Strengthen Your Back, Hips, and Legs with Posting (“Horse Stance”)
You don’t have to be a martial artist to enjoy the benefits of posting in horse stance. If you have lower back pain, sciatica, hip pain, etc., try it to help relieve your pain.
There are 6 motions you need your hips to do to stay strong, flexibile and agile. This activates two of those – adduction and abduction (side to side). Two others, extension and flexion we go over in the post on lunges.
The secret is doing it with the right posture … and consistency.
What to Focus On:
Knees push out over the toes.
Keep your hips anteverted (tilted forward).
Keep the bottom of your ribs moving toward the front of your hips and your shoulders going down your back to keep your core strong and your back straight.
Breathe in – visualize a tall spine.
Breathe out – visualize sinking lower.
Leaning too far forward. If your hips antevert too much, you’ll end up with the top of your head reaching forward instead of up. Correct this by coming out of the stance a little. Either you’re pushing yourself to go too low (ego alert!) or you’re just leaning too much forward. If it’s the latter, think of the top of your head as pushing toward the ceiling. It’s normal to have a slight lean (~10 degrees or so) forward.
Sinking your butt below your knees. Come up a little. If that’s too hard, come up a lot.
Curving your spine. If your ribs going to your hips causes your spine to bend instead of straighten, you need to also visualize your shoulders going down your back. This will correct the bend.
Knees going inside the toes. If you have knee pain when you do this, look down. Think about pushing your knees out to the sides. It may be even further than you think feels “right.” If there was an arrow shooting out the front of your kneecap, you should see it cross over your toes/shoes.
Not breathing. If the pose is too hard to breathe in, make it easier. Find your own comfort in it where you’re able to have a relaxed, slow breath.
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