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  1. #1
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    Tired hips and how to improve them

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    Lately the first thing that "gives out" - gets tired with a burning feeling on a long ride, are the sides of the hips.
    I'm thinking upper part of gluteus major, TFL or whatever else may originate from around the iliac crest.
    The same area is also what is usually the most sore after a longer run.

    Now that I have become a convert to gym training:
    What exercises?
    I am already being a good girl with leg raises in the half side plank position and squats/split squats, as directed by my PT to protect the ITB.
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  2. #2
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    I suffered from "dumb butt syndrome" last year. That's where you literally forget how to activate your glutes. Two exercises I did in almost every PT session were donkey kicks and fire hydrants. I also did a lot of leg raises while lying on my stomach. It was important with each one to make sure I was using my glutes to initiate the movement and not my hamstrings.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  3. #3
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    Some others I like to do are clamshells - standing hip extensions with a rubber donut around both ankles or a cable machine - side steps with a rubber donut around both ankles, or standing hip adductions with a cable machine or donut - and hip dips standing on a step or bench. From the hip dips you can progress to single leg step-downs or single leg squats, once you're strong enough to do them without letting your knee drop in.

    It looks kind of funny, but if you slap yourself on the butt before initiating a glute extension, it really helps you activate it and avoid letting the hammies take over.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinerabbit View Post
    Lately the first thing that "gives out" - gets tired with a burning feeling on a long ride, are the sides of the hips.
    I'm thinking upper part of gluteus major, TFL or whatever else may originate from around the iliac crest.
    ......
    hmmmm, I've noted this as well but just assumed it was my hip arthritis twinging a bit. I already do lateral work and squats, but will work in more side planks into my routine, have been focusing more on doing regular planks on the ball. I am leery of split squats, I think this might be what contributed to my injuries last year.

    Thank you for bringing this up!

  5. #5
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    Another good glute/hip exercise I forgot to mention is bridge. Make sure to keep your pelvis level. For an advance move, try lifting one leg at a time, but only if you can continue to keep your pelvis level.

    I'll have to try side plank with a leg lift. In yoga, I avoid side plank since it hurts my hand and wrist way too much. I could try modifying it by doing it on my elbow (which is not how you'll see most yogis doing it in class). Is that what the OP meant by "half side plank?"
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  6. #6
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    If I lift a leg in Bridge, it's all hammies. What's the cue to activate the glutes??? (Also, unrelated but important - press the back of your head into the mat to maintain the cervical curve.)

    I haven't figured out how to completely take the wrist out of side plank, but you are activating your whole hand, yes? Doing it on the elbow feels just kind of ... strange, to me. Unlike prone plank, which is actually tougher on the core when I do it on my elbows.

    Advanced class: prone plank bird-dog, then take the lifted arm and leg to 90 with the spine without tilting hips or shoulders.


    I assumed the OP meant side plank on knees by "half side plank." Note that you can do T-pushups into a half side plank by leaving the top leg extended but bending the supporting bottom knee.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 07-04-2011 at 06:12 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    If I lift a leg in Bridge, it's all hammies. What's the cue to activate the glutes??? (Also, unrelated but important - press the back of your head into the mat to maintain the cervical curve.)

    I haven't figured out how to completely take the wrist out of side plank, but you are activating your whole hand, yes? Doing it on the elbow feels just kind of ... strange, to me. Unlike prone plank, which is actually tougher on the core when I do it on my elbows.

    Advanced class: prone plank bird-dog, then take the lifted arm and leg to 90 with the spine without tilting hips or shoulders.


    I assumed the OP meant side plank on knees by "half side plank." Note that you can do T-pushups into a half side plank by leaving the top leg extended but bending the supporting bottom knee.
    Oak, I can't keep my pelvis level in bridge, so I haven't moved onto the advanced move. You might play around with how close to your butt you plant your feet. Perhaps one position over another will help keep the glutes activated--or just stick to the basic pose.

    I'll play around with side plank. I don't particularly like doing side plank on my elbow, but I just have a hard time doing a regular side plank on my hand. I've mentioned in other threads that I experienced some nerve issues with my hands when I was trying to work out the fit issues on my Moots. I still have some lingering issues. Side plank for more than 10 seconds just hurts, so I usually put a knee down. I do work on using my entire hand and lifting out of my shoulder and not my hand, but it's just not worth further aggravation.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
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    Best trick I know to strengthen and activate the hip muscles:

    Stand in perfect posture - belly flat, tailbone "relaxed" and dropped, knees unlocked.

    Keep your pelvis ABSOLUTELY LEVEL, lift one foot from the ground. (hammies can't keep the pelvis level, the hip muscles have to do it, so don't drop one side of your pelvis when you lift one foot from the ground.)

    Stand on one foot for as long as you can.

    You should be able to stand steady and still and level for 2 minutes on each foot.

    If you can only stand 1 minute before losing your balance or your level pelvis, you're still probably ok, but work toward that 2 minute mark.

    I've seen women who were active and athletic and could whip off a 10 mile hike without blinking, yet had chronic hip pain and could only stand on one foot for 10 or 15 seconds. Guess what exercise they got to do at home....

    If you're not sure you are keeping your pelvis level, ask someone to watch you or do this in front of a mirror.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-04-2011 at 06:40 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
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    Stupid question, Knott, but when you lift your foot, do you hold that leg out in front of you or simply lift the foot off the ground?

    p.s. Thanks for this exercise!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    Stupid question, Knott, but when you lift your foot, do you hold that leg out in front of you or simply lift the foot off the ground?

    p.s. Thanks for this exercise!
    Just get the foot off the ground, whatever way works best for you.

    The crucial thing is that you hold your pelvis level and stable the whole time.

    Many women will immediately drop the hip of the lifted foot and jut the standing hip out to the side - sure sign of weak hip muscles. If someone does that walking, too, it's called a Trendelenberg gait. Someone with a Trendelenberg gait gets the exact same exercise, but they are only holding for a few seconds because they are so very weak.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #11
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    I'm no Knot, but I've been doing classical Pilates for some time and my hip problems have disappeared. There's also that Pilates butt thing going on, which would indicate to me that the glutes are being activated regularly...and well, let's just say that it's a good thing.

    Just another option to consider.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    I'm no Knot, but I've been doing classical Pilates for some time and my hip problems have disappeared. There's also that Pilates butt thing going on, which would indicate to me that the glutes are being activated regularly...and well, let's just say that it's a good thing.

    Just another option to consider.
    I'm no Knot either...

    But I must say that PT is only a stepping-stone to get people to the point they can do things like yoga or Pilates or their regular sport.

    I'd trade having a patient doing all my goofy exercises for having them do yoga or Pilates!

    (doing tree pose for 2 minutes is far better than just standing on one foot for 2 minutes... much harder! And having a Pilates butt is very good - more butt, more better!)
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  13. #13
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    Aug 2011
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    Friend, better to do yoga daily. I have seen many cycle and bike riders have this same problem. Dont worry about this, you can easily cure this problem using Yoga medicine.

 

 

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