My knees are making noises...

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Helena115
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My knees are making noises...

Post by Helena115 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:13 am

For the past 10 years probably my knees, mostly my right one, makes crackling noises when I bend it. Not when I just bend it in the air, but when I do squats or lunges or walks up (not down) stairs. It doesn't hurt often, but sometimes there's a little annoying pain. This past week I've started a new work out routine (I don't lift weights as such, but I do use dumbells in my work out) with a lot of lunges and squats and the crackling has increased. I seem to be a little tender in the knees as well.

So my question is, is this bad and going to get worse, or am I just getting old? :green: Otherwise I'm generally healthy, pretty fit except for a couple of extra lbs around my waist.

Is there any type of excercises I can do to strengthen my knee joint?

Thanks :smile:


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Post by KPj » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:12 am

Cracking and popping is only really considered a concern when it's a associated with pain.

So, my advice would be to get a specialist to look at it. Just one session with someone good should get you a boimachanical assessment, in which they will test the muscle function, strength, length and quality of the muscles in and around the hips, and this would confirm whether or not it's cause for concern. A lot of these subtle aches and pains can be early warning signs. General tightness or other restrictions can cause the pain, and it's not a big deal - easy to fix with the correct advice. But over time it can become chronic tightness, then it get's quite frustrating. You'll probably find that it's just some tightness, which, over time has lead to some inflammation of the connective tissue around the knee. This is very common. If your like most people in the western world and spend most of your time sitting down, you'll most likely have tight quads, hip flexors, and possibly hip rotators (basically, all of the muscles from your pelvis down to your knee on the front of your body i.e. the ones that are in a shortened state when you are seated).

Most commonly, the ITBand, which attaches at the top of the shin (but originates at the hip) will be the source of pain or tenderness. But the cause of the pain is weakness in another hip muscle(s). Finding the weak muscle is a good place to start. The cause is most commonly the glute medius muscle (like a smaller glute, situated laterally on the hip). This is actually attached to the ITband, which runs down the side of your thigh before attaching on the top of the shin (where it becomes painful, hence the knee pain).

So in short, a muscle to look at is the glute meduis. The easiest way, although somewhat vague way to describe how to test this is to test your balance. confirming what's tight is quite difficult over the internet (hence the recommendation to see specialist), however, strengthen what's weak a lone can go a long way in fixing things like this.

Here's a good blog post on Glute meduis, along with some exercises that will target it directly. If they are very weak, you will know because you will get fatigued quite quickly. I especially like 'bowler squats'. Actually, I like all of them, and do them regularly. But I find bowler squats are good for getting you ready to do single leg unsupported exercises. Also, Tony Gentilcore is a well respected coach, but has quite a funny, sarcastic writing style (especially in his blog) - don't let it put you off, as the information is very good.

http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/enter ... -exciting/

Glute meduis is stimulated best via movements done on one leg with the other leg unsupported, such as single leg squats, single leg dead lifts, bowler squats etc. It has many functions, which is why it's best stimulated in this way. Typical lunges where the other leg is supported in some way does stimulate glute medius and are excellent exercises for knee and hip health, but only if performed correctly. When doing lunges, make sure your knee joint sits directly infront of your hip, and doesn't point towards the middle of your body i.e. the knee 'caves in'. So, you are sort of pushing to the side slightly with the knee. The 'caving in' indicates that the glute meduis is switching weak....


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Post by caangelxox » Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:40 pm

KPJ, we all know that cracking and popping (called Crepitus) is more of a concern when there is pain; however, nobody wants to get to the point where pain becomes an issue. Therefore, we all want to be able to prevent something from happening before it happens and at least slow it way down. If we wait til pain comes, pain will eventually come sooner when treated at that stage rather than coming later on in life if treated early. Just like cancer. If its caught early, it can be slowed down. If its caught late, the pain and problems will come earlier. I hope I am making sense here. We want to prevent things before it happens, not wait until it happens and then do something about it.

I also have crepitus and I am making a stretching/rolling/mobility schedule for myself to do every day or at least every other day. If you want me to post what I wrote for the whole lower body planning I am doing, I am more willing to do it and maybe the poster can follow it too. I am going to start doing it later on today. I am making one for both the lower body (goal is to quiet my joints and improve strength, flexibility, and mobility) and for the upper body (to get rid of the upper trapezius tightness and strengthen the mid/lower trapz and also so I can rotate my head to one side and to the other with no tension blocking me..one side is worse than the other). All I did was look on the internet for a bunch of stretches, mobility, and activation exercises and put them together in an order I think will work well. When I am done with creating it all, I can post it for you guys. Also, before I continue any weightlifting, I want to get rid of what is weak and tight first. I have noticed that with tight upper trapz that when I am lifting, they seem to get tighter and tighter (especially doing pull ups). I am not going to do any weightlifting for lower body until my popping knees are gone and quiet, but for upper body it is all mid/lower trap work with rows and lat pulldown light weight. My upper trapz are way too overactive! I will start regular lifting as soon as the lat pulldown gets to my bodyweight, which is 105 pounds. Once I get there, my muscles will be strong enough to do pull ups without the upper trapz trying to take over and I will know that my upper trapz are not overactive anymore. I will also static stretch the heck out of them before working out to make sure they do not work.

by the way - has anyone tried any supplements for crepitus? like cosamine DS (thats rated #1 for joints with pain, but no mention about crepitus though) or Hyaluronic Acid or whatever?

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:52 pm

Sorry, caangelxox, but I doubt that just putting together all the lower body stretches you can find is going to help either crepitus or the imbalances or the cartilage degeneration that causes it. KPj's right, Helena, you need to get some diagnostic information first.

There are three common causes for noise coming from the knee joint itself; arthritis, patello-femoral syndrome (also called patellar tracking disorder) and torn cartilage. If it's arthritis, you need to strengthen all of the muscles involved in knee movement, and probably should consider taking costochondroitin and glucosamine early in the process (without pain, you probably wouldn't start taking anti-inflamatories, but those could be considered if pain were involved). For patello-femoral syndrome, you need to deal with the strength imbalances that cause the patella to be pulled away from a normal path as it slides over the far end of the femur. That's where some of the issues that KPj mentioned could come into play. If it's torn cartilage, strengthening can help prevent further damage, but probably won't reverse what's going on now. When it's bad, orthopedists can go into the joint with an arthroscope and trim the torn bits so that they don't catch and rub.

One problem is that exact diagnosis can be difficult. I had what appeared (both to me and all me doctor friends, including a knee-specialist orthopedist, to be torn cartilage. Even an MRI, although it didn't show a tear, didn't show the severe arthritis that the surgeon found when he looked inside with his little scope. Fortunately, since I've been lifting weights, the knee is better than it has been for years.

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Post by caangelxox » Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:59 pm

I never had an injury before, just imbalances. I saw a chiropractor a while ago and he fixed my leg length, hunched shoulders, back aches, etc. I have no problem with those things anymore. Imbalances is what probably caused it to do that. I am only 22 years old, so it cant be damaged. I have never been injured before, so there is no way nothing can be torn. There is no pain, aches, or anything. Just an annoying noise when squatting or walking up and down stairs or walking. There is never a problem when I warm my legs up with dynamic warm up, run, and such before I play softball or workout. Its only when I walk that happens. It is only in one leg when walking, but in both legs when squatting and going up and down stairs (sometimes one leg going up and down stairs) is the annoying noise.

When I put my hand on my knee, I can feel the noise when bending my knee.

gotta be some kind of imbalance and/or weakness that I need to fix. Used to have one leg longer than the other is probably one of the main causes why it happens. I also have hip snapping syndrome and what I think will get rid of that is strength and mobility. I used to have duck walking feet and rounded back, but that was not fixed by the chiropractor though. It was fixed by me alone when I was focusing on 24/7 making sure my back is straight and toes are point ahead. It took only 2 weeks for me to go from the old habit to the new. The only thing I cant seem to figure out and fix yet is the upper trapz tightness and knee making noises.

you never know what will happen til you try and you have to be aware of what you do 24/7. When you hear a noise, walk differently. Sometimes your leg can go quiet, sometimes it cant. What I am planning on doing is not just stretches..Its mobility exercises and activation exercises and strength exercises. I believe that I can get rid of all of these for good. I need to strengthen my knee joint (stability..can use resistance bands) and hip mobility.


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Post by stuward » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:13 pm

Monica, you probably need to strengthen your knees. Are you doing any deadlifts or squats these days?

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Post by caangelxox » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:07 pm

yeah I have done them, but I want the popping noise to stop first!

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Post by KPj » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:42 am

caangelxox - I know what you're saying, but I still feel your beng far too paranoid. Practically everyone has tight upper traps - just stretch them. In your last post I briefly mentioned how to monitor your form so that you can tell whether your upper traps are DOMINANT or not, which is more of a problem. You've not even stated how you know they are even tight....

I have a 'use it or lose it', attitude. I also feel that the opinion that doing nothing is a safer bet is just naive. In my opinion, too much of no activity puts you just as 'at risk' as too much of the wrong activity. I also happen to know that from personal experience.

Also, static stretching isn't the answer to everything. It's more of an 'icing on the cake', unless a muscle has actually shortened, which can be different from just being/feeling tight. Even when a muscle has shortened, you still need to strengthen whatever muscle(s) was weak.

With the cracking and popping - I was just stating a fact. It's not a concern if not followed by pain. Also, i'm not sure if you looked at the link I posted for the OP, but the exercises are hardly 'hard core' strength exercises. Infact, they are more Pilates than anything else. One of the exercises was created by one of the worlds leading back experts. Not to mention, I just gave exercises that target a very commonly weak muscle. If you don't do a lot of single leg stuff which includes at least some single leg unsupported stuff, then I can gaurantee you that your glute medius is weak. I train with people squatting close to 600lbs who have a weak glute med. If I remember correctly from your last post, you have a balance issue on one side - I would be about 95% certain it was a glute med issue. In other words, it was a very general / common, and low impact recommendation.

Lastly, the best way to strengthen muscles is with some form of reistance. The basis of modern Physical Therapy is resistance training. Infact, I just fixed a knee injury myself, which I saw a physio (physical therapist) for, and the basis for my rehab was single leg squats - the 'ultimate' single leg exercise. I was instructed to find a PAIN FREE ROM, and work on that, and also given some stretches and movements similar to the ones I posted. And it was very effective.

So I still say your way too paranoid, and it's a shame as you could be working towards other more meaningful goals right now, instead of trying to fix injuries that you probably don't have...

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Post by Helena115 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:53 am

Lots of good information here! Thanks! :smile:

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Post by caangelxox » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm

thanks kpj - by the way, when I do one legged squats, my knee pops as well. I don't think I mentioned that to you. I also have tight hip flexors, hip external rotators, and tight quads. I also know I have a tight glute medius when I put a tennis ball or baseball and sit on it with that muscle. I know my quads are tight because when I do the heel to butt quad stretch, my torso leans toward the side that I am stretching and no matter what I try, I cannot stand up nice and tall stretching the quads; therefore, I need flexibility in the quads. I know that the hip flexor muscles are right above the quads, so both work together in flexibility right? Any kneeling hip flexor stretch can also stretch the quads (depending what position you are in), so for my torso to stay vertical, I will have to do it from the ground kneeling or standing and putting the top of my foot on a chair until my quads get flexibile enough so that my torso will not tip over when trying to reach for my quads standing or even lying down.

My hamstrings are not flexible either. It's probably due to the quads and hip flexors. You know the inverted hamstring (one leg rdl) dynamic stretch and the lunge elbow to instep (the instep part) and inchworm, I cannot get my legs fully straight, especially the instep stretch. I do a lot of these before I exercise or do any activity. I read your glute med article and I focus on glute max/med activation exercises before I start my warm up and also I have noticed since squeezing my butt when doing inverted hamstring (one leg RDL), my balance is a lot better. I have no problem standing on my left leg, but my right leg is still weaker in balance and I have to go real slow to keep the shape of a table and bend my knee of the standing leg due to my hamstring flexibility. My left leg balance is no problem. The right leg balance muscles are not very strong yet.

speaking of upper trapz, I know they are tight because friends (including one that works at the fitness center at my school) have put their hands on my upper trap muscles and they are very tight (right side is tighter than my left). I also struggle to keep my shoulders down and back throughout the day when lifting/doing things because my upper trapz are too strong and want to take over the real muscles that are supposed to work (scap depression muscles). I think I made a big mistake a long time ago when I first started lifting (2-3 years ago) with no experience or even joining any fitness forums or reading on it. I used to do a lot of isolation exercises and machine exercises in the gym like front raises, lateral raises, bent over rear delt raises, shoulder shrugs, bicep curls, tricep kickback, shoulder presses, leg press/extension (I remember that my leg press max was over 200 pounds (I think it went almost up to 300) and still is about that even though I don't do leg presses anymore or any machine exercises.



let me sum myself up...
- tight glute medius (can really tell when I put a tennis ball or baseball under the muscle and put pressure on it sitting on it)
- tight hip flexors, upper trap, quads, hamstrings, hip external rotators
- one hip flexor and quad is tighter than the other causing one of my legs (right leg) to feel like it has a tiny bit more weight on it when I stand up and does not balance as good as the left leg.
- can balance better on my left leg than my right
- I play softball and I throw right handed, but bat left handed. Right handed feels awkward to me now and I cant get the mechanics right because my right arm is stronger and as the back hand, wants to take over. Also my right wrist/forearm muscles are stronger than my left, so it is harder especially on one arm hitting drills (even on the other side..I need to strengthen these muscles all together)
- I don't know if my inner thighs are tight though because my hamstrings are tight. My back just won't bend forward (hardly) when I try and stretch those 2 muscles. I don't think the lower back has anything to do with it or maybe its my QL muscle that is mainly doing it.

If I loosen up my muscles, I could probably gain an inch in height, which is really good when you need an extra inch to being safe on the bag or reaching for stuff on the field, in the weightroom, or at home.

When I am done writing my workout I am still making (I want to do it right and not miss anything important), I will post it and you can comment and let me know if its worth my time to do or not. I think it will help and benefit me. Its a mixture of activation work, stability exercises, some lifting exercises, mobility exercises, dynamic stretches, massage (with either my theracane, foam roller, or tennis ball/baseball/softball and static stretches.

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Post by KPj » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:12 am

caangelxox wrote: My hamstrings are not flexible either. It's probably due to the quads and hip flexors.
It's a breath of fresh air seeing someone say that! Not many people can make that connection. In actual fact, tight hamstrings are RARE. yet, just about everyone I ever meet thinks they have tight hamstrings. Anterior pelvic tilt is common, which in turn, makes tight hamstrings rare, no one could tell me tight hamstrings are common until they show me that anterior pelvic tilt is not common. I could really go off one one about this :lol:
caangelxox wrote: let me sum myself up...
- tight glute medius (can really tell when I put a tennis ball or baseball under the muscle and put pressure on it sitting on it)
- tight hip flexors, upper trap, quads, hamstrings, hip external rotators
- one hip flexor and quad is tighter than the other causing one of my legs (right leg) to feel like it has a tiny bit more weight on it when I stand up and does not balance as good as the left leg.
- can balance better on my left leg than my right
- I play softball and I throw right handed, but bat left handed. Right handed feels awkward to me now and I cant get the mechanics right because my right arm is stronger and as the back hand, wants to take over. Also my right wrist/forearm muscles are stronger than my left, so it is harder especially on one arm hitting drills (even on the other side..I need to strengthen these muscles all together)
- I don't know if my inner thighs are tight though because my hamstrings are tight. My back just won't bend forward (hardly) when I try and stretch those 2 muscles. I don't think the lower back has anything to do with it or maybe its my QL muscle that is mainly doing it.
I doubt it's the QL.

Also, it probably (deffinitly) won't be your glute medius that you feel with the tennis ball, it will be your piriformis. http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/HipExernalRotators.html

What you absoloutley need to prioritise is the side to side discrepancies. This is far more indicative of injury than any muscle tightness. You have said that your balance is worse on your right leg and that your right hip flexors/quads are also tighter. This makes perfect sense. Also make sure you foam roll your ITband and TFL. This is what jumps out at me the most. If I were you, I would be doing a more single leg unsupported stuff on the right side, and more static stretching for the quads and hip flexors on the right side until you can feel things even up.

You need to come out of the 'symptom' mind set. This is for specialists, therefore, is an ache or pain or tightness is annoying you THAT much, then you need someone to look at.

The mindset you DO want to adopt is one that constantly looks for dysfunction. Balance being worse on your right leg is a dysfunction. You can trace this to tightness on that side compared to other - fix the dysfunction and see how you feel. It's amazing what symptoms will dissappear when you fix dysfunction :smile:

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Post by caangelxox » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:56 pm

How are tight hamstrings rare? If they are rare, why can't I touch my toes? I cannot go too much farther than my knees. Sometimes I can, but only if I do good dynamic stretching well and muscles are warm. Other than that, I cannot go that much farther than my knees with my fingers. I also make sure I keep my back straight. Something is stopping me from bending over with my legs straight. I doubt its the lower back because even taking the lower back out of the stretch when I lay down on my back, I still have the same exact trouble and reach results.



Speaking of trigger points...here are my trigger points I have noticing from using the foam roller or a tennis ball/baseball/softball.

and by the way..massaging my quads and abductors on the roller do not hurt anymore. It used to, but not anymore after rolling them so much. My abductors and quads/abductors may have some tension hurt feel if I position the roller a certain way (mainly the outer part of my thigh right in between my quad and abductor) and same with my adductors. I cannot really do the roller very well on my adductors, so I ignore them most of them time when I do a rolling session. I know my adductors are really tight hurt feel on the roller though. I can also stretch my adductors out really far (legs spread out) or put my toe in my mouth easily.

I can feel more pressure and some tension when I use a softball (on my abductors especially..and in certain areas of my quads) and my butt.

speaking of the pirformis muscle, I really thought it was the posterior part of the body (back of body..butt). According to http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/GluteusMinimus.html , the name is Gluteus Minimus and that is the tightness/tension I feel when putting pressure on it with a baseball or tennis ball. I got the muscle name wrong.

Now I know where the pirformis muscle is, I will use the tennis ball there. It is also where the hip flexors are located too, so I'll get it all done. With the foam roller, not enough pressure and cannot dig down between the bones to get to the muscle, so I need to use a tennis ball.



Oh and something I found when searching the internet. I was looking for anatomy of the legs (all the main muscles in the lower body), so that I know what muscle I am rolling on, making sure the muscle is being stretched, and such.


This is most likely going to help me know what I need to lengthen (stretch) and what I need to strengthen (that is more flexible and is causing a flexibility imbalance)..

increase number of reps/time on weaker side to increase strength and stability
1. Weak/ Long/ Overstretched muscles that need strengthening
2. Tight/ Short/ Facilitated muscles that need lengthening

- Functionally Long Right Leg -
weak/ long/ inhibited
* iliopsoas
* adductor longus/ brevis/ longus
* piriformis
* quadratus lumborum
* ipsilateral (same side) obliques
* hamstrings
tight/ short/ facilitated
* tensor fascia latae
* abductors (glute medius, glute minimus)
* rectus femoris

- Functionally Short Left Leg -
tight/ short/ facilitated
* quadratus lumborum
* lumbar erectors
* adductor longus/ brevis, magnus
* iliopsoas
* ipsilateral (same side) obliques
* hamstrings
weak/ long/ inhibited
* gluteus maximus, medius, minimus
* internal obliques
* transverse abdominus
* multifidus

Source: http://joespila-t-shop.typepad.com/joes ... cal-w.html


That's the exact same sides that I have tight and also weak. It was all due to poor posture in the past and also first starting working out before I found out about the forums and got serious about training (about 2-3 hour work out a day or every other day when I got to college), and also doing a lot of crunches and such. It took me about 2 weeks or so a while back to get my toes to point straight ahead when walking (naturally without having to think about it all the time) and also standing up nice and tall. also saw a chiropractor that helped fix me up too and get rid of my back and neck pain (also being squirmy) and shoulders to ears.

My posture I know for sure is all functional. If it was not, my back would still be hurting even if I did see my chiropractor and he would of said I had scoiliosis. It was a chiropractor my pilates teacher 2 semesters ago when I took it to get help on my posture been to and recommended that she finds most trusted and helpful out of all the ones she has been to and is not there for money.



I am going to stretch and strengthen the heck out of all these muscles this week and hopefully after seeing the chiropractor on Friday (told me to come back in 2-3 months, which I am for a follow up), I can maintain what what was adjusted and keep it that way. There were like 2 sessions in a row (back when I was doing every 2 weeks for 1-2 months before being told I can come in like 4 weeks, and then so on that after that one session, my legs were fixed even again and then the next session my legs stayed even and then when I came back like 4 weeks later, one leg was longer than the other again..but this time, not as long. (it was never too long than the other, but the first ever session was the longest) I am hoping for my both legs and torso sides to be perfectly even in weight and stability that even if I just stand up relaxed and letting my arms hang, my torso won't shift to one side.

now I know exactly what I have to do to finish making my stretching and strengthening rehab program I mentioned about earlier, so I can post it on here for you to see and comment. I don't want to leave anything out and I want to make sure what I am making will work for sure and not be a waste of time.

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Post by caangelxox » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:07 am

to get this answered first, what do you think of what I picked for each muscle and what changes or replacements do you recommend kpj?

oh and by the way why do they say that the left hip flexor needs stretching (shorter leg) and right leg hip flexor needs strengthening? I know for a fact that my right hip flexor is way tigher than my left and now I know where my pirformis is and where the exact hip flexor muscle is, I can roll the heck out of it and loosen it. I am confused here on why they have Iliopsoas (also known as hip flexors) listed as strengthening for right side and stretching for left side? should I stretch both sides hip flexors? It does make sense that my left one needs to be lengthen, so that my left leg can get longer and same length as my right; however, when I stretch my flexors, my right hip flexor feels a lot of tension and feels real tight. so I am confused on what I should do for the hip flexor stretching and strengthening. I know that my left hip flexor feels flexible and not much tension (don't really feel much when stretching) unlike my right where I feel a lot of tension/tightness when stretching it and taking the thomas test as well.

here is what I picked for each below. Everything I feel and think is defiantly correct as far as what I need to strengthen and stretch except that I am unsure what to do about the hip flexors.

+ Right Side +
- Strengthening -
Iliopsoas: Cable Single Leg Raise - bring leg up to 90 degrees and back down
Adductor Longus/brevis/longus: Cable Standing Long Inner Thigh Adduction, Seated Short Inner Thigh Adduction, Inner Thigh Squeeze
piriformis: exercise listed under Iliopsoas (muscle is also used in exercise)
quadratus lumborum: Dumbell One Arm Row Stability as well as movement
ipsilatural (same side) obliques: overhead side bent cable stability hold
hamstrings: cable standing leg curl

- Lengthening -
TFL: Standing Outer Hip Stretch,
Abductors (glute medius/minimus): Quadruped Glute Stretch
rectus femoris (quad): Kneeling position like the hip flexor stretch





+ Left Side +
- Strengthening -
gluteus maximus/medius/minimus: activation exercises, lunge, single leg squat
internal obliques: lift and chop, side plank
transverse abdominus: lying contraction, plank
multifidus: multifidus isometric


- Lengthening -
Quadratus Lumborum: seated side bend with towel
lumbar erectors: Dumbbell One Arm Deadlift
adductor longus/brevis/magnus: Long Adductor Stretch, Short Adductor Stretch, Kneeling Adductor Magnus Stretch
iliopsoas: Hip Flexor Kneeling Stretch
ipsilateral (same side) obliques: same stretch listed under QL
hamstrings: one leg lying band hamstring stretch

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Post by KPj » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:23 am

caangelxox wrote:How are tight hamstrings rare?
Because Anterior Pelvic Tilt is common. Anterior pelvic tilt is when your hip flexors / quads shorten and pull the front of your pelvis down, which pulls the rear of your pelvis up. When in this position, your hamstrings are in a stretched position - this is why they feel tight. Peoples natural reaction is stretch the hamstrings, because they FEEL tight. What they are actually doing is stretching an already stretched muscle. On top of that, when in anterior tilt (to the point where it's a problem), you normally have very weak glutes and also weak hamstrings. The glutes are normally 'dormant' and the hamstring basically become your only hip extensor (hello back pain).

So, in short, when we are in excessive anterior tilt, your hamstrings are in a stretched position and are doing the job of 2 muscles (compensating for the glutes). Then, naturally we go and stretch them some more. And we all know what stretching does to a muscle? Yep, weakens it.

Work on your hip flexors / quads and your hamstrings will regain some flexibility. At the very least, make sure the glutes are firing properly before you go stretching the hammies. It's amazing how people just stretch the hell out of everything, yet, you've got to twist their arm up their back to get them to do some basic activation and / or strength exercises. Not a dig at you, btw, just in general - I used to be exactly the same.

Personally, I can touch my toes easily and i've never tried to achieve this flexibility. What I have worked on is a long lunge stride. I can lunge pretty far without flexing my lumbar spine, which takes decent hip flexor ROM. Coincidentally, I can touch my toes easily. I've not stretched my hamstrings in, I don't know, 2-3 years - Why would i?


Anyway, I couldn't help but rant there. It's a topic close to my heart. I'll have a good look through the other stuff later but after a quick glance I would just recommend that you keep things simple. Just stretch the tight side 3 times, and stretch the other side once. When doing single leg unsupported stuff, do 3 sets on the unstable side, and 1 set on the better side, until things even out.

Other than that, just throw in some glute activation, try and make things unilateral i.e. do single leg bridges so you can tell how each hip is performing relative the other...

KPj

caangelxox
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Post by caangelxox » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:25 pm

hank you KPJ, makes a lot of sense. I learn a lot from you and I am glad you are willing to help whenever possible. I cant wait for you to read and answer the rest of my posts (when you have time to come on again), so that I know I picked the right exercises and stretches for the muscles I listed.


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