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Mobility Log

November 27, 2018

Warm-Up

50 bodyweight squats

Slight discomfort in right knee and some tenderness in right groin area (DOMS from sumo squat work, no doubt). Overall, feels good.

 

Daily 5 (3)

Since I’m focusing a lot on hip flexors with the Master The Squat routine, I’m leaving them out of the “Daily 5” for now. Also, the groin/hip flexor area is a bit sensitive from sumo squats, so I want to take it easy. The side bends and twists I’m also leaving out, as they are covered to some extent during some of the limbering movements in Master The Squat (e.g. Baby Flop)

  • Floor Upper & Middle back stretch

Felt pretty good. I have an old injury in my right lower thoracic spine area..probably the right extensor. In flexion, I can feel it hanging on tighter than the surrounding muscles. It’s hard to know what a good amount of stretch is for this particular problem area, because it’s hard to distinguish between existing protective tension and tension coming on as an automatic danger response to any movement.

  • Elbow Back Bend

It’s always a bit tricky to know where to place my elbows in setup. I have a hunch (literally) that I am holding them a bit too close to my abdomen. It’s become a lot easy to feel my bodyweight resting on the arms, though, and I have to acknowledge the generally more spacious feeling I have in my lower back. It used to be that any sort of extension would immediately bring on a pinching sensation. 

  • Floor Piriformis Stretch

A bit of a mystery. As with many piriformis stretches, I feel this in the front of the groin. If I add a contract and push my stretched side against my bracing arm, I can feel the muscles in the outer hip activate, and momentarily, I don’t feel restriction in the groin area, but the moment I release that contraction, the tightness in the groin returns. 

The seated piriformis stretch is one of the few that seems to target the muscles its supposed to. I’m not sure why this particular stretch sidesteps the groin impingement I feel. Better not to ask questions?

 

Master The Squat 

  • L1: Sumo Squat

A limbering movement I’ll be sure to do every day. It feels great. I noticed that my arches tend to collapse, allowing my knees to come in and reducing the effectiveness of the stretch. So, that’s something I have to focus on. 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

Almost all positions feel a primary restriction in the groin area. However, with the right leg “back,” in the “6 O’Clock” position (as seen from above...legs in line with one another), I do feel the stretch going further up the adductor.

  • L4: Baby Flop

Using a bolster at the moment to make sure that I am keeping my core supported, even when I allow the spine to round into flexion. 

Moving over either leg in the forward position elicits a very strong stretch in the side back muscles (don’t know their names...gotta check an anatomy chart). At the moment, it feels like a good stretch! The important thing for me is to move into it carefully. I feel like I’m approaching the limits of my body’s “safe zone” and that I need to move in and out of it carefully.

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

Tried doing this on a bolster today. Still feeling it in the adductors primarily. However, after a few days of doing them “goal free,” the movement feels a bit freer. Will continue to work with my hips on a bolster for the time being. 

  • E6: Standing Knee Lift

I thought I’d include this as a kind of benchmark to see where I’m at. Left knee can go comfortably 30 degrees past horizontal. Right knee gets stuck at about horizontal. 

 

Other

  • Cool-Down

Spinal Waves - 5 Minutes
 

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21 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

It’s hard to know what a good amount of stretch is for this particular problem area, because it’s hard to distinguish between existing protective tension and tension coming on as an automatic danger response to any movement.

My advice is to simply move very slowly, with awareness in the body. And when you think you're moving slowly enough, move slower :) The body will tell you how much is enough, but you have to listen very carefully at first.

21 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

It’s always a bit tricky to know where to place my elbows in setup.

Generally speaking, directly under the shoulders (or close). You're not holding yourself up with your arms. You're propping the torso up on the vertical supports that are your upper arms and then relaxing into gravity. Rotating the forearms/hands inward or outward can help with stability.

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Mobility Log

 

November 28, 2018

Warm-Up

  • Hindu Squats x30

Way tougher than I expected! A great movement once you get in the swing of things.

 

  • Squats x20

Quite tough, especially after the Hindu squats.

 

Daily 3

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x6 deep breaths

Nice and relaxing. Still noticed the sensitive spot in my lower thoracic spine, but it’s pretty easy to work with.

 

  • Elbow Back Bend x10 deep breaths

Came out of this stretch feeling a small amount of surface numbness on the outside of my right heel. Never happened before. The stretch was very gentle, but it’s possible a nerve was aggravated. Will see how the back feels during the remainder of the stretches and the spinal waves.

 

  • Seated Piriformis x6 deep breaths

Right hip is noticeably tighter than the left...can get an effective stretch by simply sitting on a chair with my right leg crossed over onto my left knee and gently leaning forward. Moved a bit deeper into the stretch on the final breath.

 

Master The Squat

  • L1: Sumo Squat x1 Minute

Left groin is slightly more sensitive than the right. Glutes are able to pull the legs into alignment over the feet more easily than last time.

 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

Left leg back - 4pm and 5pm (as viewed from above) are the tightest lines, but even as the movement approaches a basic lunge (6pm), the main sensation is still in the groin.

Right leg back - noticeably looser than left leg back. A more uniform sensation felt up the inside of the leg, especially as 6pm is approached

 

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

No bolster today. Movement felt a bit more free, but still a movement where the main sensation is along the adductors.

 

  • L4: Baby Flop

Almost forgot this! Movements to the side with either leg in front felt a bit more relaxed. The stretches felt...safer. This limbering exercise especially benefits from very slow controlled motions, in my experience.

 

Cool-Down

  • Spinal Waves x5 Minutes

Is it possible that the groin gentle stretching has improved my lumbar spine mobility? It seems too early to call it, but I notice more ease when moving into full flexion - the tailtuck position. Tried to focus on really feeling the individual vertebrae move in the thoracic spine.

 

Edit: the superficial numbness in my right foot seems to have lessened slightly. No other apparent symptoms of this nerve irritation aside from some minor occasional shooting pain in my right toes. Sometimes, it's not about where we are, but how far we've come...it's good for me to reflect on where I was two years ago, with severe BFS (benign fasciculation syndrome) in my lower legs and feet and no satisfactory diagnosis...

Edited by Naldaramjo
addendum
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2 hours ago, Nathan said:

My advice is to simply move very slowly, with awareness in the body. And when you think you're moving slowly enough, move slower :) The body will tell you how much is enough, but you have to listen very carefully at first.

Generally speaking, directly under the shoulders (or close). You're not holding yourself up with your arms. You're propping the torso up on the vertical supports that are your upper arms and then relaxing into gravity. Rotating the forearms/hands inward or outward can help with stability.

Good advice here...thank you. It's a tough lesson for the ego to learn - slower is better. It's an illuminating principle, though. It reveals things as they really are.

I tend to have my elbows a bit too close to my hips, I think. I'll try use a mirror to see where they're lining up in the future.

 

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20 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Still noticed the sensitive spot in my lower thoracic spine, but it’s pretty easy to work with.

Something you might want to play with is alternating back and forth between the flexion (this) and extension (back bend), very gently at first and going progressively deeper each time. This can help loosen things up and might let you work into that sensitive area a bit more.

20 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Is it possible that the groin gentle stretching has improved my lumbar spine mobility? It seems too early to call it, but I notice more ease when moving into full flexion - the tailtuck position. Tried to focus on really feeling the individual vertebrae move in the thoracic spine.

You're seeing freer movement of the pelvis, and tightness in any of the muscles around the pelvis - including the groin - will affect this, so certainly possible. It's easy to forget, but everything in the body is connected. We conceptualize it as pieces for convenience, but loosening up any one area can definitely affect other even seemingly unrelated areas. Noticing is the gold :)

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22 minutes ago, Nathan said:

Something you might want to play with is alternating back and forth between the flexion (this) and extension (back bend), very gently at first and going progressively deeper each time. This can help loosen things up and might let you work into that sensitive area a bit more.

You're seeing freer movement of the pelvis, and tightness in any of the muscles around the pelvis - including the groin - will affect this, so certainly possible. It's easy to forget, but everything in the body is connected. We conceptualize it as pieces for convenience, but loosening up any one area can definitely affect other even seemingly unrelated areas. Noticing is the gold :)

(as an aside, how can I break up a post into piecemeal quotes? I'd like to respond to parts of a message in sequence)

RE: 1
What do you think about spinal waves as a way of alternating back and forth between flexion and extension?

RE: 2 
I have to give credit to Ascestral Movement's YT video about spinal waves for inspiring me to approach the spinal waves with curiosity and playfulness. It was his belief about how deeply we can connect with the subtle inner workings of our bodies that was so compelling. The thought of being able to articular each vertebrae individually is highly motivating. 

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Mobility Log

 

November 29, 2018

 

Warm-Up

  • Brisk-ish run - 2km

Having dealt with some coccyx pain for the last several weeks (most likely culprit is deadlifts), I’m trying out no squats altogether to see if that helps with recovery.

  • Lunges x10

Why not?

Daily 3

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x10 deep breaths

This felt great, so I stuck with it a bit longer. The sensitive area on the right side of my lower thoracic spine didn’t protest as much, so I felt more comfortable to relax a bit deeper. Progress! No idea what my flexion looks like, but at this point, I’m trying not to be concerned with it.
 

  • Elbow BackBend x10 deep breaths

Due to the mild existing numbness from yesterday’s backbend, I did only the gentlest of backbends today, ensuring that at no point my rib cage left the mat. Felt good, and the nerve irritation wasn’t aggravated. Will continue to include this movement, but will proceed with caution.

 

  • Chair Seated Piriformis x15 deep breaths

15 breaths per side! After 10 breaths with little movement and focusing on deep breaths and keeping my TA engaged, I slowly rotated my trunk towards the non-stretched knee and gently moved to bend forward. I found this helped isolate the piriformis a bit more.


Returned to my right (tight side) for some additional work.

 

Master The Squat

  • L1: Sumo Squat x2 Minutes

Really enjoying exploring the range of motion in this movement, even with the legs barely dropped. Keeping the glutes engaged diligently throughout the entire ROM really exposes “kinks” in muscle tightness.

 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

More or less the same as yesterday. This one requires a lot of patience for me!

 

  • L4: Baby Flop

This is such a relaxing exercise. Better still, it is working as an additional piriformis limbering movement, as I’m quite easily able to feel those muscles gently stretch. When going forward and sideways over either knee, being especially cautious, as I don’t want to set off any alarm bells.

 

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

Spent a few minutes here this time. Still an adductor movement for me, but the legs are more willing to move than yesterday. Still not anywhere close to bringing my knees all the way to the ground. Internal rotation needs some work.

 

Cool-Down

  • Spinal Waves x5 Minutes

This cool-down is becoming a wonderful gage of how well I treated myself during my stretching. Movement in the lumbar spine is a lot more fluid, and, despite covering the same range of motion, there’s less of a sense of “riding on the edge” of my mobility. Overall tension throughout the entire erectors seems reduced. This feels somewhat like rehab.

 

ABSS

  • Progression 7: Food Sequence V2

Due to having worn Vibrams almost exclusively for most of the summer (including some big hikes), my toe alignment and mobility is pretty good. But in terms of active flexion...useless! Every time I try and bring my toes towards my knees, I can barely get them off the ground. Furthermore, my fingers sometimes involuntarily contract when doing this. A very odd experience...but a good reason to keep this up, especially over winter when it gets much too cold to walk/hike in Vibrams (we'll see...)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

(as an aside, how can I break up a post into piecemeal quotes? I'd like to respond to parts of a message in sequence)

If you're on the computer, just highlight a section and there is a little popup dialog to quote that section. The same thing works on mobile, but I've found it's rather finicky and and too much trouble so I'll just wait until I'm on a PC if I want to quote multiple sections.

3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

What do you think about spinal waves as a way of alternating back and forth between flexion and extension?

Perfectly fine, if your body agrees! If you have a lot of apprehension about bending the spine, then it's probably best to do the gentle stretches separate, but if you're comfortable with the waves then great.

3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I have to give credit to Ascestral Movement's YT video about spinal waves for inspiring me to approach the spinal waves with curiosity and playfulness.

I'm guessing you mean @SimonT? I don't know him personally, but he's a great guy as far as I can tell, and friends with a lot of people here. Great YT resources, and the Ancestral Movement group on FB usually has some pretty interesting conversation going on too.

3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

especially over winter when it gets much too cold to walk/hike in Vibrams (we'll see...)

I'd encourage you to challenge that belief :) I did Vibrams year-round for years until I switched mostly to Xero sandals... which I now wear mostly year-round - usually barefoot. I see you're in South Korea. I'm in Japan, so the weather is pretty similar. The body - feet included - is remarkably adaptable!

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8 hours ago, Nathan said:

If you're on the computer, just highlight a section and there is a little popup dialog to quote that section. The same thing works on mobile, but I've found it's rather finicky and and too much trouble so I'll just wait until I'm on a PC if I want to quote multiple sections.

Well, that was easy! Thanks for the tip. Messaging boards have come a long way since I last used them in around 2009-2010.

8 hours ago, Nathan said:

Perfectly fine, if your body agrees! If you have a lot of apprehension about bending the spine, then it's probably best to do the gentle stretches separate, but if you're comfortable with the waves then great.

That's a good point. It might be good to do some mild bends before doing the spinal waves to get a better sense of where I am at. 

8 hours ago, Nathan said:

I'm guessing you mean @SimonT? I don't know him personally, but he's a great guy as far as I can tell, and friends with a lot of people here. Great YT resources, and the Ancestral Movement group on FB usually has some pretty interesting conversation going on too.

Might be worth looking at...although I try and stay away from FB. It hasn't been a healthy experience for me in the past.

8 hours ago, Nathan said:

I'd encourage you to challenge that belief :) I did Vibrams year-round for years until I switched mostly to Xero sandals... which I now wear mostly year-round - usually barefoot. I see you're in South Korea. I'm in Japan, so the weather is pretty similar. The body - feet included - is remarkably adaptable!

You were open-toe sandals year round in Japan? And barefoot? Like, on streets? Or just when walking in the woods or something? In fact, I visited Japan last summer and hiked for 3 days in the Japanese Alps. Two of those days were with the Vibrams, but there were some parts where it was necessary to walk over slippery sloped snow embankments, and I realized then that both my shoes and my Vibrams were inadequate. 

I'll be hiking in NZ this winter, hopefully, and I was looking into getting something like the Magna Trail Men's or the Tracker FG Men's from VivoBarefoot. Do you know much about these brands?

What are you doing in which part of Japan? Have you ever visited Korea? I've been teaching in Korea for coming up on 4 years now...quite deep in the countryside, right next to Korea's biggest National Park. I quite like it here! 

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2 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I'll be hiking in NZ this winter, hopefully, and I was looking into getting something like the Magna Trail Men's or the Tracker FG Men's from VivoBarefoot. Do you know much about these brands?

Vivo is a great brand, but I'm not keen on boots for hiking.  Proprioception + mobility > "protection", in my opinion.

I am barefoot almost all of the time, wearing Vibrams only for trail running.  We don't experience much of a Winter in SE Qld, but I don't dress any differently when travelling to areas much more cold.  I'm heading down to NZ for a trail race next June, so I'll get to see how the Vibrams hold up running through the snow.

Where will you be hiking?  I've not been to NZ yet, but sent my partner down there last year to do the Milford Track.  So very beautiful.

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11 minutes ago, pogo69 said:

Vivo is a great brand, but I'm not keen on boots for hiking.  Proprioception + mobility > "protection", in my opinion.

 

I agree with you, and that's where the appeal of these boots is for me. They are boots only in the sense that they protect from the elements. They still have a barefoot sole, as far as I can see. I'm open to more minimalist options, but with Vibrams, I worry about trench foot-like symptoms if the weather is especially rainy, and completely barefoot, I worry about a single stubbed toe sidelining the entire walk! Hahaha.
 

14 minutes ago, pogo69 said:

 I am barefoot almost all of the time, wearing Vibrams only for trail running.  We don't experience much of a Winter in SE Qld, but I don't dress any differently when travelling to areas much more cold.  I'm heading down to NZ for a trail race next June, so I'll get to see how the Vibrams hold up running through the snow.

 

You're barefoot around the streets, too? I only go barefoot if I'm getting out onto a trail for hiking. 
 

14 minutes ago, pogo69 said:

 Where will you be hiking?  I've not been to NZ yet, but sent my partner down there last year to do the Milford Track.  So very beautiful.

I haven't decided, although the Milford Track looks stunning, if not particularly challenging. Another possibility is Stewart Island, which was recommended to me by a visitor I had a little while back. Will start in Aukland and, if feasible, try and get to Hobbiton. 

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6 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Might be worth looking at...although I try and stay away from FB. It hasn't been a healthy experience for me in the past.

In that case, I'd stay away. Not worth checking in just for the group, to be honest! I'd drop FB if it wasn't my only real channel of communication with my extended family in the US.

6 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

You were open-toe sandals year round in Japan? And barefoot? Like, on streets? Or just when walking in the woods or something?

Yes. Everywhere and for everything. Barefoot would be ideal, but I haven't taken that final leap yet.

6 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

What are you doing in which part of Japan? Have you ever visited Korea? I've been teaching in Korea for coming up on 4 years now...quite deep in the countryside, right next to Korea's biggest National Park. I quite like it here! 

In Kyushu near Fukuoka at the moment. Living life :) (Freelance translator, and soon to be offering ST classes locally.) I have been to Korea several times - visa runs back when I first came to Japan :lol: Once into Seoul and once just around Incheon. We're really close to Busan down here in Kyushu, though, so I might go visit sometime. (It's a cheap ferry ride away!)

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9 hours ago, Nathan said:

In Kyushu near Fukuoka at the moment. Living life :) (Freelance translator, and soon to be offering ST classes locally.) I have been to Korea several times - visa runs back when I first came to Japan :lol: Once into Seoul and once just around Incheon. We're really close to Busan down here in Kyushu, though, so I might go visit sometime. (It's a cheap ferry ride away!)

Nice! Fukuoka is a mere ferry ride from Busan, yet I've yet to go...my town in Korea (Gurye) is as far away from Busan as it is from Seoul, but it's worth the trip if you're a nature lover. You'd be welcome to stay. 

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Mobility Log

 

November 30, 2018

 

Daily 3

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x8 deep breaths

Thoracic spine protested a bit, but the stretch still felt good

 

  • Elbow BackBend x15+ deep breaths

A very gentle bend. Really worked on feeling this anywhere but the lumbar spine.

 

  • Chair Seated Piriformis x20+ (right side) deep breaths

Added a few contractions (specifically the outer hips muscles) to try and encourage the mind-muscle connection with the piriformis muscle. With my lying relaxation meditations, I’ve gained a lot of body awareness through the body scans, and I thought that might carry over into “focused relaxation” on problematic muscles. We’ll see.

 

Master the Squat

  • L1: Sumo Squat

Just a minute or so. A bit of DOMS today and a rather sensitive left adductor.

 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

Still tight as ever. Groin mostly. Slow and steady!

 

  • L4: Baby flop

Extra gentle today in sideways movements. Stiffness in obliques and lower back. Feel like I’m still learning how to stretch sideways from the hips in some ways...maybe some muscular or vertebral kinks? No pain, just a strong feeling of caution being necessary.

 

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

Slow and steady.

 

Cool-Down

  • Spinal Waves x5 Minutes

Extra slow this time

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4 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Nice! Fukuoka is a mere ferry ride from Busan, yet I've yet to go...my town in Korea (Gurye) is as far away from Busan as it is from Seoul, but it's worth the trip if you're a nature lover. You'd be welcome to stay

Wow, looks like a nice little place on Google Maps, anyway! :) Google says it's a three-hour bus ride from Busan. Not too bad. I'll let you know if it ever happens :) 

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December 1, 2018

 

Warm-Up

  • Foam Rolling Massage for hips and quads and more

 

Daily 3

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x8 deep breaths

Nice and gentle....

 

  • Elbow Backbend x10+ deep breaths

Nice and gentle...noticing more freedom in my upper thoracic spine.

 

  • Chair Seated Piriformis x20+ (right side) deep breaths

Deep, focused breaths. Still not feeling the piriformis so much as just a surrounding “block” of tightness in the right hip. Mobility is still a little bit better. Left hip reigns supreme.

 

Master the Squat

  • L1: Sumo Squat x90 seconds

Feels good! Left adductor has localized restrictive feeling, but glutes are able to contract more freely.

 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

Do I detect a *little* more freedom?

 

  • L4: Baby flop

No baby flop today - noticed some slight discomfort around the coccyx that I want to make sure I respect.

 

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

Slow and steady…

 

Miscellaneous

  • Elephant Walk x90 Seconds

Cool-Down

  • Spinal Waves x5 Minutes

Interesting sensations. Not sure what to make of them, but they don’t feel bad, per se. Just new. I’ve been trying to get what I call a “uniform wave” starting at the neck and then moving down the spine towards the sacrum. However, it has always felt like there’s been a kind of “stuck” area in my lower thoracic spine. Like a disconnect between the movement of the upper thoracic and the lumbar spine. As such, it always felt like two distinct waves with an avoidable yet always present “at the limit” sensation where I’ve mentioned the previous lower lumbar sensitivity.

This evening, as I focused on moving the wave through the entire spine, there was a sense of gentle stretching moving along the entire right side of the spine. It was kind of like a release, but I’m not sure. It was a new sensation to be sure, but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how my body responds to it.

 

One thing’s for sure: it didn’t feel dangerous in the slightest. Unexpected! Perhaps a significant release of tension?

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18 hours ago, Nathan said:

Wow, looks like a nice little place on Google Maps, anyway! :) Google says it's a three-hour bus ride from Busan. Not too bad. I'll let you know if it ever happens :) 

Yes, that's about right...from 사상 Terminal, near the airport. You'd be most welcome. I love showing people around my little town. A great place to walk, barefoot or otherwise.

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22 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Still not feeling the piriformis so much as just a surrounding “block” of tightness in the right hip.

I think this is really the case for most people. Don't let it discourage you. Don't be afraid to play with angles and gentle contractions of the various surrounding muscles to get some awareness into the area. Also, rolling the whole hip/glute area out really well with a hard ball prior to the stretch can help loosen things up and let you zero in on the piriformis better too.

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4 minutes ago, Nathan said:

I think this is really the case for most people. Don't let it discourage you. Don't be afraid to play with angles and gentle contractions of the various surrounding muscles to get some awareness into the area. Also, rolling the whole hip/glute area out really well with a hard ball prior to the stretch can help loosen things up and let you zero in on the piriformis better too.

It's really fascinating that such a complex collection of joints like the hip can become so...atrophied. The body is truly an adaptation machine, for better or for worse...

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December 2, 2019

Walked for just over 6 km barefoot today. Felt funny to carry around shoes just in case I had to step inside a building.

 

Daily 4

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x10 breaths

 

  • Elbow Back Bend x10 breaths

 

  • Kneeling Side Bend x5 breaths

Decided to add this one to the mix. Using a prop for support at the moment. Want to ensure that the spine is completely supported and bending uniformly before I consider any deeper positions. Felt pretty good...bringing the arm overhead didn’t bring on as strong as a sensation as I expected. Will continue to do this stretch.

 

  • Chair Seated Piriformis x20+ (right side) deep breaths

My left piriformis is responding great, but my right is a stubborn beast. I’m attempting various kinds of activations. Today, before going a bit deeper into the stretch, I decided to borrow a contract-release technique from the lying meditation series that Kit’s made available on his site. Whereas in that meditation, I slowly clenched my fist into a strong contraction before releasing it on exhale, I instead contracted my piriformis by bracing my knee with my arm and slowly pushing against it. Contraction-release cycles occurred in time with in and out breath. I’m not sure if this helped, but with each contraction, I can feel the muscle a little bit (and hopefully, over time, a little bit more). Didn’t feel bad, but didn’t feel remarkably different afterwards. Will continue to try it.

 

Master the Squat

  • L1: Sumo Squats x2 Minutes

Activating the glutes to bring back the knees is still a major effort! Glad for the butt getting a workout though! I can feel some “sharper” restrictions in the left adductor still if I attempt to keep my torso as upright as possible.

 

  • L3: Boxing the Compass

Do my feelings deceive me? Is the sensation less localized than before? Tight as can be, but feeling a better stretch.

Some questions for those experienced with this limbering movement:

  1. Do you keep your torso vertical?
  2. In keeping your tail tucked, do you continue to contract your glutes as you pull forward with your other leg?

 

  • L4: Baby flop

Just included the relaxed forward bend part of this (a single flop). Feel some sensitivity deep in the hips when I do that (around the tailbone). All things suggest to be gentle, so I’m being gentle.
 

  • L7: Seated Figure 4

Keep on truckin’

 

Cool-Down

  • Spinal Waves x5 Minutes
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27 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

Felt pretty good...bringing the arm overhead didn’t bring on as strong as a sensation as I expected.

If you aren't already, reach the overhead arm away from the body actively rather than just positioning it overhead. This will give a nice lat stretch and increase the overall sensations.

29 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

Do you keep your torso vertical?

No need to as long as you're not using torso position to escape the stretch. This movement is for your hips, and trying to keep a vertical torso would just end up stretching the whole core musculature around the torso. (I might have misinterpreted your question, though.)

31 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

In keeping your tail tucked, do you continue to contract your glutes as you pull forward with your other leg?

Only as much as you need to keep the tail tucked. A better answer to this would be to try both ways yourself. Try it with the glute powerfully contracted, and then minimally contracted. Then try it with a hard tail tuck, and then intentionally untuck. Pay attention to the difference in sensations and I think you'll understand what the cues are for.

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9 hours ago, Nathan said:

If you aren't already, reach the overhead arm away from the body actively rather than just positioning it overhead. This will give a nice lat stretch and increase the overall sensations.

10 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I'll make a conscious effort to include this aspect next time, thanks.

9 hours ago, Nathan said:

No need to as long as you're not using torso position to escape the stretch. This movement is for your hips, and trying to keep a vertical torso would just end up stretching the whole core musculature around the torso. (I might have misinterpreted your question, though.)

10 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I will try and explain again...as I box the compass, should I attempt to keep the hips parallel with the ground (meaning that both iliac crests would be equidistant from the floor) as I articulate around my bent-forward leg. Also, should I be attempting to square my hips with my back leg even as I use the front leg to track the movement? Does this help clarify what I mean?

9 hours ago, Nathan said:

Only as much as you need to keep the tail tucked. A better answer to this would be to try both ways yourself. Try it with the glute powerfully contracted, and then minimally contracted. Then try it with a hard tail tuck, and then intentionally untuck. Pay attention to the difference in sensations and I think you'll understand what the cues are for.

I see...this level of stretch awareness reminds me of when I first started university piano lessons. At that time, I was suddenly faced with interpreting the music I performed at a level I'd not even previously considered. So too it is with these "simple" stretches! It is empowering, though. I appreciate your feedback, Nathan. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 11:02 AM, Naldaramjo said:

I'm open to more minimalist options, but with Vibrams, I worry about trench foot-like symptoms if the weather is especially rainy, and completely barefoot, I worry about a single stubbed toe sidelining the entire walk! Hahaha.

I invariably find that after lengthy trail races (5, 10, 20hrs+) in my Vibrams + Injinjis, my feet are in much better condition afterwards than people who wear shoes with more protection from the elements.  Less wrinkly, less battered, less smelly, zero blisters ever.

But yes, the toe stubbing is a thing.  I even broke my right little toe a few years back.  Because the Vibrams allow your toes to move independently, it clipped a "hidden" root, went sideways, and snapped in half.  The Spyridons (that I wear) - and now the V-Trail - have toe protection and a stone guard in the mid-foot.  They certainly help against the odd rock, but the ultimate goal is of course to improve one's proprioception, mindfulness and observational skills, to the point where they are no longer necessary.

On 11/30/2018 at 11:02 AM, Naldaramjo said:

You're barefoot around the streets, too? I only go barefoot if I'm getting out onto a trail for hiking. 

Yes.  Barefoot at work, around the streets, at the shops (except when a security guard taps me on the shoulder to tell me "excuse me sir, the centre has a footwear policy; I'm going to have to ask you...").

Certainly, the danger is far greater in "civilisation" than in nature, but that can be seen as an opportunity for increased awareness.  Besides, I REALLY don't like having anything on my feet.  Actually, I generally wear as little as possible on any part of my body, at all times.

On 11/30/2018 at 11:02 AM, Naldaramjo said:

I haven't decided, although the Milford Track looks stunning, if not particularly challenging. Another possibility is Stewart Island, which was recommended to me by a visitor I had a little while back. Will start in Aukland and, if feasible, try and get to Hobbiton. 

Luckily, you cannot go wrong, no matter your itinerary!  NZ is beautiful, no matter which way you look.

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23 minutes ago, pogo69 said:

I invariably find that after lengthy trail races (5, 10, 20hrs+) in my Vibrams + Injinjis, my feet are in much better condition afterwards than people who wear shoes with more protection from the elements.  Less wrinkly, less battered, less smelly, zero blisters ever.

But yes, the toe stubbing is a thing.  I even broke my right little toe a few years back.  Because the Vibrams allow your toes to move independently, it clipped a "hidden" root, went sideways, and snapped in half.  The Spyridons (that I wear) - and now the V-Trail - have toe protection and a stone guard in the mid-foot.  They certainly help against the odd rock, but the ultimate goal is of course to improve one's proprioception, mindfulness and observational skills, to the point where they are no longer necessary.

This is encouraging. I'm actually using the V-Trail Vibrams now, and I've done a lot of hiking in them. They do feel great for hiking - I feel very nimble and quiet. Not as much as when I'm completely barefoot, but close. In fact, after some barefoot walking, they almost feel like a pillow. I didn't even know they had a stone guard. However, I may have purchased a pair slightly too large for me. The little toe is often "hanging loose" inside the shoe - it's in the appropriate place, but it doesn't have independent traction the way the rest of the toes do. 

26 minutes ago, pogo69 said:

Yes.  Barefoot at work, around the streets, at the shops (except when a security guard taps me on the shoulder to tell me "excuse me sir, the centre has a footwear policy; I'm going to have to ask you...").

 Certainly, the danger is far greater in "civilisation" than in nature, but that can be seen as an opportunity for increased awareness.  Besides, I REALLY don't like having anything on my feet.  Actually, I generally wear as little as possible on any part of my body, at all times.

Kudos to you! It's admirable of you to stick to your guns. In fact, the last response you posted, where you mentioned being barefoot everywhere, inspired me to have a go barefoot around town. It's a weird but liberating feeling. It encourages me to be aware of my surroundings a lot more than I otherwise would. My soles felt pretty raw afterwards, I think I'll try and keep it up.

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3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

In fact, the last response you posted, where you mentioned being barefoot everywhere, inspired me to have a go barefoot around town. It's a weird but liberating feeling.

You might like to read this related thread:  I am not afraid!

5 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I will try and explain again...as I box the compass, should I attempt to keep the hips parallel with the ground (meaning that both iliac crests would be equidistant from the floor) as I articulate around my bent-forward leg.

Ah, I see. I read torso as the part above the hips/pelvis, so I was slightly confused. Yes, you want to keep the pelvis/hips mostly level, in general. Shifting to one side or the other is usually an attempt by your body to escape the stretch. Again, try letting them shift when they want to and pay attention to how the sensations change. Most likely, the stretch will ease up. Then you will understand experientially what keeping them level does and why it might be desirable.

5 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Also, should I be attempting to square my hips with my back leg even as I use the front leg to track the movement?

Only as much as needed to ensure the stretch occurs in the desired area. The intention should be there, and you should be aware of whether you are letting them unsquare/untuck and if your body is using the movement to escape the stretch. But you don't want to be so focused on it that your back leg is full of tension and cannot even relax into the stretches. I hope that makes sense.

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