The TOWER, as we affectionately call it, is truly an amazing piece of equipment. It may look menacing but it should not be feared! The tower helps to re-establish the functional chain reaction of muscles that we need in order to maintain good posture and be pain free. It’s great because you just lie there and better posture happens just by lowering the leg through different positions! Yes, it takes time to do it. Because most of us don’t think anything is happening unless we’re DO-ing something, one might be skeptical that anything could be changing. Just because you aren’t actively doing something doesn’t mean that the body is inactive. In the tower the body is actually very active while you just lay there! Really. For the musculoskeletal system, it’s like going on a long walk with everything working right — without any of your habitual compensations allowed to come into play.
At each level of the tower your hip flexor engages then releases, which then lets the pelvis drop back which then extends the back. The shoulders open and the head and neck lengthen. As the pelvis settles to the floor, there is a rotational component at the hip joint between the pelvis and thigh bone, the knee is extended straight which asks all the muscles of posterior leg to lengthen and equalize their pulls as they cross behind the knee. The ankle stays in a close-packed position the whole time. All of this happens at each level as you proceed down the tower, as the one leg gets lower in the tower the difference between the two halves of the pelvis gets greater. This is what happens with each step we take, so in the tower you are spending an hour taking one perfect step.
This one simple exercise is great for all of us considering how much time we spend sitting. It can lessen the effects of being at a desk at work or school all day or being in the car or on the couch for several hours. It has a cumulative effect – we’re all playing catch-up but soon you’ll be making deposits in your posture account. It is an important exercise to help alleviate neck pain, back pain, hip pain and knee pain. I’ve been doing Supine Groin Progressive for 20 years – since before the tower even existed. I continue to include it in my menu several times a week and each time I finish in the evening, I feel so amazing the next morning I have to ask myself why I don’t do it every day! So, if your Egoscue therapist suggests the exercise Supine Groin Progressive, I encourage you to consider investing in the time, the tower and yourself.