Hey,

I've been trying to get back into stretching again and when stretching for side splits I've noticed I get this annoying pain in my hips, right where my legs meet my hips.

Here's what I do:

I stand up, stretch my legs into a split as far as I can go and lean forward, putting my hands on the ground. I try to keep my hips tilted forward so my butt sticks out (this is correct, right?). I copied the move from some gymnastics video.

However when I get down to my limit my hips hurt where they meet my legs. Not super painful, but uncomfortable and it almost feels like I can't stretch any further. It bugs me because it feels like I want to stretch my legs further but my hips are stopping me.

So is this normal and will get better in time? Am I not tilting my hips enough? Am I doing something else wrong?

I don't want to stretch incorrectly and hinder my progress. I'm not all that flexible so I don't know if the pain is just due in inflexibility and will get better or if I'm doing something wrong.

Also, I don't think I have any injuries that would be causing the pain. None that I know of anyway. When I was younger I could almost do a side split (inch or so off the ground) with no hip pain, only stretching pain so I'm pretty sure I CAN open my legs that wide after I get the muscles stretched out again. So no growth abnormalities that are causing it either (that I know of).

It's getting on my nerves because I feel like I'm not stretching as well as I could be due to my hips.

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Maybe you should try it without 'sticking your butt out' (lol xD) at first, but try it again when you're better at it. Maybe you'll be able to get down further too.

If that doesn't work, try going down into the split with the help of a chair (or something). That way you don't have to get down on your arms, but you can just stay upright, because you are not putting all the weight and balance on your legs/knees, because you can hold on to the chair.

Also, you might want to try some stretches they call 'hip opening stretches' (as I've read here and there). Things like the butterfly and frog stretch.
When you were younger, you say, you could almost do a side split... Do you mean front split? How young exactly were you? If you were 10 for example, you didn't have adult hips so it's possible that when growing up, your womanly hips would potentially prevent you from getting it back. Which is not bad anyway. They do say that men can get front splits much easier than women and women can do side splits (facing the left leg or the right leg) much easier than men.
Ah, sorry. I mean the type where your legs go stretched out to your sides. Straddle? center? Not sure the exact name because when I look it up I always see all different splits for every name.

My age was probably around 13-14ish and below. I was really active as a kid, but after that I started hanging out inside, so I'm not sure exactly when I lost that stretchy-ness, because I wasn't ever testing myself after that.

Meh, I hope my hips won't stop me from doing it now, as that's the split I like best. I dunno why, but the other one - with one leg forward - always came second in interest for me. Of course, I want to be able to do both though...

A little update: I tried the stretch again the other day, but I leaned forward a bit more and put more of my weight on my hands. It seems to help some, and I managed to get a decent muscle stretch. Maybe I was just putting too much weight on my hips/legs at that angle.
Hope my hips don't prevent me from ever fully doing it though. That would be sad.

What are you doing for warm-up and are you doing any stretches before this? You might want to do at least a soft warm-up (rotate through all your joints, do a few squats / lunges / dance or hop around a bit) then start with single leg and hip opening stretches (butterfly stretch, buttocks, basic hamstring and hip flexor stretches) before starting your slides, first leaning on your hands a LOT almost in a press-up kind of hold. Start with your butt out but as you slide down start tucking your pelvis in, think tail between legs, land in a forward straddle pose instead of belly to floor. That opens the hips well and it's easier to do full slides, and you shouldn't be getting pains after preliminary stretches and warming up.

Hi! So I used to have the same problem, and after doing a bit of research though my massage therapy program, I learned a little bit about the adductor muscles that you may find helpful.

Most muscles are divided into segments based on their location..for our purposes now, the adductors are split into Distal Adductors (The part farthest away from your center, so the half of the muscle from the middle of your thigh down to your knee) and the Proximal Adductors (The part closest to your center, so the half of the muscle from the middle of your thigh up to your hips).  Both need to be equally flexible and strong to create a balanced stretch for a straddle position.  Because you feel like your hips are limiting your mobility, and you don't feel much of a stretch on the rest of your legs, I would wager that your Proximal Adductors are too tight in comparison to the rest of the muscles in the area.  Good stretches for these muscles are the Frog and Butterfly positions, which I am sure you can read more about on other parts of the site, so I won't go into detail about them.  But basically any stretch that involves opening up the hip, but keeping the knees bent will help to isolate the Proximal Addudctors.  Hope this helped!! When you are doing Frog position, be sure to keep your hips tucked under you, instead of letting your butt hang out the back..this will decrease the stretch on the proximal adductors. :) Good luck!!

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