Chad K. Park's Blog

22, November 2010

Crazy stretching

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 1:22 am

So, I’ve done damage to myself.

It’s been months now and the right glute still has a tendency to be tight. You see, I have a habit of ‘working through the pain’. It’s great, except when the pain is telling you to stop working. So, I ended up getting the entire right leg clenched up. Knee to lower back was in constant pain. Over the course of several weeks, I stretched out the offending area with the help of a physical therapist. I learned some new stretches and some new core exercises.

The first is the Thompson (sp?) stretch. You lay on a table or bench and let one leg dangle. It stretches out your hip flexors – the muscles that help you lift your thigh relative to your waist. It is useful to hold the opposite knee to your chest when doing it. My left side is fine, but my right side almost always experiences a nice stretch there.

Second is the quadratum laborus. It’s basically child’s pose from yoga, but leaning to one side and then the other. Keep your butt on your heels, lean forward like you’re bowing and placing your head on the floor, just do it to one side. It’s great. It compliments doing ball bridges. That’s where you rest your feet on an exercise ball and arch your back – I think of pinching my cheeks together.

The cross legged stretch or figure 4, is a great stretch for the glutes. It’s also good for the piraformis – the annoying little muscle that sometimes irritates the sciatic nerve and causes back and leg pain. You cross your legs while lying on your back and pull your knee forward. I try to get my hands just behind my knee. Sometimes I can press my stretched legs’ knee down with my elbow or a free hand. It’s a hard one to describe. You can find youtube videos for it.

Final one is one I made up since it seems to help my right glute. Stand with feet more than shoulder width apart, and stretch to one side or the other, but try to twist to either side. I can get to about 60 degrees from facing forward. When I do so, it makes a big difference and I can feel it stretching out the leg further.

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