I was reading an old issue of Heavy Metal and it occurred to me that I need to try lengthening my hip flexors. I have a pretty good idea of what kind of stretching to do but what should I focus on in training with respect to exercise selection? Also, anyone else have tips in this area? I know this is a pretty strange question but I would appreciate any help.
Uh and the purpose being?
I know that in martial arts, it's okay to work the hip flexors - keeps the front kicks strong. But "legthening"?
You can’t “lengthen” a muscle as such. Set insertion and origins. You can stretch a muscle in terms of its flexibility, which is what you’re most likely referring to. If this is the case, just stretch your hip flexors, adductors, etc…
The psoas or “hip flexors” are perhaps the number one source of muscular imbalance in the entire body. Tight hip flexors can lead to too much anterior pelvic tilt and excessive lumbar lordosis upsetting “normal” pelvic mechanics. All of this can, and often does, lead to low back pain especially in exercises such as the squat and deadlift. Therefore, maintaining flexibility in the hip flexors is crucial to performance enhancement and injury prevention.
Possible solution - work the opposing area. The sacral joints,
which are the opposing area to the hip flexors, need to be
worked in order to off-set the shortening of the hip flexors!
This can and will be accomplished while training the posterior chain! The movements I recommend are Reverse Hypers, RDL's, SLDL's and Good Mornings. Also, while working the posterior chain, you wil be stretching/lengthening the hip flexors!
I appreciate the help and I apologize for not being specific. I was referring to stretching the muscle and the purpose being to correct the imbalance I believe I have. I realize stretching is very important but lack of stretching and weight training have caused this imbalance. Therefore, I was asking which exercises should I stay away from until I have corrected this imbalance. Thanks again guys.
U need to get a massage from someone who does structual intergration. I learning that right now, and we get pretty deep into the psoas and other muscles that attatch to the pelvis.
Joey, thanks abunch. I was thinking this would be the best idea but wanted other opinions. Question: what are RDL’s and SLDL’s? Thanks again.
Ryan, SLDL’s are Stiff Legged Dead-lifts; there are a couple
of varieties (see the T-mag archives). I strongly prefer the
RDL's are Romanian Dead-lifts. RDL's have been the topic of much heated debate on this forum. All the experts seem to have their own interpretation of this movement! I follow the version popularized by Bill Brooks, famous power lifter and author. To make it simple, RDL's look like a cross between a Stiff legged and a Conventional dead-lift. You get to use more weight on RDL'S than you could on the SLDL's.
Ryan, I would forget the RDL's for now and first key in on Reverse hypers - SLDL's second - and Good mornings third. Another approach, a damn good one, would be Ian King's "limping series" (and really focus on the posterior chain section). Again, see the T-mag archives.