The ability to move the leg independently of the pelvis is a requisite for effective movement patterns. The leg bone, or femur, is connected to the pelvis via the very strong iliofemoral ligament. There is a ball at the top of the femur that sits into a cup at the base of the pelvis (ilium). Ball and socket joints have the greatest range of motion within the body though the freedom of the joint is purely theoretical.
- Remove all of the muscles and connective tissue from the skeleton and the joints all move as much or as little as their design dictates.
- Add long, loose, balanced and well-toned muscles and the joints all move as much or as little as their design dictates.
- If those same muscles are tight and/or imbalanced movement around that joint will be inhibited.
Releasing Hands and Knees
The exercise in the video above is a fairly basic core exercise but can be much more interesting if you pay attention to what happens when the leg moves backwards and up.
- If the core is toned, and the muscles well balanced, nothing will move between the pelvis and the head as the leg moves independently of the pelvis in extension.
- If the hip is “tight” it is impossible to move the leg without the pelvis moving with it.
If you try this releasing hands and knees exercise for yourself, try and feel what happens to the pelvis as the leg lifts back and up. A tight psoas major will limit the leg’s ability to separate from the hips. And most importantly, pay attention to the difference between the two sides. That is where the learning takes place.