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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 27: Isolated Pelvic Rotation/Hip Shift

Updated: May 19

For the month of December, we have selected skiing specific exercises that will help build strength and endurance to make your knees bulletproof from groomers to moguls ⛷️

Exercise: Isolated Pelvic Rotation/Hip Shift

Purpose: To isolate rotation of the pelvis and shifting into the hips while keeping the rest of the spine stable and still

What It Targets: Controlled mobility of the Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Maximus, Hip Internal and External Rotators


  1. Stand with your feet hips width apart and hinge slightly at your hips, taking a slight bow with your spine. Cross your hands over opposite shoulders.

  2. Pick a spot on the floor ahead of you and maintain your gaze the entire time

  3. Rotate your pelvis to the left while allowing your right knee to come forward as the left knee comes back. Your trunk should not move at all.

  4. Pause at end range, feeling muscle activation in the lower sides of your abdomen

  5. Return to center

  6. Repeat on the other side - rotate your pelvis to the right while allowing your left knee to come forward as the right knee comes back. Your trunk should not move at all.

  7. Repeat as prescribed

Main Cues:

  • Rotate only your pelvis

  • Keep your trunk still the entire time

  • Shift into the hip you are rotating your pelvis towards

  • You should primarily feel muscle activation in the sides of your core

  • You should feel a slight loading stretch into the back hip/glute

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Low back pain

Correction: Be sure to load the hinge with a straight spine, do not bend the spine forward, rotate or arch your back throughout the motion; Decrease the range of motion to a comfortable one

  • Excessive motion throughout the spine

Correction: Slow down and do less. The intended movement is very small to begin with. Focus on keeping everything still except for a slight rotational movement in the pelvis from front to back.

  • Hiking the hips up side to side rather than front to back

Correction: Focus on the spot in front of you and think about bringing one hip towards that spot and you bring the other one away. Repeat until the motion becomes more controllable. Practice makes better!

Why We Love It:

  • This small rotational movement sets a strong foundation for being able to isolate pelvic motion in the transverse plane

  • It trains the ability to focus your gaze ahead while the hips and pelvis move below you, which is crucial on the slopes (especially for moguls and tight turns!)

  • It sharpens fine motor control of the pelvis providing more options and movement strategies which protects the lumbar spine and knees

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

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