Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Hip & T-Spine Mobility All In One!-


Here’s a great dynamic movement that will improve mobility in both your hips and thoracic spine.  I call it the “Lateral Lunge with Contralateral Reach.”  It’s a relatively easy movement that you can add to your routine as a warm-up drill.  You can also add a dumbbell on the reaching side to make it a more challenging movement, or perform it with a pair of light dumbbells.

Starting PositionEnd Position

To perform the Lateral Lunge with Contralateral Reach:

  1. Take a big step to your left.  
  2. Plant the foot (keeping it straight ahead), and bend the knee slightly as you hinge forward from the hips.  
  3. Keep your back flat, reach towards your foot with your right arm, and extend your leftt arm to the ceiling (sky, in my case).  
  4. Exhale as you stand up, and repeat the movement to the right.
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4 responses

  1. Paul

    Thanks Sarah, I will have to try these out. What kind of frequency are we looking at for these?

    March 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    • Hola Paul!
      You’re welcome! I would throw them in as part of a dynamic warm-up circuit. I typically have clients do 5-10 reps per side, depending on what other exercises we’re using in the warm-up. A great little bodyweight “lunge/squat matrix” could be: 5-10 prisoner split squats (hands behind head) per side, 5-10 lateral lunges w/contra reach per side, and 5-10 reverse lunges with rotation (in direction of stationary leg)!

      March 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

  2. Debbie

    Thanks Sarah. Your second picture reminds me of a speed skater and helps me remember the form. Lunges and squats really work for me!

    March 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    • You’re more than welcome, Debbie! 🙂
      That’s a great analogy! What I love most about this movement is that it really focuses on the hip and the upper body stretch feels so good! It opens up the chest/shoulders! There are sooooo many squat/lunge variations! I am posting more tomorrow, so you’ll be happy!

      March 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm

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