photo credit: http://pacificcoastchirowellness.com/shoulder-pain/
Check out my first post on 3 Ways to Get Out of Shoulder Pain if you haven't already.
People from all walks of life can and do suffer from shoulder pain. Whether someone is a professional athlete who operates overhead for their respective sport or a mother of 3 young children, shoulder pain can be present in any population.
In Part 1, we discussed many reasons why someone may have shoulder pain. Check out part 1 and give that a read first.
Three reasons we discussed in part 1 were soft tissue restrictions, scapulo-humeral rhythm, and breathing patterns.
Today, in Part 2, we will discuss the effect of:
on shoulder pain. The reasons mentioned above as well as the reasons mentioned in part 1 are all important to consider with a client or patient who is experiencing shoulder pain.
Now, before people start sending me hate mail on why poor posture is not correlated with shoulder pain, posture is only the piece of the puzzle and there is no cause and effect relationship or strong correlation between posture and shoulder pain.
Posture is one of those topics that has been discussed for years on what is proper posture and what is not. You can have someone who presents with "poor posture" and have no complaints of shoulder pain. On the other hand, someone could walk in with "perfect posture" and have 9/10 shoulder pain.
My thought process is that we need to consider all possible factors that may be contributing to someone's pain and/or dysfunction. If someone sits at a desk all day for 10+ hours with "poor posture," then we may want to address this issue.
photo credit: http://www.fitnessmash.com/2011/12/do-we-really-need-to-stretch/desk-jockey/
If we don't address this particular issue and educate our clients and patients on this particular factors, then we are doing them a disservice. It's only a piece of the puzzle.
Here is a picture of "normal" resting posture:
Here are two pictures of "not-so-normal" resting posture:
With the first picture, we ideally like to see an imaginary line going from the ears, down through the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles that would represent an ideal resting posture position.
As shown in the other 2 pictures, this is not the case.
In picture #2, the person's head and shoulders are translating forward and they are rounding through their upper back. This is something we typically see in a population who tends to sit or work at a computer the majority of the day.
In picture #3, the person is in a gross extension pattern, where they are extending through their lumbar spine/TL junction and in turn placing the scapula into a depressed position. This is typically seen in a population who either stands throughout the day AND/OR partakes in weight training, etc. I am not saying everyone who lifts weights looks like this, but in my experience, this is what we typically see.
We can do all the rows, correctives, pec stretching, etc. we want to try to remedy this, but first and foremost, we need to educate the patient or client on how they are currently positioned and how it may be better to be in a different position.
In my opinion and I'm sure other people will echo my sentiments, posture is dynamic.
What does this mean!?
Well, as I sit here typing this, I could have the most atrocious looking posture. Then 1-2 minutes later, I could have textbook looking posture. Just because someone has a certain posture for a brief period of time, doesn't mean they are going to have lifelong issues related to how they sit or stand.
Posture is one of those things that is always adjusting and changing. We are human beings and are moving throughout our day. If someone maintains a prolonged position, whether it be sitting at a desk throughout the day as shown in picture #2 above OR if they are standing throughout the day hanging out in extension as shown in #3, THEN this is where it could be problematic.
We want to educate our patients and clients on remaining mobile throughout many varying positions throughout their day. Going from a sitting to standing position, 1/2 kneeling to tall kneeling, etc., these varying positions can help anyone to fend off the poor posture bug.
Here are a couple of quick fixes if you sit all day:
Here are a couple of quick fixes if you stand for prolonged periods of time:
2. Lifting Technique
Time and time again, I speak to my clients about how their lifting mechanics and form can either help to support or trump what we are doing in the treatment room. Someone who exhibits proper lifting technique can recover from an injury quicker. Conversely, someone who is consistently performing lifts with poor technique will continue to exacerbate their shoulder/knee/low back, etc. pain and dysfunction.
When my clients are with me in a session, I want their form to be pristine. If not, then we are going to coach them into the proper position. When they are on their own performing a particular corrective or strength exercise, I expect the same. Now, I know when people don't have a coach around to cue them, their form may not be as good as with someone watching.
If another trainer, coach, or physical therapist was watching your patient or client exercise or perform their home exercise program, what would they say?
Would they say, "Wow, that form looks pristine! They must have someone who has coached them on the form and technique."
"Wow, it must be their 1st day in the gym. Maybe I should go over there and help them with that exercise?"
Therefore, whether someone is being coached in person, via the internet, or are all alone and doing the exercise by themselves, technique is of utmost importance.
Now, don't get me wrong, someone may be able to get away with poor form for a long time and not have any pain and/or dysfunction. The human body is resilient and can handle amazing amounts of stress time and time again before we start to notice it causing any type of damage.
Eventually, sub-par technique will catch up with you. Here are 3 exercises that are performed with ideal technique:
1-Arm Cable Row
DB Bench Press
Here are some exercises being performed with "not-so-ideal" technique:
1-Arm Cable Row
What is wrong with this technique?
DB Bench Press
What is wrong here?
We see that the humerus is translating anteriorly in relation to the glenoid (shoulder). There is minimal scapular retraction/protraction. By allowing the humerus to translate anteriorly, this places increased stress on the passive restraints of the shoulder (biceps tendon, anterior capsule, labrum, rotator cuff).
Also, there is an increased amount of lumbar lordosis seen with the big low back arch and rib flare.
Here we see:
There is excessive arching of the low back/rib flare at the end of the pressing motion. Also, there is excessive translation of the cervical spine and head anteriorly at the end of the pressing motion as well.
Instead of trying to increase the weight on exercises week after week after week, drop the weight a little bit and focus on the technique. In the short term, your ego may take a hit, but in the long term, you will be stronger and remain in the iron game.
3. Core Instability
This point somewhat goes hand in hand with lifting technique, but we will discuss how impaired core stability will affect the shoulder.
First, an example. Would you build a house on a solid foundation or a "suspect" foundation?
The same goes for the human body, specifically the core/trunk region. If you don't provide a stable base by putting the core in a good position, this will in turn alter the position of the lumbar spine and the thoracic spine. Once the thoracic spine is in a poor position, this alters the position of the ribs and ribcage. Once the ribs and ribcage are malaligned, this will dictate the position of the scapula and in turn the glenoid (shoulder).
Many times if we affect the position of the trunk, this can cause immediate changes in the position of the joints above it.
So, to improve core stability, this doesn't mean doing crunches or sit-ups.
If anything, we want to train our core to maintain a neutral position. One way to find out what a neutral spine position feels like is by standing with your back to a wall as shown in the picture below. Your heels should be approximately 6 inches away from the bottom of the wall.
We ideally would like to be able to slide our hand between the wall and our back. You should feel both the wall and your low back.
If you can't slide your hand through, as shown below:
You might be in a slightly flexed lumbar spine position.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could have too much space (more than 1 hand width) between your low back and the wall. See below.
Both of these two scenarios, too much or too little space between the wall and low back, can cause issues at the shoulder.
For the sake of this post, we will focus on too much space between the low back and the wall. What this typically means is that the person is "hanging out in extension" or has increased extension in their lumbar spine.
This is typically accompanied with a rib flare. When the low back arches, the ribs will have a tendency to drift up and out, in a superior and anterior direction. This is a classic sign of someone exhibiting an extended posture.
photo credit: teamchiroames.com
In turn, this will cause the scapula to tilt forward and protract due to the compensation by the upper rib cage to counteract the extension moment. When the scapula tilts forward, this will limit the amount of glenohumeral range of motion and can cause varying issues from the neck/shoulder to the lumbar spine and hips.
As seen in the previous post regarding shoulder pain here, breathing patterns can contribute to this extended, rib flare posture position. When we breathe predominantly from the accessory musculature (scalenes, pec minor, SCMs), this can cause an extended posture by pulling up on the rib cage and placing it into extension.
It can also send a signal to the brain indicating that there is a threat due to the abnormal breathing pattern. The brain will then send a signal to the body to be on "high alert" and will engage accessory extensor tone in the paraspinals in the thoracic and lumbar spine. In turn, this can compound the extension posture/rib flare.
The Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) goes into great detail about this. Check out their website for more information.
So, if we have a tendency to start off a lift or exercise in this position, we may have a tendency to perform the exercise in an extended posture. When placing strength on top of dysfunction in this extended posture, it is increasing the risk for injury.
Whether it be a DB Bench Press, cable row, or overhead press as shown above, if we maintain a neutral spine, "ribs down" position, this will allow all the moving parts in the kinetic chain to work and function properly.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Whether you are a runner, sit at a desk throughout the day, or prefer to lift weights, anyone can suffer from tightness or pain in their Iliotibial Band (IT) Band. There are many reasons why someone may feel tightness in their IT band.
photo credit: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1214
Those reasons can include:
-Lack of soft tissue extensibility (flexibility) from being immobilized.
-Pain Threat Perception
-Poor Core Stability
-Poor Hip Stability
-Poor Hip Mobility
-Poor Ankle Mobility
Some of those reasons can have a combination of more than one reason or for reasons not even mentioned.
First off, what is the IT Band?
Well, the IT Band is a piece of fascia that attaches on the lateral portion of the pelvis, Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL), and Gluteus Maximus, and progresses down the outside of the thigh and eventually inserts on the Tibia. The Tensor Fascia Latae and the IT Band, assist in preventing the knee from moving laterally. Fascia is like saran wrap that goes from the top of your head and is present throughout your entire body all the way down to your feet. It works with muscles to help transmit force to various areas throughout the body.
The IT band is a common source of blame for reasons why someone may have pain on the outside of their thigh and/or knee. Common complaints of "IT Band Syndrome" are pain in the middle to distal portion of the IT Band to the outside of the knee. What can happen is that the site of pain is often not the source. Usually where their is pain, the source of it is emanating from somewhere else. This relates back to the Joint by Joint Approach.
Another way to think of this is like when a pebble is thrown into a pond. When the pebble hits the water, there is a "ripple effect" from the site where the pebble hits and the ripples continue farther out.
photo credit: eddierivero.org
How does this relate to the IT Band? Well, more often than not, where people complain of pain/discomfort in the IT Band is usually not the source of their pain. Back to the ripple effect example:
If the center of the ripples in the picture above where the pebble hits is where the person is experiencing pain, the IT Band, with each ripple, this represents another area in the kinetic chain that could potentially impact the bio-mechanics of the lower extremity and in turn the pain felt in the IT Band.
For example, the hip, lumbo-pelvic complex, the ankle, etc. Each of these areas, as well as others, could potentially contribute to the problem.
So, now that we have established that the source of the problem could be coming from somewhere else, why does your IT Band continue to feel tight?
You could try some self-myofascial release (SMR) with a foam roller or lacrosse ball to the IT Band and it may feel good for the short-term, but it isn't addressing why it's "tight."
It could potentially feel "tight" because the IT Band and/or TFL are trying to compensate and control the internal rotation of the femur and lower leg instead of other muscles properly controlling and stabilizing the lower leg.
For the brevity of this post, we will focus on the hip and the muscles surrounding the hip and core
The muscles of the hip and core control many of the forces that go through the entire lower extremity. They control the position of the hip all the way down to the foot and ankle. If someone lacks appropriate hip control, this can lead to bio-mechanical faults throughout the entire lower extremity and trunk.
photo credit: flexibilityrx.com
Without adequate core and hip control, it is a "free for all" with what can happen to the leg. With poor hip and core control this can lead to:
-Lateral trunk sway
-Femoral Internal Rotation
-Knee Valgus/Tibial External Rotation
Now, if someone demonstrates one of these abnormalities, it DOES NOT mean they are going to have issues. It usually becomes an issue when it is either micro-traumatic in nature and the repetitiveness of going into this type of position eventually irritates certain structures, for example the IT Band.
If someone presents with this type of positioning in a macro-traumatic event, then there is typically some type of ligament or soft tissue compromise, usually, ACL/MCL tears, or meniscal tears, to name a few.
With these micro-traumatic events over time, this constant motion of femoral internal rotation/knee valgus can cause an irritation of the distal IT Band.
photo credit: pittsburghpaincenter.com
Instead of trying to foam roll your IT Band, try performing some type of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) to your Tensor Fascia Latae and Vastus Lateralis.
The TFL is the muscle that attaches to the IT Band. By doing some type of manual therapy to this area, it can decrease the amount of tension that is placed upon the IT Band. Also, perform some type of SMR to the Vastus Lateralis.
photo credit: studyblue.com
photo credit: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/vastus+lateralis
Here is a video demonstrating how to perform SMR on the Vastus Lateralis and TFL:
When performing SMR on the Vastus Lateralis, instead of being face down to the ground, angle your body to 45 degrees in relation to the ground and roll where the outside of your Quadriceps meets your IT Band.
When performing SMR on the TFL, find your Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (ASIS) or the "hip bone" on the front of your hip. Then go approximately 4 inches down and 2 inches laterally to work on the TFL.
Now that you have performed SMR to those 2 areas, let's start to address the reason why it feels tight in the first place.
Back to what we were talking about before about hip and core control. If the core and hip musculature of the body don't provide a stable base for the lower extremity to move off of, then the leg will follow the path of least resistance and basically go wherever it wants., usually into the position of femoral internal rotation and knee valgus.
For years, professionals were trying to strengthen the VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique) in attempt to keep the knee and lower leg from going into a valgus collapse and/or to help track the patella in the proper superior and inferior directions.
photo credit: sportskneetherapy.com
According to Dr. Christopher Powers in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, his study, "The Influence of Abnormal Hip Mechanics on Knee Injury: A Biomechanical Perspective," found that impaired trunk, pelvis, and hip control played a role in respect to knee injury.
By assessing the function of the trunk, pelvis, and hip, this may give us insight into how the rest of the lower extremity functions.
Here is a simple test to perform to see if you have adequate hip and pelvic stability:
Also check out my previous post regarding the Bridge with March at Matt Ibrahim's website, Movement Resilience.
Bridge with March
If your form looks good, then try this more advanced variation.
Bridge with March/Hip Abduction
If you passed with flying colors, then here is a more advanced assessment to test for adequate core and hip stability.
Single Leg Wall Reach
If you found difficulty with any of the aforementioned tests, then you are a candidate for improving your core and hip stability.
Ways to regress the Single Leg Wall Reach is by bending the back knee, placing your hands on your hips, or holding onto a TRX for assistance.
In a future post, I will go into more detail on how to strengthen and stabilize the lower extremity once you have established good control and stability of the hip and core.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Our society has gone from roaming the land as cavemen to the industrial age and performing hours of manual labor tasks to sitting at a desk for 8-11 hours per day on the computer. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working at a computer. Our society has made leaps in bounds in many different areas from technology to medicine and many other things.
photo credit: https://ackers87.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/they-say-a-real-man-has-a-44inch-chest-shame-that-saying-doesn’t-apply-to-the-size-of-your-waist/
The problem here is that our body’s requirements really haven’t changed. Our body needs to move every day in order to stay healthy. When we have prolonged periods of time where we are immobile, this can lead to negative side effects.
According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, “sitting for 8-11 hours per day increases your risk of mortality by 46%!!!” Not only does sitting affect joint and muscle health, it can cause compression throughout the spine, the internal organs, and poor circulation throughout the legs.
Here are 3 tips to start moving and feeling better if you sit at a desk throughout the day while working.
1. Drink More Water!
photo credit: http://thefeedingdoctor.com/your-kids-cant-be-trusted-with-water/
The majority of people do not drink enough water. The old adage of “8 glasses of water per day” is no longer being used by health and fitness professionals.
Today, one of the daily recommendations is to take your body weight, ie. 150 lbs and divide it by 2. The number you have after dividing those two, in this case 75, is the number of ounces you should be drinking per day. This is only if you are not active. If you are active and exercise, etc, then you should be drinking more.
Another great way to tell if you are hydrated properly is by looking at the color of your urine. If your urine is clear or has a slight yellow tint to it, then you are properly hydrated. If it is has more of a yellow tinge, then you are dehydrated. If you have any type of health conditions, please check with your primary care physician before trying any of these tips.
2. Stand Up Every 30 Minutes
Now, if this helps you remember to stand up, then great! But there are more effective/less painful ways to remember. Use your Iphone timer or there are apps for your smart phone or computer that can remind you to stand up.
Back to what I said before about how the body likes to move, try by standing up from sitting every 30 minutes for 2-3 minutes. You can stand up and do a few stretches, go for a walk around the office, talk with a colleague, get a snack, or go use the restroom. This frequent changing of positions can make a world of difference in how you move and feel.
Personally, I treat patients as a physical therapist, but I also engage in administrative tasks throughout my day as well. If I am sitting at my computer for 60+ minutes, I notice I start to become stiff and achy. This is your body’s way of telling you to move around. It is ok to fidget. This is another way your brain tells your body to move around and change positions.
3. Do some form of stretching.
photo credit: http://totalformfitness.com/keep-muscles-limber/
Now there is a lot of debate in the health and fitness industries about the efficacy of
stretching and whether it is beneficial or not. If you sit or are in a prolonged position for a
certain amount of time, tension tends to build up in the areas that are shortened. These
photo credit: muscleseek.com
Hip Flexors (Rectus Femoris, Iliacus, Psoas)
photo credit: reddit.com
Calves (Gastrocnemius and Soleus)
photo credit: drpeggymalone.com
Butt (Gluteus Maximus)
photo credit: bretcontreras.com
By performing some type of stretching routine, whether it be a “hold for 30 seconds”
routine or some type of dynamic mobility warm-up, either one can be beneficial to get
your joints moving properly. The stretches demonstrated below are typical areas that are prone to tightness due to the nature of sitting.
Here is an example of a static stretching routine:
Corner Pectoral Stretch
photo credit: https://www.t-nation.com/training/right-way-to-stretch-the-pecs
-Find a corner and place palms flat on wall.
-Keep shoulder blades together and gently lean into corner.
-Stretch should be felt in the chest, between your shoulder and the midline of your body.
-Hold 30 seconds x 3 repetitions.
1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
-Place right knee down and left knee up.
-Place both hands on left knee.
-Press down firmly into left knee.
-Squeeze right butt as hard as you can.
-Gently lean forward.
-Stretch should be felt in front of right hip/thigh.
-Hold for 30 seconds x 3 repetitions, then switch sides.
Gastrocnemius (Calf) Stretch
-Place right leg back and left leg forward with hands on wall.
-Turn right leg slightly in towards the left leg.
-Lean towards wall until gently stretch is felt in back of right calf.
-Hold 30 seconds, 3 repetitions, then switch sides.
Soleus (Calf) Stretch
-Same as Gastrocnemius stretch, except that you bend the back knee.
-Stretch should be felt lower down towards the achilles/back of the heel.
-Hold 30 seconds x 3 repetitions, then switch sides.
Gluteus Maximus/Hip External Rotators Stretch
-Seated, cross one leg over the other, ie. cross right leg over left.
-Place both hands on right knee.
-Maintain a neutral spine/flat low back position.
-Gently pull right knee towards left shoulder.
-Stretch should be felt in back of hip/butt area.
-Hold 30 seconds x 3 repetitions, then switch sides.
Give these a try and let me know what you think!
Do your knees hurt when you perform lunges? It could be reverse, forward, from a deficit. No matter what you do, either during the lunges or after your workout, your knees are cranky.
There can be many reasons why your knees may bother you during certain lunging variations. There can be limitations in mobility or flexibility in one or multiple joints or muscles in the kinetic chain that are causing compensations elsewhere and placing increased stress on other joints, ie. the knee. As seen in the figure below, the hip bone is connected to the knee bone and so on.
photo credit: nicktuminello.com
Also, a person could have adequate mobility at the adjacent joints to the knee, but there could be inadequate stability. Stability and strength are not the same thing. Think of a slingshot. Strength is being able to pull the elastic back to propel an object while the other arm needs to be motionless and resist any type of motion in any direction.
How does stability relate to the lunge? Well, if someone doesn't have adequate core, hip, knee, or ankle stability, this can cause compensations throughout the chain and in turn contribute to dysfunction and/or pain.
Another reason why there may be pain is due to poor form. Now, this may sound obvious, but many exercises including deadlifts, lunges, etc. get bad press because they are deemed "bad exercises." They are lumped into this category because either people did them, they know someone that did them, or their friend of a friend did them and got hurt or had pain with them.
Proper form is imperative when it comes to any exercise. There is risk:reward when performing exercises and if your form is suspect, then it is only a matter of time until that sub-par form will catch up with you and cause issues.
In the section below, I will go into a little more detail on how mobility can play a role in all of this and of potential fixes for each. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts to find out how to fix the other potential problem areas.
In various lunging variations, an individual needs the ability to flex their knee and hip on one side of their body while simultaneously either flexing or extending their hip and flexing their knee on the opposite side of their body, depending on the lunging variation.
For example, with a reverse lunge, we need an adequate amount of hip flexion/extension and knee flexion mobility on both legs in order to perform the movement.
As seen in the picture below, the front side leg needs hip flexion and knee flexion while the backside leg needs hip extension and knee flexion.
A quick and easy way to determine if there is adequate joint mobility is to lie on your back and move your hip and knee through their ranges of motion.
Assessing Hip Range of Motion (ROM)
Assessing Knee ROM
When moving the hip through its flexion and extension ranges of motion, we want to make sure we aren't compensating through the low back to make up for a lack of true hip flexion. Make sure the low back is flat to the ground or table when moving the hip.
The hip needs anywhere from 90-120 deg of hip flexion and the knee approximately 90-110, depending on the lunge variation, in order to perform the movement properly. Any less than that and a different lunge variation or regression may need to be used.
If you don't have enough mobility at either the hip or the knee, seek out a licensed professional for further work-up on the reason why there isn't adequate mobility at either joint.
So now that we covered whether or not the joints have the proper amount of mobility to perform a lunge, we need to take into account whether or not the muscles have the proper tissue length to perform a lunging movement.
A major offender in lunging variations where lack of soft tissue mobility can wreak havoc on the lunge is hip extension.
There are multiple muscles that can limit hip extension, including:
Psoas Major and Iliacus ("Hip Flexors") Rectus Femoris ("Quads")
Now, trying to test the length of these muscles by yourself can be a little tricky. A basic test that can be used to determine if that is adequate hip extension mobility is called The Thomas Test.
This is a test taught to physical therapy students in school to determine if some of the muscles mentioned above have normal flexibility. Now, for the sake of this post, there are some flaws to this test and having someone perform this test on you may be more beneficial.
Without getting into too much detail on some of the minor flaws to this test, see below regarding how to perform the test and what normal and abnormal Thomas Tests would look like.
-Sit on edge of table or bench.
-Bring one knee up to hip height and hold there with your hands.
-Lie back and let the opposite leg relax and drop down towards the ground.
-Normal: thigh drops to level of table and ankle is directly below the knee.
Where the test would be considered "positive" or where certain muscles may lack the soft tissue mobility would be:
Knee Extended Hip NOT fully extended
Performing this near a mirror or by taking a picture with your smartphone can help determine whether or not the test looks normal or appears like one of the pictures shown above.
So, if you are like many other people and fall into one or more than one of the pictures above, here are some options to help improve the soft tissue flexibility of those tissues.
You can perform some type of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) with a foam roller or lacrosse ball. See the video below for instructions on how to do that.
Psoas Major/Iliacus and TFL
*Attention*: Be careful when performing SMR to this area. There are internal organs, nerve, and vascular structures near this area and if you experience any type of sharp pain, radiating pain, etc., move off of the area.
For the Psoas and Iliacus, find your ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac Spine) a.k.a. hip bone on the front of your body and your umbilicus (belly button) and go 1/2 way in between the two to work on the Psoas. For the Iliacus, find the ASIS and go just medial to that.
You can rest on a certain tender spot for a few seconds and work your way around to other spots as well.
For the TFL, find the ASIS and go down about 4 inches and 2 inches out to the side. You can also rest on that spot with the lacrosse ball to help improve the mobility.
Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis and Adductor Longus/Magnus
For the Rectus Femoris, slowly roll up and down the front of the thigh from the ASIS to just above the patella (knee cap). Remember to breathe.
For the Vastus Lateralis, similar instructions as Rectus Femoris, but place your body at a 45 deg angle to the ground so that you are rolling just to the side of the Rectus Femoris.
For Adductor Longus/Magnus, you are going to place the foam roller perpendicular to your leg and roll up and down the inside of your thigh from just above your knee towards the top of your thigh.
Using the foam roller or a lacrosse ball is one option. If you prefer to use your hands, check out John Rusin's website here where he goes into great detail on how to perform his soft tissue technique "Hands-On SMR."
Now that we have improved the soft tissue mobility of those muscles, we want to expose that tissue to new ranges of flexibility.
For the Iliacus/Psoas Major, use the 1/2 kneeling Quadriceps mobilization or "Couch Stretch."
Place one knee down on a padded surface such as an Airex pad and your foot up on a bench/couch/etc. Place hands on the other knee. Press into knee, squeeze right butt firmly and gently lean forward until a stretch is felt.
This can be held for the typical static stretch for 30 seconds or can be incorporated into a dynamic mobility warm-up or superset and be held for 3-5 seconds.
For Adductor Longus/Magnus, try the 1/2 kneeling adductor mobilization.
Place one knee down on a padded surface and the other leg out to the side as shown in the picture. Maintaining a neutral spine/flat back, sit your hips back and away from where you started until you feel a stretch. Then move back towards the starting position.
Either position can be used for a stretch or mobilization. The same goes for this as well in regards to duration of stretch.
For the Psoas/Iliacus, try the 1/2 kneeling hip flexor mobilization.
Similar to the previous two correctives, place one knee down and one knee up. Place both hands on the up knee. Press into knee firmly, then squeeze butt firmly and gently lean forward until stretch is felt in front of down leg hip.
If lunges are giving you issues and causing your knees to hurt, try these soft tissue and mobility fixes to help address some potential problem areas.
Stay tuned for the follow-up post to this one!
Here I will be writing and posting about topics ranging from physical therapy, injury prevention/reduction, and strength and conditioning.