Sunday, November 11, 2012

Breakthrough

TADA !

Let s take a small break from the heavy and sort-of sad stuff from the last couple of posts, to relate to some more positives signs. Symbolically, since we have decided to focus and the Now and Then, (and cut the link with our last dock lines to the mainland, by selling our sailboat), I think I got breakthrough on the way to recovery of my hip flexor pain. 

Breakthrough (beautiful, isn't it ?)

The visit with Heather (see a couple of post back), and the understanding of the role of glute, as antagonist muscles for the psoas, helped me change the way I am training and exercising the last 3-4 days. And I see a difference already. For the first time, in months, or years, I did 3 days of consecutive activities without too much pain afterward. Yes, we are not there yet. I can still see several months of workout before complete recovery. I did not start to run yet. I did not even try to kite more than one hour. However, for the first time, I hear feel in my bones some progress. Focusing on the glutes activation during my stretching / strengthening exercises was the trigger , I think.
The exercise that really helps me is this one:


This exercise is the only one I found so far that helps to trigger the Glutes without triggering the psoas or the IT Band. After this,  I understood (finally !!) how to trigger the gluteus medius, but this time, USING THE RIGHT MUSCLES:



Lesson:

Doing an exercise is worthless if you are not doing it right and not triggering/using the right muscles.
(Believe me or not, but it is uncommon for most physical therapists to really points that out. Mine did not. Disturbing, isn't it ?)

The second factor of this "breakthrough: is my understanding (real - deep understanding, not just intellectual. Understanding with U.) of the role of antagonist muscles in the role of stretching / strengthening.



The glutes are the antagonist muscles of the psoas. Which means:
- Triggering the glutes force the psoas to relax
- Strengthening the glutes will force the psoas to stretch.
Seems obvious, right ? But think about it:
- NOT triggering the glutes during an exercise will never relax the psoas, making any deep stretch impossible, worthless and dangerous (forcing can lead to ligament injury).

Obviously, if I started Yoga 10 years ago, 
and was able to do this, I would be fine by now.


Now than  I can do all those exercise the correct way, I begin to feel my glutes and see finally some improvements. And while surfing and kitesurfing, I can pay attention to contract my abs and my glutes simultaneously to get a better posture, which means, that eventually I should be able to relax those hip flexors while doing the activity that use to hurt. Funny ?Well, as I said, we are not there yet, but believe me, after months of despair and very few progress, this is enlightening my days. 
And my wife concur : "Now, you are doing non funny jokes and being annoying again".
I take that as a good sign ;)