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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

Movement Tip: Band Quadruped Leg Extension w/Lateral Challenge

Today’s movement prep exercise is awesome for not only activating the muscles surrounding the hips, but also the entire core system! The lateral resistance challenge from the band makes this a lot like a Palloff Press but with your leg instead of arms. Here is how to do it:

-Focus on your frame. While the movement and challenge from the band is with your leg, the stability of your frame is where the magic is happening. Although you will feel the band tensioning the leg you extend, the muscles of the core and stabilizing hip need to anchor and work equally as hard if not harder to provide the proper base of support for that extending leg to leverage off of and perform the motion.

-To create a strong frame your points of contact with the ground must be firm. Spread your fingers apart providing greater surface area for a larger base of support and use those fingers to grip into the ground as well. Activating those intrinsic hand muscles also generates more wrist support and space in the joints for pain free wrists! The knee that you will be posting on is equally important. Make sure it is comfortable and well grounded.

-Anchor a large loop band to a stable post about knee height when standing. Loop the free end around the mid-foot of the leg that you will be extending.

-Facing sideways to the anchor point at a distance where band tension is appropriate for you, start on hands & knees with shoulders stacked over hands & hips stacked over knees with neutral spine. Think of being long from the crown of your head down to your tail bone and scooping your shoulder blades and filling up your mid-back to create proper stability through your shoulders.

-With an engaged cinched core keeping hips and shoulders square with one another and the ground, slowly extend the leg with the band around it while resisting the lateral tension keeping it inline with body. Move with purpose and think of placing your leg where it needs to be.

-Extend the leg so that it is aligned with your torso height and hip. Hold for the specified time before slowly returning to start position and repeating.

-Complete a full set with your weaker side first before switching.

My preferred variables for this movement are 1-3 sets, 3-6 reps/side with 5-10 second holds at the end range. Enjoy!