Anne had me start with some exercises that seemed so simple I was sure they would do no good, until I tried to do 20 repetitions in good form. We progressed to harder ones fast, and soon got to some that I couldn't do at all without pain. It was also a real pain to go up to Bellevue once or twice a week for my 7:45 AM appointment, but I'm so glad I kept at it. Now, a year later, I'm not very faithful with the actual exercises, but I find myself tightening my core and butt muscles automatically during my everyday life, and the pain is gone.
(These are not the most flattering pictures of me - how I have humbled myself for this blog! Just keep in mind how good I feel now compared to my "before" self - that is the message I'm trying to convey.)
First Anne introduced me to the foam roll. I lie on my back just relaxing for a while, then move my arms while keeping my pelvic floor and abdominals tight.
On my back on the floor, I march, lifting my feet off the floor one at a time, using my core muscles not my neck and back.
Then "clam shells", not difficult, but I had to work up to 25 on each side. I focus on using my gluteus medius, not my hip or leg muscles. Gluteus medius is the muscle right under the back pocket of your jeans.
When I could do the clam shells without pain, I started doing leg raises with my upper leg straight. Much harder, and at one point I overdid, and caused a lot of extra pain on the right side, which is my worst side to begin with. It took a long time to work up to 20 on each side, and the occasional 25.
The next exercise shocked me because it looks so simple and I couldn't do it. Step up on a step and over, then back. Even on a very small step, the stepping back part caused pain, especially on my right side. I practiced this for months, adding height, and I can still feel just the tiniest bit of weakness on that side. No pain though : )
My granddaughter and videographer, Mira, helped me demonstrate:
I'm still working on the final exercise. It's my hope to go back for a follow up with Anne and show her that I can do it.
I knew Mira would be able to do this exercise easily!