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

Posts tagged “hip mobility

-Guest Blog Post @ Love Eshe!-

Hey everyone…listen up!

lvAngel Stone is the savvy and spirited force behind Eshe Body Center, offering personal training and fitness consuling in DC/MD/VA.  A while back, she asked me to write a guest post for LOVE ESHE…of course I was extremely flattered & super excited!  I wrote up a post called “The Three Issues Most Women’s Workouts Aren’t Addressing,” and shot an accompanying video!


“Eshe, pronouced ah shay, means “life” in Swahili. LOVE ESHE was created to inspire you to live each day to the fullest by keeping both your mind and your body fit.

Our mission is to 1) keep you abreast of the best in fitness and nutrition trends, 2) expose you to inspiring people, and 3) make you feel really guilty about being lazy.

Sense of humor is required.”

As you will soon discover, Angel rocks and LOVE ESHE is an awesome blog that is jam-packed with fitness information!  It’s not meant for those who can’t laugh a little, so I know most of you are gonna appreciate Angel and what she does!  Y’all all know I love fitness professionals who aren’t afraid to set themselves apart by being themselves!

Check out “Southern Fitness Maniac Part 1!

-Pivot Your Way To Better Hips!-

Ah...the glorious hip pivot!

Ah...the glorious hip pivot!

Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself…okay, so I feel I do that a lot!  Call it what you will, I call it “getting the point across.”  There are a few subjects with which this is the case, one of which is the glorious phenomenon of the hip pivot.

Why devote an entire post to this subject?

I could devote several posts to this subject.

Trainers – all of your clients need to do exercises that incorporate the hip pivot action.

Exercise enthusiasts – all of you need to do exercises that incorporate the hip pivot action.

Does that make my point clear enough?

Okay, then…here we go with the “hip pivot nugget of gold” for today.

Why do I feel so strong about the hip pivot?  First off, most people have less-than-stellar hip mobility. Most people have tight external rotators of the hip. Do this for me: stand up and walk a few paces, then stop.  Look down at your feet.  Are they turned out?  A clue that you might have this common issue is that your feet externally rotate.  Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal.  Most of my clients initially present with this compensation, which is indicative of tight Soleus/Biceps Femoris/Piriformis and weak Glute Medius.  You don’t have to be a fitness genius to realize that if you want to promote balance, you must “calm down” & stretch the tight areas and “fire up” the weak ones.  There are many ways to do this for the areas listed, but the action of hip pivoting should not be left out of the equation.

You see, when you perform a hip pivot, not only are you actively driving the pivot leg into internal rotation, you are also driving the stationary hip into internal rotation.  This action “fires up” the glutes and provides a dynamic stretch of the tight hip external rotators.  It’s a win-win!

Here’s a rundown of a corrective strategy:

  1. Tiger Tail for Soleus/Gastrocs
  2. Straight-Leg Hamstring Stetch (assisted or with rope) for Hams
  3. Static Piriformis Stretch
  4. Bridge Variation (for Glute Max, which most likely is also weak)
  5. Miniband Lateral Walks for Glute Medius
  6. Medicine Ball Pivot Rotations for total-body integration and emphasis on hip internal rotation
Crappy picture quality, but check out my pivot!

Crappy picture quality, but check out my pivot!

Bottom line:

The “lost art” of pivoting must be rediscovered!


Til next time, get started and keep on pivoting!

Yours in Health,


-The “Pool Cleaning” Workout Pt. I!-

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time (and expended a ton of energy) helping my friends get the pool ready for the summer!

As we were busting our butts, it became apparent to me, yet again, that the main reason I love manual labor is the fact that it’s the complete opposite of laziness.  I abhor laziness.  Lazy people irk the crap out me.  I have been known to fire lazy clients!  Laziness is a disease, and i’m grateful I was raised with a strong work ethic!

There is simply no way you can be lazy while performing pool cleaning duty! 🙂

Saturday, my first role was “muck bucket lifter and dumper”.  One of my friends was at the bottom of the pool shoveling the muck and dumping it in buckets.  We had a rope on a clamp which clipped onto each bucket.  My job was to stand at the edge of the deep end and hand-over-hand pull the heavy muck buckets to the top, pick them up, and dump them into garbage bags.  We did this for at least an hour, and had quite a system going!  My calves, arms, lats, and low back got a workout!  Once again, my hip mobility and bulletproof knees came in handy, as I was the one who got to scoop the crap out of the drain.  I can squat “ass to grass,” so I was able to get down low and become even more well-acquainted with the scum!

My second role was “pressure washer”.  I love the pressure washer!  I think mainly because I feel like such a badass when I wield it!

Sunday was more pressure washing fun, along with my bright idea to apply the bleach stuff to the ring around the top of the pool, then scrub it with a big long-handled brush.  I was standing along the edge, making sure to keep a low center of gravity (toppling headfirst into an empty pool would not be a good thing).  Brushing up and down KILLS your triceps!  I am so sore today!  It did help, though, so it was worth it!  

So…I came up with the crazy little idea to concoct a “pool cleaning” workout.  There will be more info to come on this, but here’s my first exercise, inspired by my “bucket of muck pulling” from Saturday.

Also, in the video i’m using 60 lbs of kettlebell weight…NOT 30!  I’m entitled to at least one blonde moment a day!

-Improving Hip Internal Rotation Pt. III!-

It’s y’all’s lucky day…it’s a “two post” day! 🙂

Here’s Part III of my “Improving Hip Internal Rotation” series:

You can view Part I and Part II by clicking each!

Also, guess who passed the “12,000 hits” mark yesterday?!!! 🙂  Once again, a BIG thanks!

-Improving Hip Internal Rotation Pt. II!-

As promised, here is Part II of my mini-video series demonstrating several “outside the box” ways of improving internal rotation of the hip!!!!

-Being A Couch Potato HURTS!-


I wanna be doing these again soon...

Since Sunday, i’ve been layed-up on the couch sick with the flu.  Sunday was the worst.  I’m looking forward to feeling less out-of-it tomorrow…and hopefully Thursday when I leave for Florida, i’ll be almost-back-to-normal!

My mom always said that she could tell when I didn’t feel well as a kid because I got quiet.  Same thing applies today, along with the fact that when I don’t feel well, i’m able to lay around and watch TV.  Normally i’m working on at least three things on my laptop while attempting to catch up on one of my few favorite shows in the background…and I typically can’t tell you what happened on the show!


Being sick is the pits.  We all know this.  

It’s also a pain in the back!  How anyone can lay around the house all day watching TV is beyond me.  Sunday consisted of laying around…so did yesterday, after I got home from the Doctor.  Today, however, I got up and felt better…no more fever, and that “ready to tackle the gazillion things I need to get done” feeling was overwhelming me.  Once I started moving around, however, I felt extremely feeble.  It was as if my back had locked up.  I’ve thrown my back out before, and this wasn’t the same thing…but more like a “why the hell haven’t you been moving around, you dingaling?!” kinda thing.  My body was not happy with me!  It was all I could do to take Biskit out to potty, and I spent most of that time clutching my lower back as I had him on the leash.

pirifSolution?  Well, i’m supposed to be taking it easy right now, so I opted for the foam roller.  Let me tell you, my left hip/glute…more specifically my left piriformis and TFL were INSANELY painful to roll out!  Normally, I can tolerate a considerable amount of pain…and foam rolling, to me, isn’t pain…it’s more of a discomfort.  Well, this morning, it was PAIN!  I had to work into the tight areas very carefully, and to be honest, I felt relief just from a little bit of rolling!

Today, i’ve been sitting on the couch as opposed to laying on it…okay, so now i’m in some of a recumbent position…but i’m worn out!  For most of the day i’ve been working on my laptop, trying to finish my Ebook.  I’ve sat with a pillow supporting my lumbar spine, which definitely helps.  Think about it – when you lay back on thecouch, what happens to your spine?  It gets all jacked up!

Main point to drive home?  Being a couch potato HURTS!  I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t relish “being lazy” quite the way most do.  Now, if we’re talking relaxing in a hot tub with cocktails and good friends, that’s a completely different thing.  Laying on the couch for hours on end watching the boob tube?  You can have it, because i’m pretty much done with it!



-The Diagonal Lo To Hi-

Here’s yet another exercise that can be done with the Superband or JC Band.  If you don’t own a Superband, I highly recommend that you order a couple of ’em!  They aren’t expensive and if you’re eagerly anticipating the release of my MTM 1.0 Ebook, it would be a good idea if you had a few available! 😉

The Diagonal Lo To Hi is a total-body movement that incorporates rotation.  It’s not an exercise for beginners, as it requires a good deal of coordination and body awareness. 

Notice that i’m not bending over in the “start” position.  I’m crouching down.  I make a point to bring this up because often times, i’ll have clients do more bending than crouching!  Drop the hips and keep your chest up.

When you come up and across, it’s really important to push off the inside leg and pivot that foot.  This drives that hip into internal rotation, which not only decreases the torque on the lumbar spine, but is a healthy and important action for the hips!  Most people’s hips are happy to externally rotate, and don’t prefer to internally rotate!  Internal rotation works the glutes, people!  Most people’s glutes don’t work effectively, therefore we must incorporate exercises that encourage this natural action.  If you ever watch a baseball player hitting a ball, pay attention to their legs and hips.  As they follow through, their “trail” leg will internally rotate at the hip.  They just don’t hit the ball and keep their feet planted.  The ball would go nowhere and the force created would not be transferred safely throughout the body.  Internal rotation is a good thing!  It’s an action that is prevalent in sports, but for those who aren’t active, it’s a foreign thing…and it’s something we all must do!