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daniel108 last won the day on July 1 2023

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  1. @Kit_L soemwhere I came across some discussion on “shoulder shrugging”. The bottom line was that we shouldn’t “shrug” our shoulders while flexing because it can lead to impingement. i find that shrugging gives me that extra flexion and also stretches some areas on the back which aren’t stretched when keeping the shoulders down. So I was wondering what your perspective is on shrugging?
  2. @Kit_LThe banded squat exercise hits the spot. Is it recommended to let the strengthening exercises go after some time once you’ve learned how to activate? And more broadly, in your previous message you spoke about activation and strengthening. My working framework is that through awareness we learn how to activate, and activation is the ability to use those muscles that you’ve become aware of. Does that reflect your perspective?
  3. Just a short update about my progress. To date, the most helpful stretch seems to be the hip flexor stretch. A few minutes on each side feels like gold and seems to help both prevent and relieve pain. The piriformis / glute stretches feel really good, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed that they have any affect on my back pain. Regarding the side / lat stretch, I really “enjoy” this one, but I’m not sure weather it helps or hinders. At certain positions it touches the exact point of pain and triggers some fear that I might be doing some harm. Meanwhile, a different lower back pain has reappeared which feels more akin to a bruised type sensation around around the lower spine / coccyx area. Is this something familiar to anyone? It is quite a different sensation to the nerve type pain in the QL. So the journey of pain-induced body awareness continues.
  4. Wow, Thank YOU!!!! About five days ago I serendipitously discovered that very wall-quad-hip-flexor stretch from your website and have been doing it daily since. At the end of that video, you say "...go for a walk around and just see what amazing changes have happened in your body." I do that little walk every time and it simply feels amazing...like I've oiled an old rusty bike chain! Incidentally, I also liked boxing the compass, but since you said that the quads are important in this case, I'll stick to the first one and post back after a few weeks to share my progress. I also find that playing a few micro movements in the three positions of the wall-hip-flexor stretch changes the sensations a lot, and seems to move the feeling from the quads to the hip flexors. The second and third part of that stretch is fairly torturous though! My left side is most certainly tighter than my right and is more painful to stretch, and those last two positions really get stuck in the quad. And come to think of it, my left hamstrings are also tighter than my right hamstrings. In pancake I get cramps on the outer side of my left hip, and a few orthopedic niggles that I've had over time have tended to be on my left arm, left hip, and left knee. Perhaps it's all connected). When might be a reasonable time to progress to more intense hamstring stretches? I do some banded supine hamstring stretches at the moment (while still trying to activate the stretch with the quads), but I'm apprehensive about progressing onto the standing hamstring stretches like the squat to pike, elephant walk, single leg hip hinge and jefferson curls which have all previously triggered a flare up of back pain.
  5. That's fascinating...I've been so focused on stretching that I would never have thought about looking into leg length difference. I did the test in a neutral position, with an 8mm block, and a 14mm block (just what I had handy) and did find what appears to be an asymmetry. It's difficult to tell in the original neutral position, but when assessing the difference in hip position with the blocks under each side the difference became apparent. The pain is on my left side. It seemed that with the blocks under the right foot, my hip became more neutral. And with the blocks under my left foot, the hip went way out of alignment. Could this be the root cause of my back pain, and if so, then how is it treated?
  6. Hi all, I just thought I’d share a bit about my journey with back pain, where I’m at, and what’s helped so far. I’ve had one-sided lower back pain for over 10 years now due to a partially herniated disc. Though I’m still trying to understand this pain, what triggers it and what helps it, I did discover an assessment tool that examines pain related spinal movements; specifically flexion, extension and lateral movements. I discovered that spinal flexion triggers my particular pain and that extension surprisingly seems to help. Since then, I’ve stopped doing anything hamstring related. (Side note: I really want to get onto stretching for the pike but I’m afraid of doing anything requiring forward bending, so I’m trying to sort out this back issue first.) Exercises that I have found particularly helpful for relieving my back pain include: Piriformis / glute stretch Hip flexor / psoas stretch Standing spine extensions Dead hanging Hip hikes Kit’s sitting side / lat stretch / Olivia’s kneeling version (although I do find that I have to be careful with stretches that get into that QL area) While stretching eases the pain, I find that it always comes back. So I think that I’m missing something. Perhaps stretching alone isn’t enough? I’ve seen some talk online about the importance strengthening. Does anyone have any insight on that? My next experiment is to try adding core stability exercises (I’ve seen McGill emphasising those a lot). Another thought is to start mobilizing the hips in a more general sense (rather than focusing on specific muscle groups). Any thoughts are much appreciated! Disclaimer: Although I don’t have the OBP course yet, I do have, use and love the starter and mastery courses. Happy stretching, Daniel
  7. As I’ve been reading, it seems that the piriformis is responsible for external rotation of the hip when the hip is neutral, and also internally rotating the leg when the knee is bent. So I’m starting to wonder if this particular area of weakness which I always feel on the outside of the hip (eg pancake / straddle / during internal hip rotation exercises) is actually the piriformis muscle? And if so, perhaps it would benefit from some kind of strengthening exercise (in addition to stretching)?
  8. @Kit_L I have been doing various lat stretch limbering on a daily basis and I actually really enjoy the relieving sensation of these stretches. I'm not strong enough to do the one-arm hang, so I usually resort to the door post lat stretch. Regarding your guidance to have a weekly more intense contract-relax session that actually increases the ROM, I haven't found anything resulting in DOMS in my lats. Am I perhaps doing something wrong?
  9. Ok, that would make more sense! Strangely enough I’m only just starting to develop an awareness of the sensations involved when internally and externally rotating through the hips. Until now it felt like the same area was being activated on the outer hip with both movements. But I think that upon paying more attention I’m starting to identify some subtle differences.
  10. @Kit_L: thank you so much for your feedback and for the clarification about the lower back position. I've found the biggest point of challenge to be the knees that want to collapse and come in. Is the key here to focus on strengthening internal hip rotators? Or is it better to focus on activating the internal hip rotators through the adductor-stretching exercises in the squat program like the diamond pose / squashed frog / cossack?
  11. Hi there, First of all, I really appreciate Olivia's recent post about sticking to the squat and shoulders before getting onto the other "big 3" positions. That was not at all obvious to me, so many thanks to Olivia for that. So that also leads the to wonder, when is the right time to progress and start trying the pike? I'd also really appreciate any feedback on the quality of my squat. In these pictures, I'm actively trying to pull my chest up and my knees apart. I could go down lower, but then my form would collapse. Or I could squat a little higher and untuck my pelvis more.
  12. Sure. Here are the two positions. Having photographed myself, it really does look like I have a long way to go. The type of stretches I've been doing until now have been focused on dead passive / active hangs, puppy pose, and lots of stick butcher's block with rounded / thoracic variations, and some external rotation lifts for strengthening.
  13. Hi all, I’ve been working on my shoulder flexion mobility. My starting point was getting to about 145 degrees and I’m now at about 170 degrees. I am able to get that extra range of motion by “accessing” various musculature that I wasn’t previously aware of. If I lift my arm overhead in a natural manner, my arm still stops at that first initial resting place. I can only access that extra range when I consciously activate those other muscles. So I’m coming to a conclusion that increasing range of motion and flexibility may be first about learning how to use your body to first discover what your range of motion actually is before even attempting to increase the length of the muscle fibres themselves. I’m wondering if others might have had a similar experience? And have if this theory hold true, has anyone had the same experience with lower body flexibility? Many thanks, Daniel
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