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Hip Flexor Stretching

Stuart Moore

Riders could commonly do with a bit more stretching in this area, especially if when you’re not riding you’re sat at a computer or driving. This post should hopefully help you to get a bit more quality in your stretch. The concept with all this stuff revolves around what I call movement efficiency. The idea is to try to promote extra movement from areas that should move lots (hips) and promote stability from areas that shouldn’t move very much (lumbar spine/low back). A simple way of thinking about this is to treat each mobility drill or stretch like a strict core stability exercise. 

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The thing with this sort of stretch is to work out which variation gives you just the right amount of stretch without pushing your hips out in front of your knee and shoulders (like the arched back stick man diagram with the X) and not so aggressively that you hold your breath and grit your teeth.

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You should be able to relax whilst squeezing your bum cheek on the side that you’re stretching and bracing your abdominals. This should have the effect of pulling your pelvis into what’s known as a posterior tilt. That essentially means lifting the front of the pelvis up towards the rib cage. The rib cage will be being simultaneously pulled down by the same abdominals. We call this an anti - extension contraction which would also be used when doing Dying Bugs and ‘normal’ Planks.

The reason this is recommended is that we’re trying to promote more movement/mobility/flexibility from the hips and importantly NOT more extension/arch from the lumbar spine (low back).  

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No front or rear elevation is the easiest version with high raises front and back with stretch side arm up being tough for flexible riders.

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If you have time consider massaging your front thighs/quads with a foam roller in a strict plank position for a few minutes to promote more blood flow and warmth prior to stretching. 

Lastly, make sure you use a very comfortable pad to keep your knees happy.

Remember these stretches are your anti sitting down stretches. Do them often people!  

Getting Ab Wheel Rollouts Right

Stuart Moore


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For riders of all types taking care of your back can be important. Learning from people such as Shirley Sahrmann and Stuart McGill has taught us that the lumber spine’s (low back) 5 vertebrae should move a little but not too much.

So, training for stability here should be a priority.

Too much movement can be a bad thing.

Anti extension strength can help you to improve some key exercises in the gym. Essentially you’re trying to prevent your low back from arching too much. Imagine your pelvis as a bowl of water. You’re trying to stop the water from spilling out of the front.

Anti extension exercises will train the muscles that lift the front of the pelvis bowl up to stop you spilling.

You would also need to imagine preventing your rib cage from flaring up.

As always a system is used. You need to qualify for rollouts.

Can you do dying bugs really well?

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Can you plank well? Can you plank well with your feet on an ab dolley or firm and very round foam roller? If the answer is yes then lets get you ab wheel rolling!

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If they feel easy then you’re doing them wrong. If you feel your low back working you’re doing them wrong. One of the best cues is to think about crunching the space up between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the front of the pelvis. If your belly button gets close to the floor and your low back is arched you’ve lost correct form.

Start from the knees with a comfy pad to protect them. Use a wall as a target to aim for. Qualify for starting further away from the wall. I’d recommend getting 8 quality controlled reps before you consider moving back. If you lose your back shape you’re too far away from the wall. Simple. If you can get all the way to the floor then you’re in really good shape and its time to start playing with the more advanced versions from the feet.