Sunday, May 16, 2010
Hips in/ Hips out
Thanks to my buddy Lou Argondizza for demonstrating. Lou is an umpire and bartender/papi chulo at Sunsets Restaurant in Belmar, N.J. It's right on the Shark River at the Jersey Shore and gets beautiful sunsets, hence it's name. Ladies stop in and flirt with Lou when you get a chance.
One of my favorite exercises I use in hamstring strain rehab. There is a sagittal plane bias, which places it in the latter phase category.
The athlete begins with the "hips in" part. The athlete stands in a stride stance (affected leg forward) with a 7lb. heavy ball held posterior at overhead; elbows straight. Both feet should be pointed straight ahead. The foot of the trail leg may be permitted to slightly externally rotate.
At that point the athlete pushes his butt to the rear, moving the ball forward toward the lead ankle. The lead foot is dorsiflexed as the COG translates to the rear. The athlete smoothly reverses the motion, pushing the hips forward, returning the ball to the starting position, as the foot plantar flexes back to the floor.
As they become more comfortable with the exercise, I have the athlete internally & externally rotate the lead leg as the hips go back. It's appropriate for both high or low strains.
Besides being specific to how the muscle is used in forward running, the exercise also gets a good sciatic neural glide going. Neural glide is no longer a theory; it's been documented in the professional journals. The sciatic nerve must be conditioned to tolerate the constant lengthening & compression that goes along with the muscle action.
The other issue this exercise addresses is the influence of the contralateral iliopsoas on the affected hamstring. Tightness in the hip flexors may cause the opposite side hamstrings to fire prematurely and contribute to strains.