Unlocking my hips?
I need to unlock my hips. Relax my hips. Whatever that means!
I know I need to do this, and it has been an on-going challenge to do so, because I don't really understand what it means or feels like, which makes it very difficult to figure out a) how to do it, and b) if I am (or am not) doing it. I have had a few moments where I have felt something 'different' that people have said were it (sorta) so I do have the faintest clue, but would appreciate some help on how to get better at this mysterious task.
Tips, tricks, suggestions? Exercises on or off the horse? I tend to run a lot, and I have heard that that may contribute to my issue...
Zumba. Moves my hips and pelvis like nothing else! Great for increasing/maintaining flexibility and strength. Fun as hell, too!
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Get a hula hoop. $7 problem fix and lots fo fun. Just don't let any of your neighbors see you doing it. They'll think your nuts.
I could not keep a hula hoop up and around my hips for my life. I have tried, and tried and tried. Even with the good quality heavy ones.
Yoga or zumba. Yoga has a ton of simple stretches and you can find many videos on YouTube on how to do them. I do yoga for my back and hips and helps a ton. Simple stretches like putting one leg on a raised object(counter,desk, wall) and squatting on the opposite helps me stretchy hips and such.
When you are riding, think "belly dancer!" You are going to have to try some very awkward exercises, so don't do them with anyone watching! :lol:
Your hips need to rock and flow with the horse underneath you, meaning you are isolating your core and relaxing your hips to rock them back and forth.
On my college team we called this the English-Western exercise, ha. While standing, bend your knees slightly and pretend you are on a horse. For a moment, ride "Western:" draw your pelvis up through your belly button and tuck your tail bone, almost like you are "pelvic-thrusting" into the air. Then, ride "English:" arch your back, stick your butt out, but maintain your posture. The key is that the whole time, you are holding your shoulders and chest steady-- they shouldn't move! But your hips should swing forward and back, using your core strength and your lower back muscles to control the movement. The slower, the better!
This is an exaggerated movement, but helps you understand what it feels like to have your hips swing free while your upper body remains still. It's also pretty hilarious. :lol:
ETA... if you are not talking about relaxing your hips with your horse's movement, but actually stretching tight hips, I agree with taking a yoga class once or twice a week!
that excersize can be done two ways;
you can make the change from your (so-called) English posture to Western happen by moving your waist, or from your hip joint. REally, I kid you not.
The moveing from your waist IS much like a belly dancer. your upper body will stay in one place while the lower moves back and forth.
to move from the hips, it will feel much more like posting the trot. your upper body doesn't bend in the middle, it stays vertical but will move forward and backward through air space as you thrust forward and backward with your hips.
stand normally. lift your right knee upward while feeling along the front of your pelvis, top of your thigh for the tendon that contracts to lift your leg. Feel it?
now, do the excersize described with the shift for and aft, but think of that area of your body, where you felt that tight tendon, as your leading point. Think of moving it forward and backward, not swinging upward and back, but forward. To do that, the angle of your thigh to body will open (get wider) and close (get narrower).
Thank you for expanding on that!
I'm going to suggest how I learned. Ride without stirrups. Eventually you'll get tired of falling off and figure it out.
I do seem to be better at moving properly bareback... when I try to transition into the saddle, it's like I lock up again. Perhaps just more practice to make the muscle memory stronger....
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