T Nation

Need Abdominal Isolation Moves


Sorry about the generality of the title. I’m suffering from recurrent trigger points at the distal attachment of the iliopsoas. It’s incredibly difficult to get in there to do massage on it because it’s really deep and I’ve been squatting for a long time, so there’s a lot in the way. I looked up a few things on it, and I know from basic knowledge of soft tissue workings that a trigger point that keeps recurring is due to a mechanical defect.

Anyways, with hip flexors, the problem is always that they have the capacity to take over for the abdominals too, so they get overworked, tight, angry, etcetera. That’s exactly what’s happened on my right side. I’m fairly developed, and you can visibly see the size difference between the abdominals on the right and left side (yes I know, it’s been going on a long time and I just now figured it out).

I’ve attached a picture from my favorite trigger point site. The one that kills my squat is the lowest one, in the groin area almost. I need to retrain the abdominals so that they can function properly and take some strain off the psoas. Has anyone ever had this problem? If there’s anybody out there who’s ever dealt with this, how did you (permanently) defeat the problem? I normally use hanging leg lifts and decline situps as the meat of my ab workouts, and I don’t do them terribly often just because I feel my strength and size is sufficient there, but only on the left side. What I need are a few movements that ensure the hip flexors are taken out of the movement. It’s a matter of teaching my body a new set of movements and order of firing, not a matter of strength.

try the janda sit up www.cbass.com/HardestSitup.htm

Ok, first; I have shit knowledge of kinesciology, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I have had weird-ass pain, or activation, in that exact same area for the last while now. I believe I have gotten over it due to two things.

  1. Hip Internal Rotation Deficit

I always squatted heavy for reps with my toes pointed out, looked up a Cressey article on this site and found a ‘lying knee-to-knee’ stretch. It helped tremendously.

  1. Single Leg Work

I hated lunges, and my hips decided to fight back by deciding which side was stronger, the loser had to be as painful as possible.
I put some lunges back in, and added some counter-balanced pistols (single-leg squats), recently removed the weight and am doing body-weight pistols.
The pain has not returned at all, I’m going to try to break a squat record next week, since this pain has prevented me from doing so for close to 8 months.

Hope this helps, and remember; I don’t know shit but I know what worked on my similar injury.

I am really looking forward to responses in this, I have the same problem as the OP. Graston on my hip flexor feels good but I still have pain when deep in the squat, I didn’t think it could be a lack of ab strength that was causing this.

[quote]fmarescalco wrote:
Sorry about the generality of the title. I’m suffering from recurrent trigger points at the distal attachment of the iliopsoas. It’s incredibly difficult to get in there to do massage on it because it’s really deep and I’ve been squatting for a long time, so there’s a lot in the way. I looked up a few things on it, and I know from basic knowledge of soft tissue workings that a trigger point that keeps recurring is due to a mechanical defect.

Anyways, with hip flexors, the problem is always that they have the capacity to take over for the abdominals too, so they get overworked, tight, angry, etcetera. That’s exactly what’s happened on my right side. I’m fairly developed, and you can visibly see the size difference between the abdominals on the right and left side (yes I know, it’s been going on a long time and I just now figured it out).

I’ve attached a picture from my favorite trigger point site. The one that kills my squat is the lowest one, in the groin area almost. I need to retrain the abdominals so that they can function properly and take some strain off the psoas. Has anyone ever had this problem? If there’s anybody out there who’s ever dealt with this, how did you (permanently) defeat the problem? I normally use hanging leg lifts and decline situps as the meat of my ab workouts, and I don’t do them terribly often just because I feel my strength and size is sufficient there, but only on the left side. What I need are a few movements that ensure the hip flexors are taken out of the movement. It’s a matter of teaching my body a new set of movements and order of firing, not a matter of strength.[/quote]

Personally I’d be doing kneeling cable ab crunches (with a rope attachment) to your problem side.

K on the first one I just found it and wanted to show everyone some side boob action
here’s what I meant lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB_JBCkwOVE&feature=related

The kneeling cable crunches are working pretty well. I did them tonight - focused on doing both sides equally then did a set of isolation strictly for the right side. I could tell the right side was much weaker. I don’t know why I never did these before…they do a good job of removing the hip flexors from the movement. I guess I’m too much of a compound movement purist, always trying to do the basic power moves. When I was done with five sets I had no pain in the groin, so good news.

Enjoyed the side boob action, too.

For anybody interested, here’s that pain referral website. It’s the best I’ve found: http://triggerpoints.net/

If you’re suffering from the trigger point I am, you can palpate it by digging really deeply near the area until you find the spot of pain. It’s behind the rectus femoris and the sartorius gets in the way, too. Careful though, you’re right around the femoral nerve and the artery and vein, so don’t get carried away.

[quote]fmarescalco wrote:
The kneeling cable crunches are working pretty well. I did them tonight - focused on doing both sides equally then did a set of isolation strictly for the right side. I could tell the right side was much weaker. I don’t know why I never did these before…they do a good job of removing the hip flexors from the movement. I guess I’m too much of a compound movement purist, always trying to do the basic power moves. When I was done with five sets I had no pain in the groin, so good news.

Enjoyed the side boob action, too.

For anybody interested, here’s that pain referral website. It’s the best I’ve found: http://triggerpoints.net/

If you’re suffering from the trigger point I am, you can palpate it by digging really deeply near the area until you find the spot of pain. It’s behind the rectus femoris and the sartorius gets in the way, too. Careful though, you’re right around the femoral nerve and the artery and vein, so don’t get carried away.[/quote]

Good shit brother. We’re all not bullet proof.:smiley:

Sorry for hijacking this thread; I just put some pressure on the infraspinatus trigger points shown in the site linked by the OP…Well, pain in the front shoulder has suddenly gone away (I really felt a sudden relief, this was great), but now trigger points ache in a DOMS-like way.

Now I also can feel the infraspinatus firing erraticly; I’m still happy with what I did (last night I could bench 100% pain free), but I wonder if there is something else I should do (or avoid).

Thanks to anyone for their help.

Fabiop: Sounds like you released a few knots. The normal response to a recovering muscle getting rid of trigger points is DOMS (except not so delayed, eh?) and erratic firing. Trigger points cause the local nerves to get all messed up and fire constantly, and then metabolic waste (namely lactic acid) builds up in them. So the next time you release it, you bring back circulation, sensation and movement to the area, and it finally has a chance to get rid of that lactic acid buildup.

Normally, muscles trigger point themselves when they are trying to defend against overuse or being stretched chronically. Unfortunately, it’s never easy to tell with rotator cuff muscles. It could be that it was being stretched against its will by really tight internal rotators, or it could be overworked because you’re being diligent about keeping your rotator cuff strength up.

Either way, let it rest (athletic trainers recommend anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the person). I personally have found releasing the trigger points and waiting for the soreness to go away to be sufficient, as long as you don’t kill it the next time you work it. Releasing trigger points also has the domino effect, where all of the referred pain is either lessened or dissipated.

The referred pain can be because the same nerve innervating the affected muscle also innervates those in the referred pain area, or it can be because the muscles in the areas of referred pain are being overused trying to take up the slack for the muscle with the trigger point. Either way, it’s crazy how it works.

Sorry if you already knew all of that business. Trigger point release is pretty awesome stuff…just trying to spread the good word.

dont forget to stretch the muscles every day, yes every day

[quote]fmarescalco wrote:
Fabiop: Sounds like you released a few knots. The normal response to a recovering muscle getting rid of trigger points is DOMS (except not so delayed, eh?) and erratic firing. Trigger points cause the local nerves to get all messed up and fire constantly, and then metabolic waste (namely lactic acid) builds up in them. So the next time you release it, you bring back circulation, sensation and movement to the area, and it finally has a chance to get rid of that lactic acid buildup.

Normally, muscles trigger point themselves when they are trying to defend against overuse or being stretched chronically. Unfortunately, it’s never easy to tell with rotator cuff muscles. It could be that it was being stretched against its will by really tight internal rotators, or it could be overworked because you’re being diligent about keeping your rotator cuff strength up. Either way, let it rest (athletic trainers recommend anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the person). I personally have found releasing the trigger points and waiting for the soreness to go away to be sufficient, as long as you don’t kill it the next time you work it. Releasing trigger points also has the domino effect, where all of the referred pain is either lessened or dissipated. The referred pain can be because the same nerve innervating the affected muscle also innervates those in the referred pain area, or it can be because the muscles in the areas of referred pain are being overused trying to take up the slack for the muscle with the trigger point. Either way, it’s crazy how it works.

Sorry if you already knew all of that business. Trigger point release is pretty awesome stuff…just trying to spread the good word.[/quote]

Well, it looks like you know what you’re talking about ! ! ! Thank you for your answer, that enlightened me very much.

Yes, DOMS weren’t delayed AT ALL, but now they’re going away, as well as erratic firing (hope it’s a good thing).

Last January I had a sharp pain through my neck (upper trapezius, I think) while doing close parallel grip pull-ups; since then, I had persistent pain, impingement-like, in the front of the shoulder, which prevent me from all upper body pressing movement and vertical pulling.

In August I had a sport massage that relieved me for a couple of weeks; now I found out this “trigger points stuff”, and - as you said - it’s crazy how it works!

I’ll try and gently strecth my infraspinatus every day, as the other poster said.