Ankle cuff tubing has a velcro cuff for each ankle with resistive tubing between the two ankle cuffs. It provides light to heavy resistance, depending upon the gauge thickness and the length of the tubing fantastic for strengthening the lower body.
Therefore, add the following three great ankle cuff tubing exercises targeting the hip abductors, hip adductors and gluteus maximus/hamstrings to your fitness portfolio. You will strengthen your hip joint improve your gait, static and dynamic stability and protect the integrity of the hip joint. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
*Keep your head/neck in neutral, the shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, the pelvic floor pulled up/inward and the knees relaxed throughout each exercise. **Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each of these exercises two-three days/week, on non-consecutive days. Both sides where applicable.
Supine Hip Abduction
• Sit down on the floor, stepping through the tubing “loop” first, and then fasten the Velcro cuff around the inside of each ankle.
• Lie down on your back, face up, and extend the legs up over the hips so that the legs are perpendicular to the floor.
• Make certain that the legs do not move toward the floor during the exercise.
• Hands may be placed underneath the hips or behind the head to help prevent the lumbar spine from hyper-extending.
• Legs should be far enough apart so that the tubing is taut in the beginning position, never slack. Feet are never pulled fully together.
• Engage the outer, upper hip muscles (i.e. the hip abductors) abducting (pressing) the legs out to the side to your full range of motion. Everyone is unique, consequently, some will be able to go out further than others and the level of resistance will also be a factor in range of motion. Therefore, choose a level of tubing that matches your level of strength and hip mobility.
• Return the legs to the beginning position and repeat.
Standing Hip Adduction
• Place one of the cuffs around the base of an immovable object such as a vertical post or railing.
• Standing next to the tether point facing sideways, place the other cuff around the inside ankle.
• The outside foot should be staggered a little behind the inside foot so that the inside leg may adduct across the midline of the body and the tubing should be taut.
• Maintain erect posture, keep the knees relaxed, avoid leaning into or away from the tether point.
• Inside hand holding the vertical point, engage the hip adductors (inner thighs) on the inside leg and adduct the leg across toward the midline of the body.
• Return to the beginning position and repeat.
Quadruped Hip Extension
• Seated on the floor, place cuff around the ankles as in the supine hip abduction.
• Kneel onto elbows and knees, placing the elbows under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
• Extend the right leg back so the toes touch the floor, keeping your stability on three points (i.e. left elbow, right/left knees).
• Engaging the gluteus maximus/hamstrings, lift the right leg to hip height only (i.e. parallel to the floor, stable lumbar spine) and back to the point just before the right toes graze the floor.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.