Injury/Rehab Injury/Niggle Management - w/ cptkirk

evo

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kirky, I wonder if I ask your advice on something:

For a while I've been wondering why my bench is such a weak exercise for me. After watching a few of Ripptoe how to bench videos I've worked out that my problem is I don't get my feet planted on the floor properly and get no arch in my lower back. I've tried but it is just impossible for me.

About 10 year s ago I had a pretty serious back operation on my L5 due to a ruptured disk. Before that I was a semi pro snowboarder for about 8 years. When I was snowboarding everyday, for some reason I developed these really enlarged hip flexors. I'm not sure if it is the tensor fascia or the Iliacus but one of them is very prominent and very tight. In fact I often get cramps in them when I bench; as I said I'm unable to reach the floor properly on a standard bench and feel much more confortable when my feet are up on the bench. ( I actually do flys and skull crushers that way)

I suspect my pelvis is at a weird angle.

Just wonder if there is any exercise, or stretching movement, that could help me out with this problem. I'm in my mid 40, so hopefully it is not too late?
 

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cptkirk

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

go into a bottom lunge hold with your knee off the floor with a not quite as wide as you can go stance...lower down til you're back knee is about 4" from the floor and hold...now the trick is to not just lower down and try and hold yourself up through your front leg and leaning forward through the torso, but rather place your wt at the front of the leading leg and try and drag your front leg back (it won't but will activate the hamstrings)...all the while your activating your trail leg glute by going into posterior tilt (squeezing glutes so the front of your pelvis lifts up towards your rib cage)

do for 1min total time each leg each day w/ 2mins being even better

if you can't get your legs to the floor just lying on a bench you've got a lot of work to do in this regard
 

cptkirk

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

nah, nothing to do with the lower back

try it right now and feel the stretch you get in the hip flexors...with the tightness you're describing you'll be lucky to be able to hold it for 10secs at a time before your glute activation stops
 

cptkirk

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

are you consciously dragging the front foot through the toes (not the heel) and pulling the front leg through the hip via glute activation...try for 30secs
 

evo

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

yeah, I pretty confident I'm doing it the way the video says. I didn't find it that hard.

I notice in the video I posted the guy in that vid says weakened elongated glutes is part of the problem. I actually have pretty strong glutes, as I said previously I was a long term snowboarder and you spend all day in a semi-squat position. Glutes are probably the most important muscle for the sport.

Next time I'm at the chiropracter I'll ask him which way he thinks my pelvis tilts, maybe I have it wrong and I don't have anterior tilt.
 

cptkirk

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

look in the mirror and look at your belt line

if it sticks up a lot higher at the back then the front then anteriour pelvic tilt

if it is slightly higher at the back then the front then you're neutral

if front and back is even then posteriour tilt

you don't actually activate the glutes the bottom position of a squat, it stretches it...activation comes from actual contraction (hip extension)
 

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evo

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

look in the mirror and look at your belt line

if it sticks up a lot higher at the back then the front then anteriour pelvic tilt

if it is slightly higher at the back then the front then you're neutral

if front and back is even then posteriour tilt

I think I may have posterior tilt i I'll get back to you on that. Meanwhile Ill do that exercise, so thanks for that.

Would it help or hinder for me to add dumbell lunges into my leg day as well?

you don't actually activate the glutes the bottom position of a squat, it stretches it...activation comes from actual contraction (hip extension)
Sure, but you are constantly pushing against the terrain as a shock absorber. Have you seen the arses on skiers who do giant slalom? Snowboarding is much the same.
 

EFC 1871

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Re: Maybe the Quickest Way to Get Bigger and Stronger (Planned overload)

Kirky, I just had a crack at it.

I'm in office gear so my pants were a bit constricting, but I found the strain at the front of my pelvis, mostly in my groin.

Not surprisingly with my hip issues I have constant groin tightness/pain, but does that tell you anything?
 

PoidaCat

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Everyone pretty much covered what I was going to say.

I had the exact same issue and it was to do with tight hip flexors.

Unfortunately when we sit in office chairs all day this happens.

This is the stretch I used. (forward to 2:20)

[youtube]-ZX1QMTdAC4[/youtube]

Will help with your squatting and deadlifts too..well pretty much everything.
 

evo

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I like that one better, PoidaCat. However with both exercises i'm getting most of the pain in the front of the quad, before the hip even gets stretched. I guess my quads are tight too.

What is a good exercise to loosen the quad, the old footy classic of just pulling up on your ankle while standing on one leg?
 

ben_1301

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Could try some myofascial release techniques, after a long ride I'll grab a rolling pin out of the kitchen and roll my quads.
 

cptkirk

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evo - as suggested foam roll, stretch from video above x 30secs, iso extreme x 30secs then try reverse lunges and bulgarian split squats...it's still "working" just not a true activation sense

whomb - tight groins is a huge compensation for weak glutes during hip extension
 

EFC 1871

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After doing quite a lot of stretching after work yesterday, my troublesome side is feeling quite loose and weak today (I dare you to take that out of context).

Good thing?
 

cptkirk

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i'd say but you'll need do it again tonight from sitting again all day...you should do all that stretching pre workout (yes stretch pre workout) then strengthen what's weak (hip extension/abduction action and glutes) while the tight muscles (itb/tfl, hip flexors/quads, adductors) have been temporarily turned off
 

EFC 1871

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Yeah that's generally what I do.

If I make time, I try to do some foam rolling for 5-10 minutes before I leave home.

But I do dynamic stretching at the beginning of every single workout. Makes such a difference :thumbsu:

Just on that, does dynamic stretching actually lengthen/loosen muscle long term, or is it just beneficial to relax the overworked muscles for a workout?

I never seem to actually improve the flexibility in my back, though sitting at this chair all day probably removes any chance of that.
 

cptkirk

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i'd take the roller with you and do it all in sequence, it's not great to foam roll just to sit and drive to the gym, its effects can go away...i'd roll rather then stretch though so definitely make sure that happens

basic stretching lengthens muscles temporarily...dynamic has a bit more effect on the nervous system as it's movement and other muscles are working at the same time so you're basically teaching the muscles to lengthen when you do a certain movement if that makes sense...if any muscle is overworked then it needs as much relaxing as it can get

if you're basing lower back flexibility on the sit ans reach test or something like it don't worry about it, your lower back isn't meant to be flexible anyway...it's more stiffness in the hips, thoracic spine and their surrounding muscles as well as crappy fascia that is the problem

and sitting doesn't help, no
 

EFC 1871

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Nah, surprisingly my lower back's fine. I've always had a naturally long reach, despite my problems.

Upper back and around the spine, is as stiff as 6 month old bread. The tightness around the spine is horrid.
 

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