Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Indigenous Squat: Loosening up the Hips

I have been able to do two days of running without calf pain so it looks like it is time to get back into shape. I went to the Gate City Striders track workout Wednesday night intending to do some light running on the trails but once I got on the track I decided to see what the workout would bring. The workout was 4 X 1 mile (really 1600 meters- I still think of a track as 440 yards not 400 meters). I wanted to see what could happen if I tried the intervals so I dropped down from my usual group and hoped to make it a lap or two). I wore the Sof Sole inserts for the first mile and my right leg (with the calf issue) felt OK but my left hip felt funky. I made the mile and took the inserts out for the second mile. I felt faster but not as stable in the right foot and my calf felt more stressed. I put them back in for the third interval -the first lap was not good and I was about 15 yards back off the pace but then things calmed down and I caught back up with the lead runners. My left hip got real out of whack and I couldn't stride on the fourth interval so I stopped after 100 yards and called it a night.

The next day my calf was tight (as well as my running muscles) so I did some Intu Flow work and then a kettlebell routine (IronCore 1). Friday I did the Z-Health R-Phase Neural Warmup and then ran 7 miles (finally a workout). I am still feeling my way around with the Sof Soles and wore them. The bottom of my feet feel more stable but I am not sure it is putting me in a better stride. I was a bit tight after the run so I did the Ageless Mobility DVD (over an hour of work) before going to bed.

Today my left hip has been cranky and tight. I did a short Flow Fit routine, Flow 1 on the DVD, then did the Z-Health Neural Warmup R-Phase before doing the Flow Fit routine a second time. I noticed that my quads were tighter than normal throughout the routine, probably from yesterday's run. Then I ran 7 miles again- no calf problem but was really awkward and was constantly trying to even out my stride the whole time and I never could - it was a very bothersome run. I am happy, though, that I can get some miles in again.

I did Mark Sisson's Indigenous Squat a few times after the run to try to loosen up around the hip area. I found it while searching around for some extra Z-Health information but I am well aware that many people think that squatting around like this is very advantageous and something missing from modern life that may be causing the back and hip problems that many people have. I guess other cultures squat like this a lot. Some people call it the "latrine" squat! I remembered seeing this website with a lot of information about the gluteal muscles a few years ago. {And while looking at the site again I see a lot of good information including a section on Tibialis-posterior Rehabilitation. This looks like it causes a dropped ankle, flat feet, calf problems, knock-knees, and an outwardly rotated foot: sounds like me. I will have to check this out more later, including a look at the realigning the leg, and corrective exercises.}

Here is another video (somewhat out of focus but Lauren has a cool accent) from a volleyball player with a neat blog with lots of good info that I have to check out. It shows two simple and different ways to work on glute activation. I will add these before working out to see how well they work.

I was actually commenting to another teacher, during a concert held at our school this week, about how one student was sitting. Actually he was squatting on the floor just like the indigenous for over 10 minutes. We were laughing as his head was swaying and bouncing to the music, but I did point out how well he held the position that most people would find challenging.

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