Besides its obvious core strengthening abilities, the active leg lower or single-leg lower drill is an exercise that develops mobility in your hips and stability in your core. Having tight or weak hips is a common problem for rugby players, especially those of you who tend to spend a lot of time sitting in a chair, either during the day for work or school or because you play too many video games.
Tight hips will impede your full range of leg motion. Thus, by improving your hip mobility you will not only increase your explosive sprinting and running ability but stable hips also prevent lower back injuries.
The active leg lower drill in 8 steps:
1. Lie on the floor on your back raise your legs straight up in the air with your arms out to your sides. Your head and shoulders remain on the floor during this entire drill.
2. Engage your core while keeping your head and shoulders on the floor.
3. Keeping your legs straight, lower your right leg to the floor while keeping your left leg up in the air. Make certain to maintain the natural curve in your lower back as you lower your right leg.
4. Pause your right leg just before it touches the floor and hold it there for a few seconds.
5. Return your right leg straight up to its starting position next to your left leg.
6. Keeping your legs straight, lower your left leg to the floor while keeping your right leg up in the air.
7. Pause your left leg just before it touches the floor and hold it there for a few seconds.
8. Return your left leg straight up to its starting position next to your right leg.
If you find this exercise is bothering your lower back, cup your hands under your tailbone, or place a small pillow, or folded mat under your hips until your abs and hips are strong enough not to engage your lower back to do this drill.
Get to it NOW.
REMEMBER: Before starting any new exercise routines please check with your medical provider and clear your new exercise plan with them before beginning. This is especially true if you haven’t been exercising for some time or are recovering from an injury. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on T.V.
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