Saturday, November 5, 2011

Release the piriformis and stop jamming your hips

As I am recovering from the hip labral tear surgery, I am still learning new and useful things about the way the body works and correcting poor movement patterns. The book Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidenceis quite a revelation. I had been doing the basic workouts in the book for only two days and I have already noticed some positive things. As I mentioned on the previous post, I had only done 7 miles of running in the previous 2 1/2 weeks with no run over 2 miles. My body was basically saying, "Don't run like this!" so I didn't.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling aligned and moving well again, and so off I went for a run: an 8 miler and it was the best I have felt post surgery. Here is an explanation of probably the most important of the "Foundation" exercises. It is called the "Founder".

Notice how you press the hips back and where he locates the hinge point. This and the other exercises have already started their work. On the run, my piriformis did not hurt, something it has done on my longer runs, whether during the run or post run. I also noticed my hips are much looser and not jammed tight, as well as I was getting a nice rotation in the hips. These are new experiences for me! Of course, today I am sore, but for a change most of it is muscle soreness in the quads, like you get post Boston Marathon, so maybe I was using them more.

Today, I found these other videos which demonstrate the same lessons on using the hips and freeing the piriformis. They say things in a clear way. If you are having piriformis pain and tightness, maybe it is because you are "squeezing your glutes" and if you hips aren't working right, it is because squeezing the glutes might be jamming your hips. These videos are by Dr. Evan Osar at There are a lot of interesting videos here worth exploring.

This one shows proper femur postition during exercise and why you shouldn't squeeze your glutes.

In this one Dr. Evan Osar demonstrates  a squat exercise to create more motion and decrease tightness in the hips. This exercise incorporates proper core function during the exercise.

Dr. Evan Osar demonstrates exercises to begin working the piriformis for strength, endurance and stabilization.

Dr. Evan Osar demonstrates exercises for tight piriformis muscl

 Dr. Evan Osar demonstrates exercises to begin working piriformis for strength, endurance and stabilization.

Oh and after 2 days of working on this, I went to my PT session (after the 8 mile run). I was doing squats on a Bosu Ball with an exercise band around my knees to push out against. I was told I was doing excellent squats! I also showed the "Foundations" book to the PT and she said it looked excellent. She liked the exercises and how well the exercises were explained. She said it looked like the book that the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) people should have written.

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