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Tight hip flexors - or why I can't sit the trot

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  • Tight hip flexors - or why I can't sit the trot

    Does anybody have some good stretches for your hip flexors? My mare is ready to start more sitting trot work, but I can't seem to be able to relax the front of my hips to go with her bigger movement - I get sore, esp my left side ( slight scoliosis).
    Thanks
    http://www.cngsporthorses.com

  • #2
    http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipFle...HipFlexor.html
    Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am with you there, I can only maintain no stirrups sitting trot for about a minute if that without severe pain in my hip flexors. I can go longer with stirrups but find it harder to maintain correct position.

      I'm still trying to figure out the best way to deal with this but have found that stretching the quads and hamstrings regularly does play a part in helping relax the leg and minimise the amount of pain.
      Blog posts, updates & videos tweeted to all my followers on Twitter!www.OnceUponADressageDream.com ~ www.twitter.com/dressageblog
      www.youtube.com/cheekywb

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you sure that the problem is tight hip flexors? there maybe other areas involved, too. Might want to check PT and osteopath/physical medicine evaluations and get an exercise plan specific to your needs.
        Intermediate Riding Skills

        Comment


        • #5
          Not a dressage rider but strengthening your core and lower back (yoga is great for this!) will be really beneficial.

          Comment


          • #6
            Stretch your hip flexors and strengthen your lower back. Hire a personal trainer for a session to show you exercises on a Swiss Ball ( I would offer my services but I think you are too far ...And that would be advertisement )
            Last edited by bluesegolene; Jul. 10, 2009, 12:01 PM. Reason: can't spell if my life was depending on it

            Comment


            • #7
              You're getting good advice here! I'd add side lunges to the mix and other hip-joint stretching exercises, such as this one:

              Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Take one leg, cross the ankle over the opposite knee so that it rests against the lower thigh/knee. Now grab your thigh of the lower leg and pull it gently towards your chest. This helps stretch the glutes & other tissues around the hip joint.

              To aid the motion of the pelvis/lower back while trotting, try this:

              Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Now "walk" with your butt by moving first one seatbone forward, then the other one, scooting your legs along in front of you. Lifting your legs up is cheating!

              Comment


              • #8
                I have super tight hip flexors from running and have found that active release therapy has helped alot. Another stretch that I was shown was similiar to the one posted above but you should not let the bent (left) knee go forward past the foot (like correct squats) and then when in that position, lift your arm and tilt your bum forward while keeping your abs on (but don't let that knee go forward past your toes!). The arm that is lifted is the one that is on the side of the flexor being stretched.
                www.svhanoverians.com

                "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Beasmom View Post
                  You're getting good advice here! I'd add side lunges to the mix [...]
                  This (video) has been added to my workouts lately. Ow ow OW, but it's definitely strengthening my riding muscles.
                  Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                  No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oy, great exercise unless you have bad knees

                    I do these stretches:

                    http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbd...Crossover.html
                    http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbductors/Pretzel.html
                    http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbd...dePretzel.html

                    but there are tons of stretches on that site for all of the hip flexors- I just seem to have most of my truble with abductors.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And I'll add Pilates to the mix...check out Janice Dulak's book for starters!
                      www.specialhorses.org
                      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Elizabeth, You may have yourself misaligned: You're shorter in the front than in the back of your hips. Stand with your hand on a chair, lift your foot and move it backward 10 times. Then the other foot. You will strengthen the flexors in the back and stretch the ones in the front. Repeat this exercise often. I had gotten myself misaligned from left to right causing great pain in my right hip joint. This exercise (as prescribed by a physical therapist) really helped.

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                        • #13
                          Are you using your psoas effectively?

                          It is the muscle that is "core" of the "core" but is little talked about and I have never had a dressage instructor explain it's use. Actually, Aikido and Zen (thanks to my Hubby) is how it came to be illuminated for me. As I am learning to use it more correctly the trot just happens, smoothly, together with the horse. Most elating feeling.

                          To see if you are aware of and using that muscle try this: lay flat on the floor on your back, slowly start pulling your lower back flat to the floor while having your knees come up off the floor - if you tummy is tight, you are not using your psoas properly or effectively. There are several other exercises, but this will give you an idea.

                          In my experience, until the psoas is used properly, sitting trot is an exercise in bracing, stiffening and holding, not smoothly following.
                          Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                          ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Look up warrior pose for yoga. Has done wonders for me.

                            Also, core strength and other low back strength are critical.
                            Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by elizabeth Callahan View Post
                              Does anybody have some good stretches for your hip flexors? My mare is ready to start more sitting trot work, but I can't seem to be able to relax the front of my hips to go with her bigger movement - I get sore, esp my left side ( slight scoliosis).
                              Thanks
                              I have the same problem. Try this one.
                              http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Gluteu...dBentover.html

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Not many people know this but living a sedentary lifestyle can really weaken your hip flexor muscle groups especially if you work a typical office job where you are sitting for more than 40 hours a week. I found this article on https://fixyourhipflexors.com really helpful. It goes in depth about the hip flexor muscles groups and how you can prevent injuries.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mzm farm View Post
                                  Are you using your psoas effectively?

                                  It is the muscle that is "core" of the "core" but is little talked about and I have never had a dressage instructor explain it's use. Actually, Aikido and Zen (thanks to my Hubby) is how it came to be illuminated for me. As I am learning to use it more correctly the trot just happens, smoothly, together with the horse. Most elating feeling.

                                  To see if you are aware of and using that muscle try this: lay flat on the floor on your back, slowly start pulling your lower back flat to the floor while having your knees come up off the floor - if you tummy is tight, you are not using your psoas properly or effectively. There are several other exercises, but this will give you an idea.

                                  In my experience, until the psoas is used properly, sitting trot is an exercise in bracing, stiffening and holding, not smoothly following.
                                  This bears repeating!!X1000

                                  Also if the psoas is really tight it won’t allow the hips to release and can make the lower back sore. You can release it with a small ball yourself. But I would highly suggest visiting a PT for help with this.
                                  http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    HIGHLY recommend a standing desk for ANYONE that sits at work. I bought this one ($180) and what I love about it is you have a desktop right under your monitors. I'm averaging standing probably 1/2 my work day and feel so much better.
                                    Planning to get one for home too - I now notice any length of time sitting. Yuck.

                                    I also bought a nice mat to stand on - from Amazon for $50. It's easy to rise and stand and then move my mat away and sit back down. When I feel tired of standing (typically after 20 min) I just sit 20 min. Up and down all day long. It takes all of 5 secs to stand and move my mat.

                                    Great ideas posted here. I also have a Balimo stool and get on it daily along with stretches and using a hard ball to dig out tension and tightness.
                                    AirRise™ Pro 2.0 Adjustable Standing Desk Converter with Dual Monitor Mount turns any desk into a standing desk, helping you boost energy, calorie burn, and productivity. The included dual monitor stand supports flat screen monitors up to 24”.
                                    Last edited by PaddockWood; May. 22, 2019, 06:09 PM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      PSOAS yep indeed. You should go see a personal trainer/ physical therapist I was lucky enough to have a guy who was both. Also get a GOOD sports therapy deep tissue massage...no fluff n buff Swedish. Also STOP focusing on it while riding...that will only make it worse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Please keep in mind that a horse that is just learning to be "sat" may not be helping you out. When the back is up sitting becomes SO MUCH easier--and it's not something many lower level horses can hold for a long period. So do your stretches, but make sure you are working with your trainer too!
                                        From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

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