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5 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Which exercise are we talking about here? :)

Uh oh, what have I done? :lol: I was thinking about the standing hip flexor, although it just occurred to me that Joe is likely doing the usual lunge on the floor. So the front foot is usually somewhere in front of the knee for stability, although it should be at least directly over, hence 90 degrees. More open can help use hamstring tension to keep the pelvis in a good position, of course. When I mentioned closing the knee, I was specifically thinking of this exercise shared by Olivia recently: the tango lunge.

21 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I'm game to see your seiza variation. I can sit comfortably like that for at least a few minutes, and I'm always open to improving my ankle flexibility as well.

You don't actually need fantastic ankle flexibility for this. Simply use a higher cushion and let your feet hang off. I made a quick and dirty recording for you:

So you start in seiza and place one hand on the knee of the same side's leg. This is simply for stability. Then take the opposite hand up and overhead, shifting to that arm's side at the same time to retain balance. What I really like about this setup that sets it apart from the others is that you are stretching from both sides (top and bottom) at the same time. (It's possible to do so with the other setups, but it's much more apparent and easy to do so here.) So let the stretching-side hip drop toward the floor while also extending the hand far out overhead. You will need to gradually shift to keep balance. As you relax into it, continue to both drop the hip and reach up and over. And then roll forward like usual to come out of the stretch.

21 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Are you a writer? I've not heard of Wonderbook.

Well, I am a translator, so I suppose so, in a sense :)

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19 hours ago, Nathan said:

I was thinking about the standing hip flexor, although it just occurred to me that Joe is likely doing the usual lunge on the floor. So the front foot is usually somewhere in front of the knee for stability, although it should be at least directly over, hence 90 degrees. More open can help use hamstring tension to keep the pelvis in a good position, of course. When I mentioned closing the knee, I was specifically thinking of this exercise shared by Olivia recently: the tango lunge.

Oh, this is a nice glute exercise, thanks! I gave it a quick go this morning, and I noticed that, while I could do the exercise relatively easily with both legs, I felt a much stronger contraction in my left glute than my right. Not sure why that would be, so I'll have to scrutinize my form more carefully this evening. Would it be okay for me to upload a video for a form check as well? (should I do that here or on the "form check" thread?)

19 hours ago, Nathan said:

So you start in seiza and place one hand on the knee of the same side's leg. This is simply for stability. Then take the opposite hand up and overhead, shifting to that arm's side at the same time to retain balance. What I really like about this setup that sets it apart from the others is that you are stretching from both sides (top and bottom) at the same time. (It's possible to do so with the other setups, but it's much more apparent and easy to do so here.) So let the stretching-side hip drop toward the floor while also extending the hand far out overhead. You will need to gradually shift to keep balance. As you relax into it, continue to both drop the hip and reach up and over. And then roll forward like usual to come out of the stretch.

Thanks for this video and description. Gave this stretch a shot last night and felt it to be quite successful. Happy for the variety!

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January 8, 2019

Joe's Daily Jam

  • Lunge Quad Stretch
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch xMany breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis x10+ breaths

I tried an interesting variation of this stretch this time. I allowed my body to rock sideways away from the piriformis side being stretched. This increased the sensation significantly, but at the moment, I'm not exactly sure why. Perhaps it feels like a happy medium (in terms of angles) between the seated piriformis stretch and the lying piriformis stretch.

  • Baby-Flop

Seeing as how this feels a bit more comfortable these days, I might attempt Kit's "How to Sit for Meditation" stretch sequence next time.

  • Seated Figure 4

Overall, this feels more comfortable, but I notice that as I close the angle between my torso and my upper leg (i.e. sit more upright), I still feel a sharp, pinching sensation deep in my left hip. Has anyone else experienced this? Is band distraction a good way to work with this impingement? 

 

All-Fours-Dog-Peeing-on-Fire-Hydrant Leg Mobility Work

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9 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Would it be okay for me to upload a video for a form check as well? (should I do that here or on the "form check" thread?)

Of course! Either is fine, although you might get more feedback in the form check forum.

9 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Thanks for this video and description. Gave this stretch a shot last night and felt it to be quite successful. Happy for the variety!

Glad to hear it! I've been wanting to record this one for a while to share because I really like it. It just works better for me than the other variations (at this point). I still need to do a proper video, but it's nice to get it out there in the meantime.

9 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I still feel a sharp, pinching sensation deep in my left hip. Has anyone else experienced this? Is band distraction a good way to work with this impingement? 

Is it through the whole movement, or only in certain positions? You could try band distraction, but since you're not in a hurry I think it would be better to simply work in a range where you don't feel the pinching, and then progress that range over time. Some rolling prior to the stretch might help too.

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January 9, 2019

Joe's Sugar-Free Jam

  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis x10+ breaths
  • Seiza Side Bend x5 breaths (thanks @Nathan)
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Random, rather odd question:

What does everyone's medial glute/TFL feel like at rest lying on the floor? I think they're at rest, but there's a really tight band of tissue on the side of my hip, and I'm wondering if that's normal or symptomatic of anything.

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January 10, 2019

  • Band distraction hip mobility work

I attempted this once ages ago, but I was not consistent with it, and, soon after, I became convinced that all that the body truly "needed" could be obtained without the use of props. I suppose I held on to some romantic ideal of my path towards healthy mobility. Something that I could reflect on and, when attempting to inspire others, relay a beautifully pure aphorism such as "all that your body needs is itself." 

Now, I'm a bit more open to the tools of the modern world. I suppose I can create some symmetry around the problem that placates my discomfort in it being unnatural: a modern problem requires modern solutions. But really, I'm just trying to be open to whatever works. 

I'm sure most people here are familiar with "W" sitting and its adult analog, "Hero Pose." Well, If I even slightly splay my legs out so that my feet rest next to my medial glutes rather than underneath them, I can kiss even the slightest of forward bends goodbye. I can barely even keep my upper body upright. The impingement is severe and sharp, so acute that I'm not even which stretch might address it. 

Edit: I don't think this is a structural limitation, because it's asymmetrical, and it does improve somewhat once the muscles are warm. However, it still feels a bit "wrong."

I've assessed that my hip internal rotation is abysmal, for whatever reason. And I'm going to continue to work from a strength perspective rather than a purely flexibility-oriented perspective: I'm assuming my internal rotation sucks because I'm simply too weak or too handicapped to be able to handle such movement with comfort, let alone grace or ease.

I also suspect this is the same limitation I come up one when I attempt to truly relax into Child's Pose, where, if I draw in my belly, I still cannot rest flatly on my upper legs. 

Enter Band Distraction

Has anyone else used it? What are your thoughts? I've come across many videos that speak of its benefits, but not within the context of the Stretch Therapy ethos. The movement I'm currently trying is here.

Also, enter exercises that immediately remind of exercise videos where everyone is wearing identical spandex uniforms. For example, lying lateral leg lifts. 

  • Various Medial Glute stretches
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis x5 breaths
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On 1/10/2019 at 4:40 PM, Naldaramjo said:

What does everyone's medial glute/TFL feel like at rest lying on the floor? I think they're at rest, but there's a really tight band of tissue on the side of my hip, and I'm wondering if that's normal or symptomatic of anything.

It's probably symptomatic of you holding tension there :lol: I'm guessing you've read this thread, for example. There are many others here that discuss the value of suppleness, which is not the same as flexibility. If you are palpating a muscle (and not a tendon, bone, etc.) and it is not soft at rest, then you want to look at developing suppleness. But I believe you already have a sitting/lying relaxation practice, so you're headed in the right direction.

3 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Has anyone else used it? What are your thoughts? I've come across many videos that speak of its benefits, but not within the context of the Stretch Therapy ethos.

Stretch Therapy is open to all effective techniques :) Banded distraction is used and appears in some ST videos, but often a partner takes the place of the band in ST work. If you don't have a partner, it can be very helpful. Definitely give it a try and find out if it works for you. (I have used it a bit for dorsiflexion work, but I personally found that I prefer just finding ways to relax more.)

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On 1/11/2019 at 7:17 PM, Nathan said:

It's probably symptomatic of you holding tension there :lol: I'm guessing you've read this thread, for example. There are many others here that discuss the value of suppleness, which is not the same as flexibility. If you are palpating a muscle (and not a tendon, bone, etc.) and it is not soft at rest, then you want to look at developing suppleness. But I believe you already have a sitting/lying relaxation practice, so you're headed in the right direction.

I don't think it's the muscle. It's not something that can be flexed, but it does soften a bit when I lie with my legs slightly wider than shoulder width (as opposed to narrower than or equidistant with them). Perhaps a tendon, and as taught as one would expect?

 

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January 11, 2019

Joe's Generous Jam

  • Band distraction hip mobility work
  • Various Glute Exercises
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis x20+ breaths (~5 Minutes)
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21 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I don't think it's the muscle. It's not something that can be flexed, but it does soften a bit when I lie with my legs slightly wider than shoulder width (as opposed to narrower than or equidistant with them). Perhaps a tendon, and as taught as one would expect?

Perhaps the IT band, which should be quite dense (but not necessarily taut, like mine tends to be :lol:).

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January 12, 2019

Joe's Pensive Jam

  • Band distraction hip mobility work
  • Various Glute Exercises
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths

Starting to feel diminished returns on this stretch, but I think that's because of my TFL, which I've determined is not tight, but rather, overworked. So, now I'm on the hunt for medial glute stretches that circumvent the TFL. 

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths

More than any other stretch, the feeling of this one has transformed the most. It feels remarkably therapeutic, and gone are any of the pinching sensations I used to feel in the lumbar spine. I wouldn't say my ROM is "great" in this stretch, but, more importantly, it feels safe, and it feels constructive. 

  • Lying Piriformis (~3 Minutes)

As ever, the left stretch out-performs the right. Thinking that medial glute stretches and piriformis stretches are in many ways inseparable.

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58 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

Thinking that medial glute stretches and piriformis stretches are in many ways inseparable.

For sure. The piriformis is deep inside of the hip, while the glute med is much more superficial, so it's one of those peeling-the-onion type of deals :) Instead of trying to stretch the TFL/glute med separately, you might instead focus on giving them some SMR (rolling) love, and then go to work on the piriformis (which will still hit them).

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15 minutes ago, Nathan said:

For sure. The piriformis is deep inside of the hip, while the glute med is much more superficial, so it's one of those peeling-the-onion type of deals :) Instead of trying to stretch the TFL/glute med separately, you might instead focus on giving them some SMR (rolling) love, and then go to work on the piriformis (which will still hit them).

I'd like to try and avoid stretching the TFL directly for now. (perhaps I should strengthen it a bit?) My medial glutes could use some release. Something like this?

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:11 PM, Naldaramjo said:

Has anyone else used it? What are your thoughts?

I pretty much demonstrate how to do this on every workshop I present... especially for the ankles. We call it "joint distraction", to suggest the pulling vector that this technique always introduces, and this vector slightly increases joint space—but it can feel like a "miracle".

It is a core idea in RollStretch, something I designed way before the current wave of interest in fascia. We were on this way before Kelly S., too. But there is only so many hours in the day!

If @Nathan offers workshops this year (which I will be pushing him to do :)) you might consider attending.

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7 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

I'd like to try and avoid stretching the TFL directly for now. (perhaps I should strengthen it a bit?) My medial glutes could use some release. Something like this?

Yes, she is demonstrating SMR (self myofascial release), which is what I suggested. No need to stretch it directly, but no need to intentionally avoid it either. It will likely get a stretch when you work on your piriformis. I wouldn't focus on strengthening the TFL, but you could definitely make the med glutes a focus since they tend to be weak in most people these days.

3 hours ago, Kit_L said:

If @Nathan offers workshops this year (which I will be pushing him to do :)) you might consider attending.

:ph34r: Have any friends you can bring too, @Naldaramjo:lol:

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4 hours ago, Kit_L said:

If @Nathan offers workshops this year (which I will be pushing him to do :)) you might consider attending.

 

1 hour ago, Nathan said:

:ph34r: Have any friends you can bring too, @Naldaramjo:lol:

If the timing lined up with my summer vacation (the only time of year I'd conceivably have enough time to attend a workshop), I'd gladly attend. 

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4 hours ago, Kit_L said:

It is a core idea in RollStretch, something I designed way before the current wave of interest in fascia. We were on this way before Kelly S., too. But there is only so many hours in the day!

 

Interesting. I've not heard you compare RollStretch to joint distraction previously. I recall a demonstration of yours with a dowel and seiza sitting, but not much more. 

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1 hour ago, Naldaramjo said:

Interesting. I've not heard you compare RollStretch to joint distraction previously. I recall a demonstration of yours with a dowel and seiza sitting, but not much more. 

If you have the stick close to the knees, it's applying a distraction there!

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January 13, 2019

Joe's Thoughtful Jam

  • Band distraction hip mobility work
  • SMR work on glutes

Felt good! Will continue to do this prior to my main stretches

  • Various Glute Exercises
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis (~3 Minutes)
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January 14, 2019

Joe's January 14th Jam

  • Band distraction hip mobility work
  • SMR work on glutes
  • Various Glute Exercises
  • Lying TFL/Medial Glute stretch x5 breaths
  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis (~3 Minutes)

January 15, 2019

Joe's Diligent Jam

Some lying relaxation work with some time spent on a spinal foam. Felt wonderful, and I wondered why I'd stopped a while back.

  • SMR work on glutes
  • Glute activation work

Having difficulty isolating the glutes for strong contractions. So, giving this technique a try to encourage them.

  • Band distraction hip mobility work

Will take a break from this for a couple of days...residual sharp soreness in area where pinch was previously. Perhaps the figure-4 mobility work from MTS will do the trick.

  • Glute exercises

Still feeling a bit disconnected from my right glute when doing single leg glute exercises. A bit better, though.

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths

Felt absolutely fantastic today. Encouraging sign.

  • Lying Piriformis (~3 Minutes)

Wake up, right butt!
 

Still suffering some coccyx pain intermittently, which is quite discouraging, especially on the eve of what is supposed to be an active time in New Zealand. I wrote about it here, and again, if you have experience with anything similar, please weigh in. When initially searching for reasons why it might be lingering, I came across many people who acquired it in the same way (deadlifts), but nobody followed up their problem with any sort of rehabilitation suggestions.

 

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11 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Still suffering some coccyx pain intermittently, which is quite discouraging, especially on the eve of what is supposed to be an active time in New Zealand. I wrote about it here, and again, if you have experience with anything similar, please weigh in. When initially searching for reasons why it might be lingering, I came across many people who acquired it in the same way (deadlifts), but nobody followed up their problem with any sort of rehabilitation suggestions.

I have no experience/knowledge about this specific issue, but with many of these types of lingering "injuries" it is often simply a matter of time. The body will rebuild itself - it's doing so constantly. Some tissues take much longer, but we are completely new material within a matter of years. It's really amazing. Move the tissues in diverse ways as much as possible without pushing into pain, and give it time. And look at it as an opportunity to learn what you can from the experience. That's my general advice for pesky injuries, anyway :)

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5 hours ago, Nathan said:

I have no experience/knowledge about this specific issue, but with many of these types of lingering "injuries" it is often simply a matter of time. The body will rebuild itself - it's doing so constantly. Some tissues take much longer, but we are completely new material within a matter of years. It's really amazing. Move the tissues in diverse ways as much as possible without pushing into pain, and give it time. And look at it as an opportunity to learn what you can from the experience. That's my general advice for pesky injuries, anyway :)

Thanks, Nathan. This is encouraging to read. Some patterns of worry are well-ingrained and reminders like this can sometimes help break their spell.

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January 16, 2019

Joe's Juicy Jam

  • Dead Bugs

Trying not to take anything for granted. I came across a video that suggested a weak core can reduce the effectiveness of glute exercises since. For example, when in four-on-the-floor position, engaging the glute to extend one leg behind (either with a bend knee or a straight leg), if the core is not held rigid, the glute will not be able to contract maximally, or rather, it will not be able to contract maximally in its ideal range of motion. 

So, this exercise for me is to ensure that my core is awake and strong for the glute contractions to come. 

  • Glute activation work

Isometric contractions, 2 kinds:

  1. Lying prone, large object held between feet, feet lifted 90 degrees at the knee. Squeezing the object evenly with the feet, concentrating on feeling that ass.
  2. Lying supine, belt tied around knees, knees hip width apart, legs lifted 90 degrees off the ground. Contract the glutes, attempting to spread the knees outward. Repeat ad nauseum. Lean to one side if one glute refuses to wake up.
  • Glute exercises
  • Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Figure 4 Mobility

Still a bit of a "hot" sensation in the left groin, though admittedly much reduced in severity.

  • Floor Upper & Middle Back Stretch x5 breaths
  • Lying Elbow Backbend x10+ breaths
  • Lying Piriformis x10(ish) breaths

Not my favourite piriformis stretch at the moment. Might switch again to the sitting stretch outlined in ABSS.

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