This week’s post is written by Matt, a personal trainer. Go check out his website to see the whole range of what he can offer!
Hello, my name’s Matt and I’m a Personal Trainer based in Southwest London. The lovely Samuel asked me to write an article for his blog and as he’s all about movement, I wanted to write about the one move I ensure I do every day that keeps me supple and able to do what I want.
The problem is everyone seems to call it something different!
I call them ’90 Degree Leg Rolls’ but you might know them as ‘Knee Rolls’ or ‘Windscreen Wipers’!
Here’s a short video of me doing them:
How to do it?
I’ll get on to why I do them shortly, but first, here’s how you can give them a go:
- Lie on your back (you need space on both sides for this)
- Pull one knee to your chest, then the other – if at any times you back doesn’t feel happy with this, put your feet down and stop
- Put your arms out wide either side
- Keeping your knees together, steadily roll your legs over to the left; you can go all the way to the ground or stop at any point going over
- While your legs are moving down, brace you core – make your stomach muscles as hard/tight as possible by pulling them in
- Steadily bring your legs back to the central point and then roll them to the other side
- And that’s it!
- You can also drop the legs completely and let the stretch across your lower back do its thing
I generally only do 10 in total and will often feel a few pleasant cracks down my spine while doing so.
Why do it?
Simply, because it safely puts lateral movement through my lower back in a controlled way, which is the opposite way to how it usual moves.
As a personal trainer, I’m on my feet a great deal of the day, and while this sort of movement is generally good for backs, it can still sometimes get tight and not always do what I want it to!
Dropping down and doing some 90 Degree Leg Rolls – you see, the name’s catching on! – really helps with this. It stretches out my QLs nicely (Quadratus Lumborum – deep muscles in the base of the spine) and as the legs really go over, my glutes (bum muscles) too, which being on my feet all day can also tighten up.
If you get a tight lower back, give it a go and see if it can help to keep you moving!
As with all new exercises and movements, if you are unsure if you should do it, check with a professional first, like Samuel at Massage and Movement!
Want more like this?Check out the following blogs from massage therapists I know from around London:
- On The Run Health and Fitness on running, nutrition and sports massage.
- The Soma Room on sports massage and exercise.