Designing an exercise routine: The Cost-Benefit Analysis

Hey guys,

One of the topics people most frequently ask about is the strengthening routine I used to stabilize my SI joints.

A really common pitfall for many people is that they work with a physical therapist, or other professional, who gives them a list of exercises that are painful for them – and then they don’t get better.

For me, and for my coaching clients now, that never really works.  

The “no pain, no gain” mentality is the complete opposite of what you need to do for SI joint dysfunction.  That’s because, if your SI joint ligaments have been sprained, that pain you’re feeling when you push through a painful exercise can actually be coming from the ligament itself.

SI joint ligaments
ligaments of the SI joint

Rather than allowing the ligament to stabilize, when you push through things that are painful, you’re constantly re-stressing the ligament, and stirring that cycle of inflammation back up.

As you guys know, I recovered by putting together a combination of strategies that I learned in different places.  I had a lot of great help along the way, but the strengthening routine is something I really had to customize to find what worked for myself.

By process of trial and error, I learned that I really couldn’t keep pushing through painful exercises.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, or that I lacked willpower– it’s because every time I tried to “ignore the pain,” I ended up worse the next day.  

And when I pushed through this multiple days on end, I’d end up having an even larger setback that could last for weeks, or a month.

So how did I find my way out of the cycle?

I carefully studied the list of exercises I’d been given by various PT’s.  Based on what I’d learned in my own anatomy and kinesiology classes, I then narrowed it down to a list of muscle groups I believed were the most important to strengthen first.

posterior oblique sling

Everything in my beginning routine was designed to maximize the benefits, while minimizing the cost.

That means I chose exercises that let me start activating my muscles, while minimizing any negative impacts on the joint itself.

For example, when I found it too painful to do a glute bridge, I discovered isometric glute squeezes.  These let me start building up my strength, in a totally neutral position for the SI joint.

That’s the thing about the right exercises– they don’t have to hurt.  

Exercise doesn’t have to cause a setback, before you start seeing results.  

I’m so excited to be in a better place now, and look forward to sharing more with you guys in the future! 

Stay tuned!

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Published by Christy Collins

Hi, I'm Christy! I'm a health coach who helps people overcome SI joint dysfunction and chronic pain.

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