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  • Dr. Greg Giasson DC, MSACN, MS

Active Recovery Lower Body Movement Complex

A great way to help your muscles recuperate is to include an Active Recovery routine to your schedule a few times per week. It will reinforce functional movement patterns and increase injury resistance.

Here is a simple lower body movement complex that will test your balance and mobility as well as encourage proper blood flow and stretching of tight muscles. As with any routine—a little discomfort during the routine is okay, but you should never feel pain and it shouldn’t linger after the exercise. If it does, please consult a healthcare professional.

This movement complex should be done on both sides alternately and be repeated for 6 to 10 repetitions while being slow and methodical throughout the exercise. Be sure to concentrate on your form, to tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your shoulders back and down.

1. Upright Standing:

Tall posture with shoulders back and down, hands on hips elbows in line with body, feet shoulder width apart.

2. Left Leg Forward Lunge:

Step forward with the left leg, allow the right knee to touch the floor. Do not let the left knee pass the left foot (knee at 90 degrees).

3. Right Leg Up Stork Stance:

Pressing off the left leg, bring the right knee up to 90 degrees balancing on the left leg standing tall.

4. Right Leg Side Step:

Bring the right leg out and over to the right like you are stepping over a wall into a wide leg stance. Drop your butt behind you (like someone is “pulling your belt”) as you settle into a wide leg squat maintain your back curve by keeping your chest high and press through the center (arch) of your feet—not toes or heels.

5. Return To Right Leg Stork Stance:

Try to return to stork stance by lifting your right leg and reversing the motion (not pushing off with the right leg—if possible) so your return to the left leg standing posture (same image as #3).

6. Right Leg Back Reverse Lunge:

Step back with your right leg so you return to the “Left Leg Forward Lunge” pose (same image as #2).

7. Return To Upright Standing:

Return to the standing position by reversing the first lunge to a full upright standing posture tall and straight (same image as #1).

Repeat with the other leg starting and complete 3-5 times on each side.

Here is a video link describing this movement complex.

If you have pain during this routine or feel unstable—consult with a healthcare professional and make sure you are ready for a routine like this.

Check out our online newsletter for more details about active recovery routines:

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