Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to release your tight glute medius and minimus muscles

Despite taking a long time to get myself running again, my hip feels slightly better every week or so. I know I have pretty good mobility in the hip joint (after arthroscopic labral tear surgery almost three years ago) and I can exercise to my hearts content on my ElliptiGO, but every time I go for a run, the muscles around my hip tighten up (or as I say, they get angry) so I am in discomfort from the tension for days. I am finding I can stretch in positions I couldn't do even 6 months ago and foam roll or more precisely use an Orb Deep Tissue  Massage Ballto really target my muscles and this helps, but I am still left with tension especially in the glutes which rolling can aggravate and stretching doesn't seem to help.

Since getting my ElliptiGO seven months, I have tried to limit my running. For three or four months, I only ran once each month for 2 miles, but could feel my hip muscles tighten up the next day. My goal is to only run enough so I am pain-free the next day. The past two months I have run more on the treadmill.  I started with 10 minutes, eventually hit 20 minutes, and then a few 1/2 hour runs. I even did a 40 minute run and I felt great while running, but tightened up too much over the next few days to consider it a victory.

It is getting to be snowshoe season, and Sunday, I went out for my first snowshoe run of the season. The conditions were perfect, and instead of doing my planned two mile circuit, I did the loop a second time for a 4 mile 50 minute snowshoe run (the longest I have run in 7 months). I felt great and thoroughly enjoyed the run, however as soon as I stopped, my hip tightened up and I limped for a day and have been fighting the tight muscles around my for four days now. I am pretty sure it is not my hip joint that is getting sore, but the muscles around it tighten so it doesn't sit in the socket correctly.

I decided to look into how I was rolling my glute muscles and found a really good video that showed me how to target the muscles in a different way than I was doing. I used a hard rubber ball to roll these muscles for about 6 minutes as instructed and when I stopped and started to sit up, I heard a loud pop and felt an immediate release of tension. I could then walk around without the tightness of the last few days, so here is the video Theo Simon of Movement Therapy on how to Eliminate Hip Pain Using a Gluteus Medius & Minimus Release. As he says in the video, if the glute medius and minimus are tight and overworked, then the prime mover, the gluteus maximus cannot work properly.

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