Tight hamstrings? lower back pain? Weak pelvic floor? You just had a baby? This quick, effective move may be good for you, Dr. Dutch says, because it will help you connect with your “core box,” strengthen your hamstrings, and activate your inner thighs—and you probably won’t sweat. (Plus, it feels really good, trust us.)
In a recent Instagram post, Dr. Duch wrote, “I’ve recommended a version of this several times this week to someone with back pain, someone with ‘tight’ hamstrings, and someone trying to re-establish contact with their core can after having a baby.” “
So, uh, what’s your primary caddy?
Nowadays, when fitness figures talk about “core”, they often mean the abdominal muscles. Your core actually includes your midriff, abdomen, hips, back, and pelvic floor, says Dr. Deutch. Much of our aches and pains in this area come from imbalances in strength, causing some muscles to do more work than others in order to compensate.
This particular exercise is very powerful because it stimulates all of these muscle groups at once. “We want to make sure that all areas of that box are needed to help,” says Dr. Deutch. “It distributes the work throughout the base case evenly.”
Give her a chance
Want to give this holy grail exercise a try for yourself? Heres how to do it:
- Lie on your back with your feet propped up at a 90-degree angle on a sofa or chair.
- Place a foam ball or rolled towel between your inner thighs, and press your lower back into the floor.
- Inhale, flex your feet, and press your heels into the couch or chair so your butt hovers an inch or two off the floor as you gently squeeze the ball between your legs.
- Take three to five long, steady breaths while hovering. Think of expanding the rib cage on the inhale and drawing the pelvic floor up on the exhalation.
- Slowly lower your butt to the ground and shake your muscles.
- Repeat three to five times.
A word of caution: this can be a little too much for your hamstrings at times. If you find your muscles spasm when you’re hovering over them, Dr. Dutch suggests keeping your butt flat on the floor and gently pressing your heels into the sofa or chair. This will still activate and strengthen your hamstrings without leaving you limping.
Try incorporating this circuit into your daily routine, either as a standalone exercise or as a warm-up, and see how your back, hips, and hamstrings feel. It may not be a panacea, but it could save you an expensive trip to the chiro.