T Nation

Active Recovery Workouts & Hip Flexor/Quad Stretching


#1

First off, I was wondering if I could get some advice on static hip flexor/quad stretching, and static spinal erector stretches. I am trying to fix a bad posture, and in an article I've read here on the website, these are some of the things required, but I'm not real familiar with them. I have looked them up with the search bar but haven't found much in the way of what stretches to exactly do.

Second off, I do Active Recovery/Neural Charge workouts. Would these be good days to add in the injury/posture/stretching type exercises. I have introduced a lot of exercises for elbow, shoulder, and hip health into my routine, but really it's stretching my workouts way too long for me to do all that and plus all my main exercises.


#2

I'm no expert on stretching by any means, but I wouldn't think stretching AFTER a neural charge workout would be a bad thing at all. Just don't do it during the workout...indirectly defeats part of the purpose of it.

Improving bad posture and flexibility requires time. You didn't develop bad posture overnight, and it won't go away overnight. The key is to be as aware of it as possible at all times (at work, home, sitting in the car, during workouts, etc) and actively striving to maintain good posture as often as possible.

BTW...what kind of posture issues are you having? This would help if people knew.

Also, hip flexors are one of the major areas of chronic tightness, which will also lead to "tightness" in your low back, hamstrings, and other areas.

I've also found that concentrated phases of flexibility focus are very effective. While you want to work at flexibility (general stretching after workouts), flexibility is just like any other physiological adaptation process of the human body.....it will adapt to intense and frequent stretching exposures over time. The more concentrated the effort, the quicker your body will have to adapt and increase flexibility.

Don't make it too complicated....just stretch the areas that need to be stretched CONSISTENTLY.

Foam rolling and massage therapy are obviously helpful too.


#3

(I think I have over-answered your question)

Some basic lower body dynamic flexibility stuff:

Thoracic Extensions on a Foam Roller
Pulsed Hip Flexor Mobilizations
Wall Hip Flexor Mobilizations
Split-Stance Kneeling Adductor Mobilizations
Two-legged Glute Bridges
Frontal Plane Hip Swings
Front-to-Back Hip Swings
Dynamic Calf Stretching

You should be able to find demos by googling or on you tube. I do most of these before LBWO.
I am also big fan of this one lately:

This one good if you've got some room:

PRONE HIP FLEXED HIP ROCKING:


What Is It: Prone Hip Flexed Hip Rocking
Who Did I Steal It From: strength coach, Kevin Neeld.
What Does It Do: helps to mobilize the hips into adduction/abduction.
Is That Not the Sexiest Camera Angle Ever: Youâ??re damn right it is.
Key Coaching Cues: Starting in a quadruped position, flex one hip to 90 degrees. From there, simply â??rockâ?? side to side making sure to limit movement from the lumbar spine and focusing more on the hip capsule itself. Itâ??s important to note that this is a self limiting exercise. Meaning, donâ??t be too concerned with range of motion here - just use what you have and try to improve on that as you go.

Here's some more from Joe DeFranco:

1 â?? Foam Roll IT Band â?? Start just below your hip and roll up & down to your mid-(outer) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 â??rollsâ?? starting at your mid-(outer) thigh and rolling all the way down to the outside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas.

2 â?? Foam Roll Adductors â?? Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up & down to your mid (inner) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 â??rollsâ?? starting at your mid-(inner) thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight spots.

Now be warned I don't do the above one (#2) in public... My foamrolling isn't supposed to be anyone else's foreplay and these are pretty similar to humping the foam roller.

Mountain climbers can also be good

And if all THAT doesn't keep you busy enough here's a great stretching site:

http://bioexsystems.com/exercise.asp?Title=Stretch%20Module&Crit=Module7
And the static hip flexor stretch I've attached a picture of it.


#4

Having similar probs with hip flexors etc and these are some very helpful posts....thanks guys :slightly_smiling:


#5

Having similar probs with hip flexors etc and these are some very helpful posts....thanks guys :slightly_smiling:


#6

Thanks guys this is very helpful. The posture problem that I'm having is an anterior tilt, and I found a great article on T-Nation that lists which exercises to do, and which streches to do.

Hallowed be thy name lmao. Good fucking job I appreciate the thorough response. I will definitely look all of these up and learn them.

And would it be good to just do these before my activation? I usually do a couple sets of long and vertical jumps for activation. These really pump me up for some reason.


#7

OKAY, I'm a pirate not a doctor... or a trainer... but anterior PELVIC tilt? I think for that you need to do glute activation work for which yes your jumps are very good. Try also:

Glute Bridges:


(UM YOU DO NOT NEED A SPOTTER FOR THIS LIKE IN THE VIDEO LOL)

This video seems to cover some basics for the glutes (the first two exercises he shows):

and I'm going to mention again the mountain climbers I think you should do mountain climbers.

SO between all these posts there's quite a few stretches/activation exercises. You obviously don't need to do them all. I spend a good fifteen minutes pre each WO. I do some stretching after WO but I mainly focus pre WO. And that squat to stand I am totally guilty of doing that IN THE SQUAT rack between sets. My coach says I can't really get too much of this stuff so yeah go for it. Personally I'd do static stretching and dynamic flexibility work (whats shown in the videos) and then do the mountain climbers and then do your jumping stuff last right before workout.


#8

Do you suggest maybe making like 2 different sets of 5 of these exercises/stretches, and alternating them every leg day?


#9

I'd do four or five from my first post and three glute activations from my second post plus the mountain climbers plus your jumping. It won't take that long just one set of twelve reps each.

And err on the MORE side rather than the LESS side you can't really do too much of this.


#10

An anterior pelvic tilt indicates tight spinal erectors and flexors (which is smart of you to want to stretch) and possible weak abdominals and glutes/hamstrings.

So following the advice from hallowed will be pretty good, and take the extra time to strengthen and stretch the appropriate muscles. As for strengthening the abdominals, you should put an emphasis on the obliques.


#11

Thanks guys I appreciate all of the info. Thanks Hallowed for all the videos and specific names of exercises. I've had this posture problem since I can remember and I can't wait to hit it hard at the roots.


#12

keep us posted.


#13

Okay this is the third time I've done my leg/abs workout since this thread. I must say, so far, leg day is now my most favorite day.

I begin with:
squat-to-stand
walking spidermans
prone flexed hip rocking
hip swings
butt kicks
psoas activation (holding my leg up above 90)
glute bridges
superdog
mountain climbers
vertical jumps

Takes me about 15 minutes.

Then the lifting begins:

Sumo Leg Deadlift, work up to set of 4-6
Leg Curls 10-12 reps
GHR's 3-4 sets of 6

Front Squats, work up to set of 4-6
Leg Extensions 12-15

Seated Calf Raises (could probably throw these out, get a lot of calf work from deads and rack pulls)
Dead Bugs for obliques, I probably need more oblique work though

So far, this day goes great from start to finish. I hope that it will help my pelvic tilt, and I've also been trying to be more aware of when I'm demonstrating bad posture throughout the day, and correcting myself. If anyone has a suggestion on what I can do for tennis ball rolling that would be great.