Below is an example starter template for the typical Left AIC/Right BC patterned individual.
I chose these Postural Restoration Institute techniques because I know that every asymmetrically designed right-dominant human being with a bigger right diaphragm and smaller left diaphragm can potentially benefit from them (provided they are done correctly).
The most important part is the breathing. It is the foundation of everything we do as humans.
Each exercise can be done for 3 or 4 sets of 5 breaths. This is no different than doing sets of 5 repetitions.
Breathing: inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, focusing on getting all your air out.
Pause at least three seconds before your next inhalation.
If you aren’t feeling the correct muscle, stop and watch the video again. Usually it’s a position or breathing issue. In other words, you didn’t set your body in the correct position or you can’t expand your ribcage during breathing (see exercise #4).
PRI techniques and training are based off of PRI tests and examination. Without being able to test you and find out your health history, I have no idea whether these are the perfect exercises for you. These are good starter techniques/exercises for people who are simply stuck in the left AIC right BC pattern.
Please realize, these techniques are not easy to do! Every detail must be perfect.
There are many, many possible influences that can prevent these exercises from working. In particular dental, vision, foot issues, inability to breathe without using your neck, or by just doing them incorrectly.
PRI exercises/techniques are NOT performed like traditional exercise. Do not try to speed or “power through” the exercise. These techniques allow you to experience your body and muscles in unfamiliar, neuro-muscularly weak positions. We are trying to de-tense your body, not create more tension. Slow and relaxed is the name of the game.
Patience, effort, attention to detail, awareness, experimentation, and a willingness to learn are the traits that I have found in people who have the most success in resolving their issues. PRI and life are not different.
IMPORTANT: Due to the circumstances of “Covid-life” and the impossibility of answering every email I receive, I can not answer any personal questions or give any guidance if I don’t work directly with you. If you are unsure of whether you want to seek coaching, I recommend watching as many of my YouTube videos as possible. Those videos contain everything I know.
You can also check the Postural Restoration Website to find a provider in your area.
#1: 90-90 Variations For Left and Right Hamstrings
This is a two leg version of the 90-90 to recruit both the left and right hamstring by keeping both feet on the wall.
Do not use a ball that is too big, do not use a foam roller, do not use a lacrosse ball. A ball of 4-6 inches is ideal. Anything different will mis-position your joints and stop the techniques from working.
No hip shift is involved.
This is important because some people with lower back pain will struggle with the hip shift due to the position of their sacrum, and need to do the two leg version first because both sides of their pelvis are rotated forward in the PEC pattern. I highly recommend reading about the PEC pattern here.
If in doubt, try this one first. It is the least difficult because both feet are on the wall and it doesn’t involve a hip shift. It’s a great position to practice the proper breathing technique (getting all the air out). Make sure you think about pulling your heels “down” towards the floor, even thought they don’t move. This should activate the hamstrings.
If you only feel your right or left hamstring, release some pressure from that foot to allow you to sense the other side more. This may indicate that an alternating single leg version is more appropriate.
As shown, you can alternate feet, removing one foot from the wall at a time (butt has to remain off the ground) to compare what you are feeling between the left and right hamstring. This is actually a good “sensing” experiment to notice differences between the left and the right.
Another variation is using the ipsilateral (same-side) arm to “reach” as you exhale. In the pictures to the left you’ll see that I reach with my left arm while working the left hamstring and reach with the right arm while working the right hamstring.
The supine 90-90 with hip shift. Restores proper position of the left pelvis and begins to strengthen the pelvis via the left hamstring and left adductor. ***Some people may not be ready for this exercise and need the two leg version as previously described.
Put a small ball between your knees and gently squeeze with your left knee (not shown in video).
Left foot must remain FLAT on the wall. Sense your left heel (sensing the left heel helps recruit the hamstring more easily)
I recommend you watch the “Top 4” mistakes video. These exercises may not seem hard, but in fact they are very technical and are actually very easy to do incorrectly.
#2: Left Adductor
Positions the left upper leg bone securely inside the hip joint via the left inner thigh muscle (left adductor).
Also begins the left hip/left ZOA strengthening process by teaching you how to shift into left AF/IR appropriately.
The exercise is actually displayed at the end of the video. I highly recommend you watch the entire video as it explains why this exercise is so important. Doing exercises without any purpose attached to them is pointless.
Postural Restoration re-trains your brain to re-establish proper neuro-muscular patterning, something you’ve lost through years of improper patterning. Re-patterning can only occur through conscious learning.
#3: Right Glute Max
Left Sidelying Right Glute Max. This exercise serves to strengthen the pelvis via the right glute max in conjunction with the left ab wall (via exhalation).
- Make sure your feet stay FLAT against the wall, stacked on top of each other.
- Sense the arch of your right foot while lifting the right leg. This is the most important part.
- Make sure your left shoulder is directly underneath your right shoulder.
- Place a small rolled up towel underneath your left side (between your left hip and left ribcage) to help with correct positioning. Feel your bottom (left) hip pressing down into the floor.
I highly recommend you watch all the videos as this exercise is very difficult to do correctly.
Once you do this correctly, you can add to it by lifting your left knee towards your right knee (they don’t touch, however). You should feel the left inner thigh engage. Caution: this is much, much more difficult, so go slowly. This trains your left leg to adduct and internally rotate while your right leg abducts and externally rotates. If you lose the feeling of your left abs while doing this, you’ll lose the respiratory mechanism of the the left diaphragm and thus you’ll go back into the pattern.
#4: Ribcage Expansion and Obliques
This exercise is difficult to do properly. It’s primary use is to expand the ribcage during inhalation. A restricted ribcage will not allow a pelvis to remain in a neutral position and prevents you from using your left diaphragm to breathe, in which case you will compensate by using your lower back and neck to “pull” air into your chest.
Please watch both videos before attempting it! I recently added two pictures of proper back position. Notice the entire back is round and sidebent to the left. You are attempting to fill your back with air where the “X” is. Do not allow your pelvis to shift to the right. If you don’t feel left abdominals during the technique, you aren’t doing it correctly or it is simply too difficult.
Make sure a folded-up towel is beneath your left knee. It ensures proper position of your pelvis. The towel is not shown in the pictures.
It is used to promote left pelvis posterior tilt, left posterior ribcage expansion, left ZOA strengthening, and left scapular strengthening.
If position can’t be maintained while lifting the right arm up, keep it on the ground but try to maintain most of your body weight on your left hand.
Right Ribcage Expansion
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