Will KB swings loosen up my tight hip flexors?
I have tight hip flexors. While I have gained and regained a lot of flexibility towards getting my yoga plow ( which is good for a basket position in gymnastics and pike flexibility besides L ) my straddle L still hasn't gotten any better. It's in my WU and cooldown and it's still shite.
Had to do KB swings in Helen the other day. I've never done much KB swing work as I just can't get into it myself. It was mentioned by the trainer my hip pop sucks. Well, nicer than that. At first I was swinging it with a straight upright back before using the back and hips to pop it up. As well, it's been mentioned in my oly lifting I don't pop the hips but I think that has a lot more to do with patience and skill with it that I never really knew what was up for 10 years. So crappy musclely oly lifting for 10 years.
Getting back to it, do ya think KB swing will loosen up my hip flexors besides the active stretching I do for them? Trust me this has weirded out Roger H with the fact I had splits/oversplits but poor active hip flexor flexibility. Probably also due to the fact I didn't work it till I was past 20 as it was always passive flexibility. Standing I can barely get the leg to horizontal but I could always kick extremely high or do axe kicks ( which are a bit silly at a might 5 feet ).
I'd like to get a nice straddle L and I'm sure it would help my fledgeling wanna be attempts toward V which at best is 30 degrees for a moment above horizontal but generally is only parallel on rings.
things that helped my hips loosen up
1. less plow pose - used to do it constantly for grappling and i got so used to folding that i did it at times when i shouldnt' have. i can actually do the plow better now that i've toned it down. maybe the better balance between muscle groups helps form or something
2. swings would prob help, but make sure you go up and not back at the top of the swing. some people emphasize the hip pop so much that they lean way far back when they swing the bell up (basically hyperextending). the swing should mimic jumping out of a box squat. if you rear your torso back when you jump from a box squat, you'll flop right back on the box in a ridiculous looking manner.
3. make sure to forcefully throw the bell back down between your legs. this will cause you to tighten your abs properly during the swing. have a friend throw the KB down at the top of each rep. the swing will get really hard really fast. after like 10 swings, have the friend stop. then try to mimic the same feeling by pushing the bell down really hard at the top of each swing. result - you tighten your abs so that you don't hyperextend your spine and your hip flexors must then stretch instead. TADA. this act will cure most a lot of problems with people's swings. when i show guys how to first do the swing, i go through and make sure they're doing everything safely and give the fundamental stuff (wall squat and towel swing and all that junk). normally after all that, they'll get that novice kinda swing. pushing on the bell for them makes their form look exponentially better in a single set.
Tight hip flexors are a product of too much tension... Adding more tension via the hip snap would be counter productive, that is if your goal is to relax and open up your hip flexors...
If it were me, I would work in some specific yoga poses to address your spot "issues."
Half Warrior, or Lunge
Pigeon, Reclining (or sleeping) pigeon, King Pigeon
Standing Side Stretch
Half Pyramid, or Pyramid
Side Angle Pose
There are more, but that should get you started...
Thanks, Chuck I will look into these. Camel sounds familiar and of course Warrior.
I'm thinking it's more related to weak hip flexors than anything else now. I'm sure sitting in front of a computer or commuting on a bicycle don't help, maybe.
It sounds more like a hip flexor strength issue to me.
Other than the typical knees-past-elbows, straight leg raises, L-sit progressions, etc. from gymnastics, make sure that on any weighted exercise where you stand up that you fully extend your hips to straight (maybe even slightly past straight) with a strong glute contraction to at least stretch the hip flexors to "normal" in the standing position.
Add PNF activity (contract-relax) to any hip flexor stretch to strengthen in the elongated position.
More vertical jumping, tuck jumps, and broad jumps.
Do all your pullups as "L" pull-ups. That used to be the only way I could do them in my garage, I believe it really helped me in certain ways.
Thanks for the cue of squeezing the butt while opening the hips. It just seemed to be something that is clicking right now instead of just opening the hips. I'll be trying to apply it in some various things.
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