Posts tagged stretching

Open your Hips to Better Health

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One of the things I have noticed over the years of working out with and training others–people have super tight hip flexors and don’t stretch enough! Last week, I was boxing with a professional football player who is currently a free agent as he recovers from a pre-season game ankle injury. I’m always amazed at how many football players I’ve met who clearly only train for their particular position on the field. They aren’t encouraged to take care of themselves as a whole body athlete which can often times ends up hurting them as they get older. This particular player is a center – he’s huge. 6’4 and over 300 pounds. His job is to block – so why would flexibility be important? Well – in my opinion, he would be a better all around athlete with less injuries over time if he took a more holistic approach to his training.

We were stretching afterward the class and I mentioned to him how tight his hips were. He stopped for a sec and said that was what the team trainers told him to work on  while he recovers and they gave him a name of someone to call.  I kinda laughed and told him he doesn’t need to call anymore — and ended up showing him some general mobility movements he could work on to help open his hips and loosen his muscles.  I told him to work on his mobility for the next two weeks while he was watching TV or before he goes to bed every day.

It’s not only professional athletes who need to work on mobility either. One of my dear friends just had her first baby and I suggested these hip openers during her pregnancy – and she mentioned how much they helped during labor.

So my point?

Everyone should take time each day to work on mobility. The more you do it, the more progress you will see and the better you will feel. Promise.

As with any exercise or movement, remember to ALWAYS make the stretches work for your body.  Work within a range of motion that you can tolerate.

Here are a few hip mobility movements to get you started…

Spider Man Stretch
 
Spiderman for Hip Flexiblity
  • Assume the top of a Push-Up position or High Plank.
  • Step forward with one leg to outside of the same side hand.
  • Drive your hips forward into stretch and hold for a few seconds.
  • Maintain a braced core and squeeze your glute on the back leg while in the stretch.
  • Return to start position and repeat with your other leg.
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified reps.
Pigeon Stretch
Pigeon Pose
Sit with one knee bent to 90-degrees in front of you, and one knee behind you, rotating your back hip forward and backward.
  • Start with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle. The back knee can be as bent or extended as is comfortable for you.
  • Rotate the back hip toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot.
  • Keep the chest up tall, and only bear as much weight as you can comfortably.

Variation: Elevated Pidgeon Stretch

 

Elevated Pigeon Stretch

 

Long Adductors
(Stretching Exercise Guide)

Long Adductors - Hip Flexibility

Kneel onto your right leg and place your left foot in front of you to assume the lunge position.

  • Slide your left foot out to the side and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Try to straighten the left knee and lean your body forward while relaxing your hips.
  • Rocking the hips forward and back will  change the pull slightly to get all muscles.

Fire Hydrant
(Chloe Ting)

Fire Hydrant for Hip Flexibility
  • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the knee in a bent position, abduct the femur, moving your knee away from the midline of the body.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

Notable News

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Really? – The Claim – Lack of Sleep Increases Weight – Question – NYTimes.com.

I found this article interesting to me because I am living proof that this is really the case. When Nate was born – that little bugger did not sleep. He hated to be alone and Scott and I literally had 4 full nights of sleep in the first 8 months of his life. We both became different people – we snapped at one another, had no patience, walked around in an unmotivated fog and gained weight.  Sleep is important and never underestimate that –I appreciate every Zzzz I can get.

Scientists have known for years that skimping on sleep is associated with weight gain. A good example was a study published in 2005, which looked at 8,000 adults over several years as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Sleeping fewer than seven hours a night corresponded with a greater risk of weight gain and obesity, and the risk increased for every hour of lost sleep.

STRETCH: Hip Flexors « STRETCH EXERCISE EAT.
Flexibility is key to achieving optimal performance so make sure to stretch out your Hip Flexors!

The hip flexors (also known as the iliopsoas or inner hip muscles) are a collection of three muscles: Psoas major, Psoas minor, and Iliacus). When flexed, these muscles work together to pull the femur upward.

I’m not doing that, It Makes Me Feel Silly « BW-PT.com.

We did BOSU balancing a few camps back and boy was it an eye opener. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard but it is. I  practice balancing as much as I can. You don’t even need equipment. My friend Shannon over at AZ Physix suggested simply balancing on one leg as practice.

When someone mentions core strengthening, most people think, “abs.” But, working your core is not simply about making your abs burn with crunches or even doing planks (for what feels like hours). Core training is about total conditioning for all the muscles that attach to you pelvi

Personal Health – ‘Chemo Brain,’ the Fog After Chemotherapy, Gets More Attention – NYTimes.com.

The reason this article/blog got my attention even though it’s not super recent is that I clearly remember Scotty saying he felt like he was in a fog. Not remembering things, feeling just “foggy”. Interesting that they can’t pinpoint who and when chemo patients will experience it. At least it helps to know it’s common.

As more people with cancer survive and try to return to their former lives, a side effect of chemotherapy is getting more and more attention. Its name is apt, if unappealing: chemo brain.

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