Did you know that having a movement asymmetry (simply meaning a difference in strength or range of motion on the left and right side of your body) is one of the highest risk factors for future injury?
The "Roller Marching" exercise is not only a great way to improve your core strength and stability, but it's also an easy way for you to detect if you have an asymmetry in a fundamental movement pattern. If there is an obvious difference when lifting your left or right leg in this exercise then it is safe to assume that this same asymmetry is present in every step you take... and, you now have the power to work on addressing this!
- long foam roller
- band (optional)
- strengthen your abs while keeping your rib cage, spine, and pelvis in the right position
- improve your ability to stabilize your spine while moving your legs
- improve your ability to maintain core stiffness while breathing
- determine if you have an asymmetry in your deep core
- exhale and feel your ribs glide down towards the roller (FULLY EXHALE!)
- inhale low into your belly while keeping the ribs down --- it can be helpful to place an object on your belly to feel yourself breathing into that area
- take a few full exhales to set-up the position before you start moving your leg
- you should feel your lower back start to contact the roller by getting your ribs down (not by using your legs or tucking your tailbone)
- wiggle your legs to make sure that they are staying relaxed
- once you are ready, lift 1 leg up to 90 degrees on the exhale
- if you are unable to lift your leg up without losing your balance then you should work on placing more weight into 1 leg and de-weighting the other leg (as if you are getting ready to lift the leg up) --- over time you will be able to de-weight the leg even more until you can eventually lift it from the floor
**ADDING A BAND: You can also do this exercise with a band pulling from behind you and secured in each hand. This helps give you another point of stability and can help engage your obliques and deep core.
Can you do this for 2-3 minutes without losing proper alignment? If you answered yes then this exercise is too easy and you should move onto something else! But, this can still be a great addition to your warm-up routine!