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Restorative Exercise Institute

Foot & Leg Positions

Restorative Exercise Institute (RExI)
Restorative Exercise Institute
5550 Telegraph Rd, Bldg A Ventura, CA 805/642-9900 fax 805/642-0081
Unlocking the Pelvic Floor
Addressing the most misunderstood part of our musculoskeletal anatomy.
Start by fxing the feet...
Foot Alignment
The position of your foot when walking is VERY
important! The muscles in your legs and pelvis dont
work correctly unless the feet point straight ahead
while the tires of your car. Use the
straight-edge of a mat, a tile or a yoga block (shown)
to line up the OUTSIDE edge of the foot.
elvic Floor issues are often misunderstood and not properly
treated. Many times issues in this area are a result of the position
in which we carry our pelvis, which in turn efects how the
muscles are able to keep the organs from moving downward. To do
your part in making sure your pelvic girdle and pelvic foor are in the
correct position, do these exercises on a regular basis!
Work your way up to holding each exercise sixty seconds, and repeat
each 2-3 times per day!
Use a 1 Dome or thick rolled towel. Keeping the foot
straight, place the ball of the foot on the top of the dome.
Step forward with the opposite foot as far as you can
while keeping your body upright and balanced. Your hips
should remain aligned over your back ankle.
Calf Stretch
A tight calf will alter your gait pattern, all the way up to the neck!
If the calves are
very tight, your
upper body will
really lean forward!
Shorten your stride
by moving the
nonworking foot
backward until your
torso is upright.
Prone Inner Thigh Stretch*
*If you have a hip replacement, only stretch the leg that has not been replaced.
If you have been a pelvis tucker the groin muscles can become
very tight. Start with this groin stretch before moving on to the more
advanced Legs on the Wall shown below
Lie down with your belly fat on the foor.
Reach one leg out to the side without
bending the knees! Relax your head and
neck on your hands. Try to bring your leg
up until it is 90.
Lying on the foor, place the soles
of the feet together. Let the knees
drop open to the sides. The height
of the legs above the foor indicates
the tension in the groin and hips.
If the stretch invokes too much
sensation, rest, and the resume the
stretch when youre ready.
Legs on the Wall**
**Do not do this exercise if you have an artifcial hip.
Inner Thigh Opening (Cobblers Stretch)
Keep your ribs
on the foor
Place your legs up a wall, keeping your entire
pelvis on the ground with a bit of space
underneath the waist band. (See picture).
Keeping your knees straight, allow your legs
to open away from each other to stretch the
adductors (the muscles between your knees
and hips). If you cant keep your legs straight
due to tension in the
back of the legs, scoot away
from the wall.
This is an intense exercise.
Rest when you need to,
and resume when you are able.
Restorative Exercise Institute Restorative Exercise Institute
A note on tension
Stress can have a direct impact on the tension on our muscles! Relieving
stress can be a lengthy process, but start with these simple tips:
Avoid excessive stimulants like cafeine, nicotine, alcohol, and sugars.
Reduce stimulation in the evening, such as excessive television, computer
use, and fast-paced music.
Make sure you are getting eight hours of sleep per night. Often we think
we dont need a full nights rest. However, observe your stimulant habits
during the day - you might be taking in sugar and cafeine just to keep
yourself awake!
Foot Stretch
If you have worn heels throughout your
life, participated in sports like running, or
tend to thrust your pelvis forward when
standing, the muscles in the feet are
extremely tight. Stand up and reach one
leg back behind you, tucking the toes
under as shown.
If the foot cramps, then take a rest, but
return to the stretch right away.
These following exercises stretch and innervate the
deeper gluteal and thigh muscles that stabilize the sacrum.
Pelvic List*
On the ground or on a block (shown)
*If youve had a hip replacement, stick with the exercise on the foor.
Strap Stretch**
Add a towel or pillow underneath your head if your
neck is tight.
Lying on the foor, loop strap around the front of the
foot, close to, but not on the toes. Extend your leg
up to the ceiling, pulling the toes down toward you,
keep your knee straight and the leg muscles relaxed
(use your arm strength to hold the weight of the leg).
Keeping the hips on the ground, slowly pull your leg
across the midline of the body to stretch your outer
thigh and hamstring.
**If you have a hip replacement, do not pull your leg across
the midline of the body, but enjoy the stretch with your leg
directly above you.
Seated Number 4 Stretch
This is a great stretch for your piriformis, and you can do
it anywhere you sit!
Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Try to lower the
right knee to the same height as the right ankle. Keep
both cheekson the seat and gently lean forward.
Try this on the foor frst! With both legs
completely straight, press one leg frmly
down into the ground, causing the other
hip to lift away from the ground. Use the
outer muscles of the STANDING leg to do the
work (as opposed to the using your low back
muscles!) Neither knee should be bending...
this is a exercise to strengthen your hips!
Add a block (or phone book) under your
standing leg to increase the strength (and
balance) challenge!
Double Calf Stretch
Do you sit all day? Wear heels? Tuck your
pelvis under because it is the proper
way to stand? However your pelvis has
become tucked, the double calf stretch is
a great way to see if your pelvis can even
Place your hands on the seat
of a kitchen/desk chair. Line
up the outside edges of your
feet and straighten your
legs all the way. Your weight
should be back in your heels
and all your toes liftable. See
if you can lift your tailbone
up to the ceiling without
bending your knees!