Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mobility Workout of the Day: Tight IT Band and Hip Flexor Fix for Runners

Kelly Starrett of has a blog called MobilityWod (Mobility Workout of the Day). I was checking it out last summer and lost track of it (it is now listed on my blog list to the left). Today I was browsing through the Competitor network and saw an article by T. J. Murphy: Burning Runner: The Road to Injury Free Running Starts Now that referenced the blog and checked it out again. It is worth a good look and might be something to add to your daily practice.

I particularly liked the January 11 Mobility exercise. It was just what I needed. It is the tight IT Band- Hip flexor Fix for Runners seen here:

The only interesting thing the previous PT (not where I am going now at Athletes Treating Athletes) I saw  was the traditional hip flexor stretch with a twist. He had me angle my leg out into internal rotation so as to stretch the hip flexor. This video show a similar stretch, but with more background information and a longer stretch with props.

He uses this to clean up the junk and tightness around the hip capsule, just where I have been tight all week (which has been a minor disappointment). It feels good to do this one!

Physical Therapy had been going great. I have been in 5 times now.  Last week, I finally got into double digits for running mileage for the first time since mid November. I know 12 miles is not much, but I am being conservative. My left leg is straightening out and a lot of my muscle pain and tightness is disappearing. I even got out on the roads for two 3.5 mile runs on Friday and Saturday. While my leg pains are disappearing, it is very clear that my SI joint is now flaring up (or the source of all this non-sense). I could have run further on those two days, except that I could feel that SI joint every step. The good news was that my muscles and other pains did not return after both runs. I thought things were going good, but after PT on Monday, I tried running on the treadmill and the SI joint forced me to stop at one mile. I have had my old imbalances back since them and haven't run since.

So the goal is to find out what is up with the SI joint. The interesting thing is this is the same place I started having my back problems with, back in the 1980's, so maybe as I fix everything else the source of all the pain is returning. Today I had a checkup with the physiatrist and  he suggests getting a cortizone shot in the SI joint and then having someone do joint manipulations on that joint. So that will be the next step in the process. Hopefully I get fixed up at PT tomorrow, because I am itching to return to the Feels Good Farm Snowshoe race I did two years ago.  It was quite a challenge back then plus my hips were very off in that race. If my hips are fine I plan to run it this year even though it is 5 miles (in the snow-up and down hills) and the longest I have run since mid November is 3.5 miles. It could be a good birthday challenge. If I don't feel good I will give myself a present of not running it, but I hope to be there at this years race.

Besides the PT,  I feel really good about two other things I am doing. I continue with the slow-carb diet (almost at three weeks now). Each day is easy and I am basically eating the same things. I start the day with 2-3 eggs and a bowl of spinach ( I know, yumm!!). Lunch is some grilled chicken, spinach, lentils, and mixed veggies (broccoli and cauliflower in particular). Dinner is a nice piece of steak, beans, and more veggies. I am full all day long and not eating any sugar, bread, pasta, rice, or ice cream and cookies. Saturdays are my day to eat whatever I want, but there was hardly any good junk left in the house last week to eat!

The physical therapy has left my left hip joint working so much better. In the past, if I tried 25 kettlebell swings, I might be sore the next day. I started about 10 days ago trying them again. I started with 75 and felt good as my hip doesn't' jam up after and am constantly increasing the amount I do. Now I do sets of 100. I did 400 swings a couple days ago. I think I need to get a heavier bell. I am using a 35 pounder and would like to get a 50 pounder.

Kelly Starrett's new book:

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