Maintenance Exercise Set
(as suggested by Pete Egoscue in Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic
- Stand with your head up, feet squared, and arms at your sides;
put your hands in the golfer's grip, with fingers curled, knuckles flexed, and thumbs extended.
- Raise your arms out to your sides, keeping your elbows straight, palms down, and thumbs
- Lift your arms until they are level with the shoulders.
If one shoulder wants to wobble forward or pop up, lower both until they stay level.
- Now squeeze the shoulder blades together slightly, and rotate the arms forward (in the direction
the thumbs are pointing) in a six inch diameter circle.
Do fifty repetitions.
This E-cise strengthens the muscles of the upper back that are involved in ball-and-socket work.
- Using both hands and the golfer's grip (see Arm Circles), raise them palm-out so that the flat area
between the first and second knuckle joints of the index and middle fingers rests on the temples
in front of the ears; the thumbs are extended downward, parallel with the cheeks.
- Draw the elbows back evenly and in line with the shoulders.
- From this starting position, slowly swing the elbows forward until they touch in front.
Keep the knuckles in contact with the temples, the thumbs fully extended, and the head erect.
If the head moves back and forth, stand up against a wall, slow down, and breathe deeply.
Do fifteen Curls.
This E-cise is a reminder to the shoulder that it has a hinge function.
Foot Circles and Point Flexes
- Lie on your back with one leg extended flat on the floor and the other bent
toward the chest.
- Clasp your hands behind the bent knee while you circle the foot clockwise.
Make sure the knee stays absolutely still, with the movement coming from the ankle and not
from the knee.
Meanwhile, keep the other foot on the floor with the toes pointed straight toward the ceiling.
- Reverse the direction of the circling foot and repeat. Change sides and repeat.
- Stay in the same position on your back with one leg extended and the other
- Bring the toes back toward the shin to flex, then reverse the direction to point the foot.
Do twenty of each, on both sides.
This E-cise restores ankle flexibility and strengthens the flexion and extension muscles.
Sitting Floor Twist
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front.
- Bend your left leg, and cross it over the right.
Keep the left foot flat on the floor and running parallel to the right leg.
- Place the right elbow outside the left knee, twisting the torso to the left. Your head is now facing
- Tighten the muscles of the straight leg, and flex the ankle back toward the knee.
Hold for one minute on both sides.
This E-cise forces the hip rotators to behave bilaterally and to function in cooperation with the
Cats and Dogs
- Get down on the floor on your hands and knees.
Make sure your knees are aligned with your hips and your wrists with your shoulders. Your lower legs
should be parallel with each other and the hips. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly.
- Smoothly round your back upward as your head curls under to create a curve that runs from the buttocks
to the neck — this is the cat with an arched back.
- Smoothly sway the back down while bringing the head up — this is the perky dog.
Make these two moves flow continuously back and forth rather than keeping them distinct and choppy.
Do one set of fifteen.
This E-cise runs a flexion-extension drill for the hips, spine, and shoulders.
Kneeling Groin Stretch
- From a kneeling position, place one foot out in front of the other with the knee bent.
- With the head up and the back straight, place your interlaced hands palm-down on the front knee,
and lunge forward.
Keep your hips square, and avoid twisting the trunk. Do not let the front knee move beyond the
Hold for one minute, and repeat on the other side.
This E-cise reminds the groin muscles that their job is to help stabilize the hip.
- Curl your toes under, and push with your legs to raise the torso until you are off your knees and
your weight is being supported by your hands and feet.
Keep pushing until your hips are higher than your shoulders and have formed a tight, stable
Your knees should be straight, your calves and thighs tight.
Don't let the feet flare outward; keep them pointing straight ahead in line with the hands, which
need to stay in place.
The back should be flat, not bowed, as the hips push up and back into the heels.
If you cannot bring your heels flat onto the floor, do what you can to narrow the gap while
keeping the legs tight. Don't force them.
Hold for one minute.
This E-cise recruits all the posterior muscles...and reestablishes linkage from your wrists to your feet.
- Stand with your back to the wall.
- Press your hips and the small of your back into it while walking the feet forward and
simultaneously sliding down into a sitting position.
Stop when you've reached roughly a ninety-degree angle. The knees should be over the ankles,
not the toes.
Hold the position for two minutes, building to three.
This E-cise puts the hips, knees, and ankles simultaneously into extension while they are aligned
and under load.
from Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines, Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain (New York: Bantam, 1998); extracts from Chapter 13, "Pain Free: The Right to Move," pp. 266-282 and pages referenced on those pages.
For more information, visit www.egoscue.com/. Additional sets
of exercises are provided at www.egoscue.com/htdocs/painfree/freemenus.asp.
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Last modified on February 3, 2007 by Kay Keys