I’ve created this guide for my Restorative Exercise™ clients, so they have a handy dandy reminder of how to use their styrofoam domes.
I love this inexpensive tool. Here are a few ways that I use this versatile little prop. I keep one at my standing workstation, in my treatment room and in my living room. You can get a long one here and cut it into 3 smaller domes.
I also have this black one.
It’s a bit firmer than the white one. If you are just starting I would get the white one for the calf stretch, it has a little more give.
1. Pelvic List:
2. Neutral Pelvis:
3. Calf Stretch:
Watch a video on the calf stretch here.
5. Double Calf Stretch/Hamstring Stretch:
The double calf stretch/hamstring stretch:
Do this first without the dome or with a rolled up towel if you have been wearing shoes with positive heels most of your life.
- feet ASIS width apart
- heels on the floor
- knees fully extended
- Back your hips up as you rotate forward, only as far as your pelvis will rotate. Don’t flex the spine, do NOT look at your leg warmers or up at the clock. Your pelvis should be behind your ankles to balance you out.
- Relax the pelvic floor.
- Hang out in this stretch for at least a minute three times a day.
- To troubleshoot this exercise visit my Hamstring article and video.
I use a dome to prop my head up during the psoas release so that my neck isn’t in hyperextension. Read about the psoas release here.
7. Top of the toe stretch:
8. Posterior dome hold. Squeeze the dome between the palms of your hands. Depress and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Maintain external rotation of humerus (upper arms). By the way, that’s not a demon under my massage table, it’s my Biomat control unit.
9. Adductor stretch. Caution: don’t do this if you have a hip replacement or if you have an inguinal injury, pubic symphysis displacement or injury to the area you are unsure about. Use the dome under your head to keep your neck from going into extension. Do you have some reading to do? Get out of the chair and onto the floor. Keep your pelvis neutral (ASIS and pubic symphysis in the same plane- you may have to move your butt away from the wall to do this), knees fully extended, let your legs roll out (externally rotated). Work up to four minutes in this pose (you’re not reading the whole book in this position). Warning: this exercise is intense, so work into it slowly and listen to your body. The goal of this stretch is to help restore adductor length. Once you’re done stretching your adductors, cycle into the psoas release or cobbler stretch. You wouldn’t want to do this with baby goats in the room…because they will jump on your head. …Oh, and make sure you lock the door. Want more adductor love? Check out the Alignment Snack called Adductor Madness.
10. My futon or floor workstation:
These stretches/exercises are Restorative Exercises™. “The Restorative Exercise™ Institute (RExI) is a facility dedicated to the Biomechanical Model of ”Preventive Medicine”. Created by biomechanist Katy Bowman, the Restorative Exercise™ educational program is comprised of a series of self motor-skill evaluations that serve as indicators to healthy muscle activity, joint articulations, and proprioception.” From the Restorative Exercise™ website. Update RExI is now the Nutritious Movement Center Northwest.