Back to Basics

Going back to last Fall, the right side of my body has felt a little "off." The aches and pains were too inconsistent to feel injured, but it didn't feeling 100%. For the longest time I thought it was my hip, but lately, I've been feeling twinges in other random parts of my body, from my neck down to my foot with a lot of tightness in my lower back. The discomfort moved all the time so I've been journaling everything that I've felt to correlating it against my workouts and pinpoint possible causes. After much research, I'm fairly certain that the source is the problem is my SI Joint. I've experienced some of the listed symptoms at some time or another. Last night I pulled out my gait analysis report from the UCSF RunSafe Clinic I went to 14 months ago. It'd been a while since I read it and it felt like I was reading it again for the very first time. It basically said that I had weak hips and stabilizing muscles, then went on to predict all the symptoms I've been experiencing.

You'd think with all the strength training I've been doing, this wouldn't be an issue, but in looking back at my Strength Training workouts, they mostly focus on large muscle groups and not the smaller ones like the gluteus medius. Sitting at a desk all day doesn't really help the issue either.

The gait analysis report included a long list of recommended corrective strengthening exercises and stretches. They are quite simple and ones that I was familiar with from previous bouts with physical therapy. But at the time, I was of the mindset that these exercises were too simple and I needed to do tougher, more demanding workouts to address the problems. Well now I know how that worked out, so my mind-set is now corrected, I'm taking my "What If" approach.

"What If" I actually did these exercises on a daily basis?

There's only one way to find out. I'm committing myself to doing some of these exercises daily.

I separated the strengthening exercises from the stretches (the stretches are standard ones that I do in almost every yoga class so I'm not too concerned about those) and made 2 Strength Training Routines of 7 exercises each. I grouped them by personal preference but they can be easily intermixed.

PTX #1 (Physical Therapy Exercises)

Clam Shells - Hold for 2-3 sec - 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side


Hip Abduction - Hold for 5 sec - 10 reps on each leg


** Instead of a band, I'm modifying this using an ankle weight for more range of motion

Single Leg Squat - Hold 2-3 sec - 15-20 reps on each side


** I'm modifying this exercises and using the TRX for my bent leg

Planks - Hold for 1-min - 3 reps on each side


Bridge - Hold for 3-5 sec - 15-20 reps

Bird Dog - Hold for 3-5 sec - 10-15 reps on each side


Single Leg Bridge - Hold 3-5 sec - 10-15 reps on each side

PTX #2

Fitness Ball Bridge - Hold for 3-5 sec - 20-30 reps


** Modifying by using a fitness ball instead of a chair

Squats - 20-30 reps

Single-Leg Balance on Wobble Board - Hold for 1-min - 5 reps with 1-min rest in between sets

Band Walks

- 3-5 reps on each side

Towel Curls - 10 reps on each side

Calf Raises - 5 sets of 20 reps on each side

Quadrant Lunges - 10-15 reps on each side

{photos are from my actual gait analysis report. exercises without photos were recommendations from physical therapy}

Last night Trainer Dave took a look at these and made recommendations (the listed modifications) that would make these more effective specifically for me. Then we went through a few of them so I knew what the proper forms were. Dear Lord, after just 10 reps of hip abductions I was already really feeling it. Clearly lots of work to be done.

I did the entire first set this morning and it took all of 30-minutes. I think I can spare 30-min of my day; i.e., while watching TV to do this. It may even motivate me to spend another few minutes foam rolling too. It will be interesting to see what kind of results this yields.