Ankle cuff tubing, a tool designed with a velcro cuff for each ankle and resistive tubing between the two ankle cuffs, is a great addition to your fitness toolbox. It provides light to heavy resistance, depending upon the gauge thickness and the length of the tubing, fantastic for strengthening the lower body.
Therefore, add the following three great ankle cuff tubing exercises, which target the hip abductors, hip adductors and gluteus maximus and hamstrings to your fitness portfolio. You will strengthen your hip joints, improve your gait and stability and protect the integrity of the hip joint. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Remember to keep your head and neck in neutral, the shoulders rotated back, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, the pelvic floor inward and the knees relaxed throughout each exercise when standing.
Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each of these exercises two or three days week, on non-consecutive days. Both sides where applicable.
Supine Hip Abduction (Gluteus Medius/Minimus)
• Sit down on the floor, stepping through the tubing “loop” first, and then fasten the Velcro cuff around the inside of each ankle.
• Lie down on your back, face up, and extend the legs up over the hips so that the legs are perpendicular to the floor.
• Make certain that the legs remain over the hips throughout the exercise.
• Hands may be placed underneath the hips or behind the head to maintain pelvic neutrality.
• Legs should be far enough apart so that the tubing is taut in the beginning position, never slack. Feet are never pulled fully together.
• Engage the outer, upper hip muscles (i.e. the hip abductors) pressing the legs out to the side to your full range of motion. Some clients may be able achieve a greater range of motion than others and the level of resistance will also be a factor in range of motion. Therefore, choose a level of tubing that matches your level of strength and hip mobility.
• Return the legs to the beginning position and repeat.
Standing Hip Adduction (Hip Adductors/nose to toes core)
• Place one of the cuffs around the base of an immovable object such as a vertical post or railing.
• Standing next to the anchor point facing sideways, place the other cuff around the inside ankle. The outside foot should be staggered slightly behind the inside foot so that the inside leg may adduct across the midline of the body and the tubing should remain taut throughout.
• Maintain erect posture, keep the knees relaxed, avoid leaning into or away from the anchor point.
• Inside hand holding the vertical support, engage the hip adductors (inner thighs) on the inside leg and adduct the leg across toward the midline of the body.
• Return to the beginning position and repeat.
Quadruped Hip Extension (Gluteus Maximus/Hamstrings/Nose to toes core)
• Seated on the floor, place cuff around the ankles as described in the supine hip abduction.
• Kneel onto elbows and knees, placing the elbows under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
• Extend the right leg back so the toes touch the floor, keeping your stability on three points (i.e. left elbow, right/left knees).
• Engaging the gluteus maximus and hamstrings, lift the right leg to hip height only (i.e. parallel to the floor with a stable lumbar spine) and back to the point just before the right toes graze the floor.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com and her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.