of your body and then behind your body. Repeat this several times until there is greater mobility in the hips. Change legs and repeat.
Simple, focused movement can be helpful for areas of immobility. Give these exercises a try and please reach out and contact me with any questions, concerns or information about my practice.
I look forward to hearing from you soon