This exercise will help to loosen the lower back and hip joints while bringing awareness to the area and teaching pelvic control.
Lie on your back with your knees up, hip distance apart, and your feet flat on the floor.
Find your neutral spine/pelvis: Put the heels of your hands on your hip bones and with straight fingers and hands reach down toward your pubic bone, fingers touching each other. Pick your head up slightly to assess whether your hands are flat and level. If your hands appear to tilt toward your head, you need more arch in your low spine so reach down to the floor with your tail bone. If your hands appear to tilt toward the floor between your legs, you need less arch so scoop your abs and draw your ribs and hips closer together.
You may find that you reach a place that is uncomfortable because the new position is enough different from your old posture that it causes discomfort. Find a reasonable compromise position. The ideal is to work from pelvis neutral. However, if you can’t get there because of discomfort or core weakness, know that pelvis neutral is a goal to be reached eventually. If you have core weakness, regardless of your normal posture, try to work in imprint until you build core strength and stability. Imprint is when the low back is touching the floor by scooping your abs and drawing the ribs and hips closer together.
In this exercise, imagine both an analog clock face and a bowl with a marble in it. The 12 o’clock position is at the pubic bone; 6 o’clock is up by your ribs above your belly button; 3 o’clock is at your right hip; and 9 o’clock is at your left hip.
Starting in neutral, scoop your abs and rock down into imprint, rolling that imaginary marble to the 6 o’clock position. Pick up your left butt cheek off the floor barely an inch – enough to roll the marble to 3 o’clock. Put your butt cheek back down and arch your low back to roll the marble to 12. Then pick up your right butt cheek off the floor just enough to roll the marble to 9 o’clock. Then tuck back down into imprint to bring the marble back to 6 o’clock. Repeat this five more times. You can start it in pieces, but then gradually smooth it out to a continuous flowing motion around the clock, but still in control. Don’t get sloppy!
Now, of course, we need to be balanced. So after six reps in the first direction, be sure to go six times in the other direction: Tuck into imprint and roll the marble to 6 o’clock. Pick up your right butt cheek slightly and roll the marble to 9 o’clock. Then touch back down with your butt cheek and arch your low back to roll the marble to 12 o’clock. Then pick up the left butt cheek to roll the marble to 3 and tuck into imprint to roll the marble back to 6 o’clock.
Make sure to keep your legs parallel to each other and not wobble around following the marble!
Have fun with this one!