Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time to "Get Up" and Get Those Hips Working Again

Everything was going pretty good for my hips until last month when I "tweaked" a muscle in my back. I took time off from running, but when I started back my hips were all off again. Some days seemed a little better, but they kept getting worse. The past week it has been like last year all over again. I can feel how uncomfortable and imbalanced I am, and when I go for a run it has not been smooth going. I have forced myself out the door to run and although I have run 11 miles for each of the past two runs, they have been miserable. I am trying to force my body into balance, and I should know after many years of trying to do so, that I cannot do this while running. After my runs, I find it hard to move around and am moving like a senior citizen.

I have tried all the tricks in my book. Nothing has worked. I probably overdid a bunch of them, but I was hoping to just "pop" things back into place. I woke up stiff and still out of balance this morning and I got to thinking. I have tried everything that I thought was working earlier in the year, except for one thing that I had been doing religiously when things were going well. I took out my kettlebell and started doing the Turkish Get up again (previous post). Why had I negelected to get back to this exercise after I hurt my back?

Here is a great video of how to do the turkish getup that breaks it down into specific drills for each movement. It is presented by Anthony DiLuglio from the "Art of Strength” DVD workout series. Take a look at how mobile and strong the hips and shoulders have to be to accomplish the drill.

You can find even more basic kettlebell drills here at Anthony DiLuglio's "Kettlebell Training 101". There are other basic kettlebell drill here including an alternate video of the turkish getup where he takes another person through the routine seen in the Youtube video. He also has a few different videos on Amazon. However if you want to start learning how to use kettlebells, I really like the DVD from Sara Cheatham. I bought her DVD earlier in the year when she only had 100 copies. Now I see she has it for sale again. Not only is she a good kettlebell instructor, but she is also a top-notch Z-Health instructor and she includes some good Z-Health joint mobility drills on the DVD. You can find information here, or look for her Red Star Athletics blog to the left of this post.

After doing some turkish getups again this morning, I feel the balance shifting in my hips. Hopefully this is the ingredient that I have been missing. Upon reflection, I think the turkish getup takes my hips and shoulders (which have also been very tight and not in balance) through multiple planes of motion. Not only that, but the drill strengthens my hips and the connections to my shoulders as they rotate through the various positions and movements.

Speaking of movement through multiple ranges of motion, coach Jay Johnson put this video on his site recently. He has national class runner, Sarah Vaughn, demonstrate a post workout strength leg circuit routine and then the Athena drill. Like a lot of Jay's drills, found on his DVDs, they can be quite advanced, so I may try some of these drills, although I need to be cautious. These movements work the frontal plane, lateral movements, that are movements that are not stressed in running, so I may be somewhat challenged due to all my exercise is in a forward direction and does not involve side-to-side movements. This could be a weakness that affects my hips. This routine can also be downloaded right to your ipod from Jay's site, which is very helpful if you want to keep the drills accessible.

SV Leg Circuit, then Athena (uncut) from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

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