Allergies were really kicking my butt this week, leaving me with random migraines and feeling super lethargic. Finally got the energy to go to gym by THURSDAY. Oy, dag nabbit to heck I felt like a big bum not hitting a workout for that long.
Knowing my body was a ball of tension and still stressed about the whole allergy situation, I decided to hit a bunch of hip, ankle, and knee mobility instead of adding more stress by lifting heavy and moving fast.
These stretches really made me feel great. (more on how the body holds stress in your muscles and joints BELOW the videos)
Even if you're not an athlete, these stretches are great for relieving stress and tension in the body. I highly recommend them if you sit for more than 6 hours a day, enjoy being active and outdoors, or have kids, grandkids, or lil family members to keep up with.
If I hadn't done these range of motion reclamation drills, and I had just tried to go in and squat, my range of motion would have been WAY less. When my mobility is less while lifting, I won't be able to stress my muscles and tendons fully, and I won't have that lifting transfer over to my field of play.
When an athlete has limited range of motion through a joint, they won't be able to achieve maximum power potential.
Take the squat for instance. If athlete only squats to 60 degrees (with 120 degrees being maximum squat potential), they will lack muscle recruitment potential from any position where the hip crease is between that 61 to 120 degree angle.
Here are the videos for the hip openers. Each video comes with instructions. Try these out!
DOUBLE GROIN OPENER
ELEVATED PIGEON STRETCH WITH HIP ROTATION
WEIGHTED ANKLE MOBILITY (weight helps force range of motion)
DOUBLE ANKLE AND HIP STRETCH
LATERAL GLIDES FOR GROIN AND HIP RELEASE
SQUAT AND HIP CAPSULE MOBILITY
LOW WALKING FOR FULL TOE, ANKLE, KNEE MOVEMENT
Hey Sam, how does the body hold tension anyway? Great question... lemmesplain
First, your muscles and fascia (tissue around the muscles) need tension in order to protect joints and do their job. They tighten up during repair after workouts.
Second, muscles tighten during stress response -- think when your shoulders get tight when you're stressed. What's happening is your nervous system is in a state of sympathetic response, aka U B STRESSED, and in order to increase mental awareness to fight off supposed danger, your rate of breathing increases and you breath through your shoulders rather than your diaphragm and that extra use gets stored in your shoulders.
Third, your muscles hold tension and feel tight after prolonged periods of not moving. Your body always want to find path of least resistance and tightens in on itself. Think of how you get a big ol stretch after a long car ride and you feel tight.
Plus, your hips get particularly tight from you sitting on them all the time and not actively moving them through the full range of motion.