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Best exercise for the hip flexors to get ready for skinning?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

When I hike up,the hip flexors are not happy. I have been considering heavy ankle weights, or just hiking up a grassy hill with AT boots and heavy skis,but is there a better way to get ready ?

post #2 of 17

You mean like the Roman chair, in both straight-legged and bent forms?

 

Or you mean like putting 30-40 lbs of litty kitter in a pine wine box and using your toes to drag it along the grass?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

I had not thought of the Roman chair. Seems like it might be a good idea, but the ROM and emphasis on the abs are quite different,arent they?

 

I dont have any kitty litter,but I might get some sand if I understood what you meant.How about uploading a video?
 

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post

When I hike up,the hip flexors are not happy. I have been considering heavy ankle weights, or just hiking up a grassy hill with AT boots and heavy skis,but is there a better way to get ready ?

Hiking up sand, or scree, might be better, but hiking up any steep hill is good.  Your thread title mentions skinning, though.  Skinning and hiking are different in terms of some of their demands.  In either case, you'll probably get some 2d and 3d day soreness at first, more because your movement patterns are off than because your hip flexors are weak or out of shape. 

 

Your hip flexors and glutes and hammies kind of feed off of each other. Pay attention to both.   Roller skiing and nordic walking/striding might be a good way to mix things up, as would golf while walking without a caddy if you're allowed to, and any other similar activity.  Also, pay attention to your hiking technique while hiking.  Many small steps are much better than big steps, for lots of reasons, hip flexors among them. 

 

Heavy ankle weights suck, personally.  The balance with those is very different from balance in boots of any sort.  The subtle balance issues are probably part of the hiking issues that have you feeling it in your hip flexors to begin with. 

 

The kitty litter idea sounds fun as a supplement, as would using bands, etc.  I just think it probably is not needed except as a supplement, and then only IF you are already on a steady program of hiking/striding/some other similar exercise which will be closer to actually skinning and hiking on snow.

post #5 of 17

The psoas can be a bear to deal with - mine have bothered me off and on for years, especially with running, classic x-country skiing and skinning, but not with ski skating, roller blading, biking or skiing.  I can't speak to your difficulty, and if it is an ongoing problems,get some advice from a physio or exercise specialist.  

 

I do several things to manage my difficulties.  First, I do psoas (hip flexor) stretches.  My psoas are tight and activities that require a forward motion with lifting the knee aggravate the psoas, partly because it is tight.  However, all of the torso muscles and tissues are interconnected, so I also work on stretching  the IT band, glutes, hamstrings, quads, etc as well.  I found a pic on the net of the stretch that I do for the psoas - (fairly common stretch).  when done correctly, you  can fee the stretch in the hip flexor area.

 

psoas-stretch1.jpg

 

I also do exercises to strengthen gluts, quads, etc, as well as the psoas.  One Psoas specific exercise that you might try is to sit on a bench that allows the knees to be at 90 degrees and the quad/torso to be at 90 degrees.  Lift one leg up a few inches while keeping the torso straight without bending forward or back (e.g. good posture) and hold  for 5 to 10 seconds.  do a few sets for both legs and build reps and/or duration of hold across time.  Start with three sets of 8 for each leg.


Edited by canadianskier - 9/6/12 at 4:34pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post

When I hike up,the hip flexors are not happy. I have been considering heavy ankle weights, or just hiking up a grassy hill with AT boots and heavy skis,but is there a better way to get ready ?

Are you having trouble flexing or extending or both?

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

Are you having trouble flexing or extending or both?

 

I'm betting the problem is with the pull through when  the back foot starts  way, way behind the hips. 

post #8 of 17

The couch stretch is your go to mobilizer for your hip flexors/quads.

Here is a treasure trove  of vids that include the couch stretch

 

 

http://www.mobilitywod.com/tag/couch-stretch

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by loboskis View Post

The couch stretch is your go to mobilizer for your hip flexors/quads.

Here is a treasure trove  of vids that include the couch stretch

 

 

http://www.mobilitywod.com/tag/couch-stretch


Great series of videos - watched several  already -  new perspectives are always good

post #10 of 17
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the good advice.

The weakness is in hip flexion.And yes,the psoas is tight too.

I already do a lot of hip extensor exercise,especially bike and squats.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post

I also do exercises to strengthen gluts, quads, etc, as well as the psoas.  One Psoas specific exercise that you might try is to sit on a bench that allows the knees to be at 90 degrees and the quad/torso to be at 90 degrees.  Lift one leg up a few inches while keeping the torso straight without bending forward or back (e.g. good posture) and hold  for 5 to 10 seconds.  do a few sets for both legs and build reps and/or duration of hold across time.  Start with three sets of 8 for each leg.

 

That one's a go to exercise for any of my clients who have hip flexor dysfunction. I usually go with 5 x 5s and then switch to the other leg. The good posture comment is very important. Once that becomes easy, I'll usually progress to a "wall marching hold" (see below) and then one of my new favourites - a hip flexor/glute activation/ab stabilizing option (also see below).

 

But I'm curious - what makes you think your hip flexors need strengthening, and are you sure that's the problem, or is it that either your technique is off a bit and thus you're over-using your hip flexors, or you've got some muscular imbalances (maybe strength, maybe range of motion, maybe a bit off both) that are causing you to overuse your hip flexors? Just throwing that question out, because flexor weakness is rarely an isolated problem. 

 

wall marching hold:

 

Hip flexor activation with glute stretch and ab stabilizing:

 

Elsbeth

post #13 of 17

Bingo

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post

...

 

But I'm curious - what makes you think your hip flexors need strengthening, and are you sure that's the problem, or is it that either your technique is off a bit and thus you're over-using your hip flexors, or you've got some muscular imbalances (maybe strength, maybe range of motion, maybe a bit off both) that are causing you to overuse your hip flexors? Just throwing that question out, because flexor weakness is rarely an isolated problem. 

post #14 of 17
Anterior hip pain is / tends to be associated w posterior chain weakness. I like everything that folks have tossed out & here are my 2 contributions- both w a loop of theraband:

A) standing abduction w the foot rotated out 40 degrees. Stand in the loop & raise your leg out & slightly back. This will work both stance & swing legs concentricly & eccentricly.

B) toe raises- loop around the toes & raise them up!

You can do all sorts of progressions & also I have my folks bring bands everywhere! If your irritability is high start with 6-8 reps @ 5-7 times per day!
If it is more fatigue & weakness rather than pain, 20-30 reps 4+ times per day.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the good advice.

 

I have never skinned. But I just bought some gear to walk uphill and I want to get ready. I did notice that hiking uphill with downhill boots/bindings at Alta really taxed my hip flexors,and they fatigued very quickly. So I wanted to avoid that. The rest of the "chain" is far from perfect also.

 

I do have a nordic track ,and max elevation of the front end to maximize the lifting motion cant hurt. I could also just walk up some long grassy hills here with AT boots,bindings and skis .
 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have had a couple weeks to work on this.I elevated the front end of the Nordic track as far as possible,and it definitely showed up the weakness on the forward motion. And a different kind of soreness in the hip flexors and knee extensors. I think it will help .

I also tried the Dalbello Virus  AT boots and Praxis with Duke's walking up a grassy hill ,but it sure is not pleasant.
 

post #17 of 17

How about something like the one below. Also, try front snap kicks as in martial arts.

 

 

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