Add to your routine
Exercise physiologist Lisa of Advance Rehab Centre in Sydney did a webinar on ‘Seated Exercise at Home’ for the HSP community in October 2022.
Building on that, here are two more exercises from her that can help increase step length, improve balance and counteract hamstring tightness.
General strengthening of hip extension helps with increasing step length (usually smaller step length in people with HSP if there’s glute weakness) and overall hip control to help with improved single leg balance or balance in reduced base of support. Quad strength – general for targeting weakness in quad muscles if they’re affected by HSP can have trouble straightening the leg, can also help offset any hamstring tightness.
Exercise 1: Kneeling squat to shoulder press
Start by kneeling on your feet with your head and chest tall, if you struggle with this end range, place a pillow/cushion on top of your lower legs to reduce the range of motion. When you’re ready, rise up into a high kneeling position. Extend your arms up from your chest to above your head, and then back down – you can add a weight as a progression. Lower your body back down, slowly by using the quads to control the kneeling back down.
Muscle groups targeted: Quads, glutes, core, shoulders
Benefit for HSP:
- Provides a quad stretch at the beginning of movement
- Works on core control
- Targets hip extension (glutes)
- Forces the quads to control eccentrically
- Functional position.
Exercise 2: Banded glute bridges
This is a way to add load to a traditional glute bridge exercise. Lying on your back with your knees up and feet flat on the ground, hold a theraband (exercise band) across your hips (you can adjust the tension as needed). Lift your hips up by pushing off your heels, hold the top position for a second before lowering back down.
Muscle groups targeted: Glutes, hamstrings, core
Benefit for HSP:
- Add load for hip extensors (glutes)
- Core activation
- Provides a stretch at end range for hip flexors and quads.