PART 1 – HIP AND GLUTE STRETCHES
The first part in our stretching series is a collection of stretches for the hips and glutes. There is a sample routine at the end of the piece, but if you don’t have access to a band you can choose an alternative from the video and switch things around to suit.
If you have any questions for either of us please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
Rob – firstname.lastname@example.org
Philly – email@example.com
[ ROB ]
The exercises mentioned throughout this piece are by no means a definite list of hip exercises but the ones I find most useful and user friendly when there is a limitation to movement.
Poor hip range of movement can be limiting in many ways and lead to injury if not addressed. It is important that you establish why movement is restricted.
Is it purely due to muscle tightness or is it due to joint stiffness that may be an indication of an underlying problem?
From day to day tasks such as getting in and out of the car, to more complex sports specific movements like running, squatting or side stepping an opponent, if the joint and associated soft tissue structures are taken into an unfamiliar territory all of the above can get a little bit angry.
Like everything in life there is no one size fits all. If you find you have a problem area that is not addressed in any of the exercises then get in touch.
Equally, if some of the exercises are aggravating a problem then let us know as there is always a modified version that can be used.
Contrary to continued popular belief joints like being moved, so move them.
It’s the area that can get neglected but make time to work on increasing range of movement whenever you can for better quality of life, better performance and reduced incidence of injury.
[ PHILLY ]
If you don’t service your car regularly you have to expect it’s going to break down eventually.
If you’re exposing the body to training multiple times a week then you absolutely NEED to treat it with the proper care it needs. Think about it logically, the body is getting stressed consistently over time so there will be an element of ‘wear and tear’ even doing the most intelligent of training programmes.
Sleep, nutrition, recovery, stretching – it’s all part of the puzzle of being able to remain injury free.
Everyone wants results, yet if you are injured and can’t train there’s not a whole lot of progress that can be made.
When it comes to injury prevention and durability be proactive, not reactive.
The other element is that many people have poor mobility and range of motion when they start out training due to long periods of time spent in bad positions.
Being properly trained in how to do the exercises, and doing the exercises over a sustained period of time always helps to improve things, but in many cases more work needs to be done.
As Rob said, this is not a definitive list, but we both believe the act of stretching daily, or at least every other day is of huge importance.
We will add to this over time, and we both hope it helps you in some way.
SAMPLE SEQUENCE (8 MINUTES)
A – 1 MINUTE EACH SIDE – Band Assisted Couch Stretch
B – 2 MINUTE – Goblet Squat Hold (Dumbbell, Kettlebell Or Any Counter Weight)
C – 1 MINUTE EACH SIDE – Band Assisted Hamstring Stretch
D – 1 MINUTE EACH SIDE – Pigeon Stretch
PART 2 – SCAPULAR/SHOULDER STABILITY & THORACIC SPINE MOBILITY
The bottom up kettlebell press is one example of a movement prescribed within a workout or class aimed at improving shoulder stability. Holding the kettlebell this way will challenge the shoulder to stabilise as the weight is distributed unevenly. I like to use a version where the client holds the rack or something similar with their free hand. Grab the rack as tightly as you can, soften the knees and brace your core. Press the kettlebell overheard with your arm finishing extended beside your ear.
This is a challenging movement and should be used with a very light weight to start with. It’s important to check your ego here – the aim is encourage a smooth pressing pattern and challenge shoulder stability, it’s NOT a case ‘I have to try and lift as heavy a weight as I can’.
It’s important to note that this may be too challenging for some people to execute, and a regression would be using a light dumbbell held the same way.
My personal preference is for 3-4 sets with a middle of the road rep range of 6-8.
The quadruped extension rotation is an excellent, controlled way of improving thoracic spine mobility. To set up on this the client starts on all fours, knees stacked under the hips (sitting slightly into a squat is fine), and hands underneath the shoulders. Place one hand behind your head, my cue here is to go ‘elbow to elbow’ and then reach for the ceiling with elbow on the bent arm, and it’s important to limit any movement from the lower back when you do this.
I usually prescribe this in the warm-up or as a set filler in a strength piece. 3-4 sets with 5-8 reps is my preference.