Categories
Lifestyle Training

Movement Tip: Adductor Stretches

The hip adductors (groin muscles) are notoriously tight for many people. With the daily routines that most of us have, we constantly have these muscles in their shortened positions, rarely engaging them with any purpose to keep them stimulated and healthy. For the most part our adductors perform the functions of squeezing our legs together and assisting with some hip flexion, with the adductor magnus also assisting in hip extension. These days our most common position tends to be seated with legs together or often crossed, placing these muscles in their shortest positions. We spend hours like this, so it’s no wonder these tissues start to adapt and become short and lazy. They attach to the pelvis and femur (thigh bone) apart from the gracilis crossing the knee and attaching to the tibia (shin bone). Due to their attachment points they play an often-overlooked roll in pelvic stability and angle. The stability and angle of the pelvis has large implications throughout the rest of the body, low back discomfort being at the top of the list. So, it’s important to keep these muscles pliable and healthy.

Stretching is one option that’s an easy way to help stimulate these muscles. A couple of options for you to try are the Frog Stretch which targets the short adductors that only cross the hip joint, and the Goalie stretch that targets the long adductors that also cross the knee joint.

As always please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.

For these stretches there are no specific time rules of how long to hold positions. You are moving through different ranges of each stretch and if you feel more tension in a certain range, you can spend a little extra time there. The goal is to feel some tension release and balance throughout the different ranges and from side to side.

Dynamic Frog Stretch

Dynamic Goalie Stretch

Categories
Training Uncategorized

Movement Tip: Half-Kneeling Short Range Hamstring Curl

This is a movement that I picked up from Dr. Spina’s FRC material.  I love it because it addresses the top range (short range) portion of a hamstring curl or knee flexion which is so often neglected.  Most hamstring movements focus on the mid or low range, and the movements that are supposed to include the top range are often performed poorly, leaving it out anyway.  In many cases people don’t even have to flexibility to perform work for this range and that’s the other reason why I like this movement.  It also works on quad flexibility at the same time, in particular the rectus femoris that crosses both the knee and hip joint which is often a restricting muscle for many people.

I like using this as a movement prep/warm-up movement especially on a lower body focused day.  The set-up is key to making this an effective movement and for those that can’t get into this position, the video below offers an alternative set-up.

Cramping or muscle spasms in the hamstrings are common when first attempting this movement.  This is a normal response and will pass once your body and brain adapt to the pattern.

This exercise should be performed slow and controlled throughout.

Start in a half-kneeling rec fem stretch position keeping head, shoulders, hips and planted knee aligned with one another.  Hold the foot of your back leg up as close to your butt as you can manage.

Slowly release your foot while squeezing hamstrings and glutes controlling the negative all the way down to the ground.  Try not to let your foot just sling shot out of your hand.  Slowly curl your leg back up to the top position as far as possible before assisting with hand as little as possible and returning to start.

Suggested variables:

2-3 sets, 3-6 reps/side, slow and controlled throughout. (4-5 seconds to lower, 3-4 seconds to return to start.)