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  • 1-904-999-7698
  • Vanessa Barthelmes
  • November 04, 2019 04:49:56 PM
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Jadore Vanessa is a lifestyle blog featuring: Aerial Arts, Fitness, Family and Wellbeing.

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    Building A Strength Training Program To Improve Your Aerial Skills

    If you want to improve your aerial skills, strength training is so important. During your aerial practice, you will build a variety of different muscles, but supplementing your practice with extra strength training sessions is the best way to improve your skills.  Image Source – Pixabay CCO License Your upper body and core are the... View Post The post Building A Strength Training Program To Improve Your Aerial Skills appeared first on JV...

    If you want to improve your aerial skills, strength training is so important. During your aerial practice, you will build a variety of different muscles, but supplementing your practice with extra strength training sessions is the best way to improve your skills. 

    Image Source – Pixabay CCO License

    Your upper body and core are the most important areas to focus on. Whether you are working out at the gym or at home, these are some of the best strength exercises to improve your aerial skills. 

    Pull-Ups 

    The pull-up is at the heart of many aerial moves, so practicing your pull-up skills is vital during your strength training sessions. The great thing is, you can easily do it at home with a simple pull up bar that fits over the door.

    A standard pull-up will build muscles in your arms, chest, back and core. However, if you really want to improve, you should look at some different pull-up variations to target specific muscle groups.

    Hanging knee raises, for example, are brilliant for improving your grip strength while also building core muscles. One arm pull-ups are perfect if you have a strength imbalance that you need to even out. Doing different variations also keeps things fresh because doing pull-ups every day quickly gets boring. 

    Dumbbell Exercises 

    Dumbbell exercises are great for building various upper body muscles. You can either get your own set at home or join a gym, like Fitness 19, where you will have access to a wider range of weights and equipment.

    A simple dumbbell bench press is one of the best exercises for building strength in your chest. If you want to build up your back muscles, a single arm bent over row is perfect. Dumbbell exercises are very versatile and they allow you to target specific muscle groups, so you can make sure to get a rounded workout. 

    Core Exercises 

    Building a strong core is vital if you want to improve your aerial practice, so make sure that you have plenty of core exercises in your routine. Sometimes, it’s the simplest exercises that are best, like the plank or simple sit-ups. These are easy exercises that you can fit into your daily routine. If you are looking for more active core exercises, standing twists and high knees are both great. 

    Flexibility Exercises 

    Flexibility is so important in aerial and if you have been doing a lot of strength training, your muscles can get quite stiff. That’s why it’s a good idea to make flexibility exercises a part of your regular training routine as well. You should also add some ballistic stretching exercises to your routine to improve your range of motion.

    These can be used as a great warm-up exercise before you get into your strength training routine. If you keep up with the strength training and you incorporate flexibility moves as well, you will notice a huge difference to your aerial practice. 

    Although strength training isn’t as fun as aerial, it’s very important if you want to build the core and upper body muscles that you need to improve your aerial skills. 

    What do you include in your fitness training program for aerial silks? I would love to know.

    In happiness and health,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Check out my flexibility classes and online coaching.

    Related Articles:

    11 Exercises To Be Circus Fit

    15 Simple Aerial Silks Tricks For Beginners

    Aerial Silks For Beginners

    3 Strength Exercises That Are Great For Flexibility

    The post Building A Strength Training Program To Improve Your Aerial Skills appeared first on JV Flexibility.


    Do You Really Have Your Split?

    The splits is a goal that many of us share. With all the beautiful splits photos out there to aspire to how could you not want to work towards them. Would you be surprised if I told you that most of these splits are not a true front split? In fact, a large majority splitty... View Post The post Do You Really Have Your Split? appeared first on JV...

    The splits is a goal that many of us share. With all the beautiful splits photos out there to aspire to how could you not want to work towards them. Would you be surprised if I told you that most of these splits are not a true front split? In fact, a large majority splitty people would not be able to do a true split with the correct technique.

    Which brings us to the question, do you really have your splits?

    Today we are going to go through the correct technique of the front split.

    What Is The Correct Alignment For Splits?

    The correct alignment for the splits include several factors that will be discussed below:

    • Internal Rotation.
    • Square Hips.
    • Straight Back.
    • Shoulders Over Hips.

    Internal Rotation

    When you are working your way into your split both legs need to be internally rotated. That means that you need to be turning the legs in towards the body. When you are working with your rotation the action needs to come from the head of the femur in the ball and socket joint of the pelvis. Think of it as a scissoring movement.

    You never want to be turning out from the knees or feet. It wont change your alignment and you will damage your joints.

    If you are struggling to get into your splits when you are holding the correct internal rotation, you may experience tightness running down the IT band.

    To correct this you will need to work on opening the lateral quadriceps known as the vastus lateralis as well as the IT band.

    Square Hips

    The right and left hip bones known as the illiac spine need to be in line with each other. Notice your alignment when you are in a split. Does the front leg and hip draw forward while the back leg and hip draw backwards?

    A good way to ensure you have correct alignment is by using a rod/pole broomstick. As long as it is not pliable and is a straight line.

    Follow the video below:

    YouTube Video

    Straight Lumbar Spine

    When you are opening the hip flexors whether it is for the splits or a stretch you alway want to make sure that the lumber spine is straight in the anatomical position. Thus giving you a flat back.

    To ensure the correct technique pull your belly button in towards the spine. Gently round the lumbar spine and scoop the pelvis forward and upward towards the sky.

    If tight hip flexors are holding you back try these tensor fascia latae stretches to elongate the hip flexors, decrease the natural curve in the lumber spine and lift the the anterior illiac crest. (Fancy word for your hip bones.)

    Shoulders In Line With Hips

    The shoulders need to be stacked on top of the hips. This technique will help you straighten the hips forward like two headlights on a car. It also ensures that your chest is not leaning forward which is a classic symptom of tight hip flexors.

    Stacked shoulders along with a straight spine ensures the correct hip alignment if you enter with the correct method.

    Correct Alignment For The Splits

    Credit

    How To Enter The Splits For Correct Alignment

    From a lunge position with the front leg extended and the knee straight begin to slide the front foot away from the body. Stop at the point where you need to slide the back leg away from you in order to go deeper in your split.

    This position is your true front split.

    How To Work Towards Your Front Split

    The best starting place is to take a self assessment of where your front splits is currently at. From there your body will tell you where you need to go.

    Visual Assessment Of Your Splits

    Take a photograph in your split. Make sure that you are trying your best to stay in the correct alignment as discussed above.

    • Internal Rotation.
    • Square Hips.
    • Straight Back.
    • Shoulders Over Hips.

    When you are analyzing the image go through all the factors we discussed to see where you need to work on.

    For instance: These images have been taken over the years the first is at least 7 years old. Way before I knew the correct alignment for a split.

    Looking at the image today with a deeper understanding the image shows me that my hip flexor was tight. There was not one tell tale sign there were several.

    Image 1

    As you can see the back leg is not completley internally rotated, the hips are not in line. Meaning If I put a ruler from one hip horizontally my back hip would not be touching the ruler. There would be a great degree of space.

    Secondly my lumber spine is not vertical, it follows a diagonal line with the body protruding to front leg. Another classic sign that the hip flexors are tight. Why? The torso is leaning forward to compensate the tight hip flexor. The inability to hold the position with a straight spine shows that the hip flexors are not open enough.

    Thirdly the hands are in front of the hips due to the inability to straighten the spine.

    Image 2

    Looking at image two you can see that the back leg is completely internally rotated (knee facing the floor) unlike in number one and the hips are squared. Shoulders are over the hips showing that I have considerably opened the hip flexors.

    If you look at the inferior torso (bottom half) you can see that the hips are still tilting forward because the torso is not completely straight.

    What you can see is that I have been implementing a training regime to open up the hip flexors.

    The key take away from the image is that I still need to continue opening the hip flexors.

    Image 3

    Chest is up, legs internally rotated lumber spine nearly straight, yet at a very minimal degree. A great improvement.

    Physiological Assessment For Your Splits

    This assessment is all about feeling into your body and letting it tell you where changes need to be made.

    Determine The Restrictive Area

    Start by entering your split in the correct method discussed earlier. As you continue to let your pelvis sink to floor there will be a point where the body stops.

    This is where you need to notice, what is stopping you from deepening your split. For instance if your hamstring is stopping you from dropping deeper that is an area you need to work on.

    What you need to do is really feel into the hamstrings. Are you feeling the tightness in the middle of the leg, lateral (outer part) of the leg or the medial area (side closest to the body)?

    Identify What The Limitation Is

    Once you have identified the area that it is coming from you need to feel into the area to notice what type of restriction it is.

    Muscles

    If it is muscular the affected muscle will feel warm and generally has a good breadth.

    If this is your restriction try these 29 stretches for your hamstringsquads, and hip flexors.

    Connective Tissues

    Connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments and nerves have a different sensation.

    Tendons and ligaments will feel thin in the breadth of the area. If you push on the affected area it should not cause pain what so ever. Compared to if you pushed into a tight muscle, you would know about it. It will feel thin and pliable. For instance if you push it deeper into the body there is a good degree of room and movement.

    Secondly ligaments and tendons are usually found in the areas surrounding the bones. This is because connective tissue is what binds the muscle to the bone.

    Thirdly if you press on the area and follow its path along the body does it turn into a muscle as you progress working your hands along the pathway? That is also a tell tale sign for tendons and ligaments.

    Nerves

    Nerves do restrict a large degree of movement. Primarily due to the fact that they don’t respond to static stretching. Thus most people do not know how to stretch their nerves.

    If you lay on your back and bring one knee to the chest. Extend the ankle so that it is inline with the knee. Giving you a nice right angle. Wrap your arms around the thigh keep it close to the chest, without the thigh loosing contact with your chest try and straighten the leg (bring the foot closer to the face).

    If you feel no pain yet a resistance of the leg being stiff that is your nerve restriction point.

    To stretch the nerves try these 9 glides to release nerve tension.

    Interpreting The Information

    Once you have identified what the restriction is its time to start working on it. Let’s keep using the hamstrings for an example. You feel muscle tension in the hamstring so you apply stretches that open up the hamstrings.

    From there you will re enter your split and see if the sensation changes. You may find that you have to repeat this sequence several times until your body shows you another area of tightness.

    This is because muscles do not act alone in the movement of the body, they work in groups. Once the initial muscle is release you may find a deeper sensation in the muscle group that are also tight. That gives you the opportunity to unlock areas you may not have been aware of that are causing you restriction. Secondly you may find that muscles not related to the muscle group are tight.

    For instance tight quads, pull on the hip flexers, this pulls the anterior pelvis forward and down. This alignment causes tension in the glutes yet may represent in lower back pain.

    Implementing this information will have you progressing at a much faster rate then what you may have been experiencing in the past.

    Final Thoughts

    We all love to stretch the muscles we look good in, are deep and minimally painful yet we avoid the hard, shallow and incredibly painful areas. They are the ones you need to work on. They are the muscle groups limiting your body.

    It’s time to get comfortable with discomfort and reap the rewards.

    Looking for more advice? Drop me a line I would love to help.

    In happiness and health,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Check out my flexibility classes and online coaching.

    Related Articles

    Here are 29 stretches for your hamstringsquads, and hip flexors so you can nail the front splits.

    11 stretches to lengthen the hamstrings.

    How to train for contortion. It’s very different to yoga.

    The post Do You Really Have Your Split? appeared first on JV Flexibility.


    How To Do A Chest Stand

    If you are reading this article I want to say congratulations on sticking with your back training regime. Preparing the spine for chest stands doesn’t happen over night, it takes dedication and perseverance. Chest stands are one of the most prominent contortion poses today. They are dramatic and capture attention. Chest stands are an advanced... View Post The post How To Do A Chest Stand appeared first on JV...

    If you are reading this article I want to say congratulations on sticking with your back training regime. Preparing the spine for chest stands doesn’t happen over night, it takes dedication and perseverance.

    Chest stands are one of the most prominent contortion poses today. They are dramatic and capture attention. Chest stands are an advanced posture so please attempt your chest stand today with caution.

    Pre Requisites:

    In order to start working on your chest stand there are a few pre requisites you will need to meet.

    • Neck Flexibility: Anterior and Posterior Flexibility.
    • Thoracic Spine Strength & Flexibility.
    • Lower Back Strength and Flexibility.
    • Chest and Forearm Strength.
    • Strong Core.
    • Shoulder Strength.
    • The ability to have the chest flat to the floor with the head extended.

    The No No’s

    There are a lot of misconceptions amongst different trainers. Here are some of the major no no’s you should never experience when attempting a chest stand.

    • Neck compressed on the floor: The neck should not be meeting the floor what so ever.
    • Crunching or pinching in the neck: Is a hard and fast sign to get out of the pose and is an indicator that you are not ready to work on this position yet.
    • Inability to breathe: This is generally because the trachea is meeting the floor beneath you.
    • Holding your breath: You need to be able to breathe freely. This is not a pose where you hold your breath. Practice breathing in and out through the nostrils and practice to breathe in other back bending positions as preperation.
    • Crunching in the back: When you are performing backbends you should never feel any pinching, crunching or compression through the spine. Exit immediately if you experience any of these sensations.
    • Face in the floor: If you face is in the floor you can’t breath, you also cant create that nice tripod between the shoulders and chin.

    Technique

    The chest stand tripod

    YouTube Video

    Coming from puppy pose sweep the hands down in line with the body. Palms are flat on the floor.

    Keeping your chest on the floor begin to walk the feet in a little closer towards the body and let the hips lift.

    Push your shoulder heads down into the floor with the chin.

    The neck should not be in contact with the floor, if so then push into the shoulders and chin into the floor and to try and elevate the neck creating a platform.

    It is then and only then once that tripod platform is formed you can begin to raise the rest of the body up and away into your chest stand.

    Beginner Chest Stand Entries

    For beginners starting out in their chest stand you can use a medicine ball, yoga wheel or the wall.

    When you are using a medicine ball or yoga wheel, you want to use the apparatus to elevate the hips so that they are nice and high. The body rolls up and down until you find the right point that allows you to get your chest to the floor.

    From here you will assume the tripod position and begin working towards lifting the hips high and off the apparatus.

    Intermediate Chest Stand Entry

    YouTube Video

    Rolling into chest stand. This is an intermediate to advanced intermediate move. I have heard this move called supermans and rock and rolls.

    Before trying to roll straight into this pose lay on the floor facedown with palms flat on the floor besides you. Begin a rocking motion back and forward using your hands as traction to help you get your chest higher.

    Keep working towards the chest moving back and forth. Once you land your chest stand you can continue to practice this motion until you feel confident enough to roll from your knees to your chest.

    Anna does a perfect example of this in the above video.

    Advanced Chest Stand Entry

    YouTube Video

    Im not even going to try and break this one down it is way over my head! I thought it looked amazing and thought I had to share it with you.

    Decompressing The Spine After A Chest Stand

    Neturalising the spine and relieving and undue pressure is an important part of your chest stand process. Here are a few methods you can use for your post work out cool down.

    Plow Pose

    YouTube Video

    Perform 5 – 8 sets gently rolling out the spine.

    Rock and Rolls

    YouTube Video

    Perform 5 – 8 sets gently rolling out the spine.

    Thoracic Flexion & Extension

    YouTube Video

    Perform 5 – 8 sets

    Forward Fold

    YouTube Video

    Create space through each vertebrae with a forward fold. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds. Option to fold the arms and rock the torso gently from side to side.

    My very first chest stand

    View this post on Instagram

    I got my #cheststand today🍾🍾🍾🍾

    A post shared by Aerialist Vanessa Barthelmes (@jadorevanessa) on

    Not quite there yet? Come and join me for a class to build your strength and flexibility.

    Coming soon… The complete guide on how to train for chest stands.

    Stay limber,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Check out my flexibility classes and online coaching.

    “Blessed are the flexible for they will not allow themselves to become bent out of shape!” – Robert Ludlum

    Related Articles

    Remove tension and increase flexibility with these 21 upper body stretches.

    4 shoulder stretches for the rotator cuff and capsule.

    How to start training for contortion back bends.

    7 assisted contortion methods.

    The post How To Do A Chest Stand appeared first on JV Flexibility.


    Middle Split Flexibility Routine. (Video Series)

    🤸‍♂️Welcome to Novembers Middle Split Mini Series🤸‍♂️⁠ ⁠ Each week I will be rolling out a new video which has been recorded from a live class.⁠ ⁠ Make sure you drop any questions you may have below so that I can answer them for you.⁠ ⁠ Don’t forget to share me with a friend!⁠ Here... View Post The post Middle Split Flexibility Routine. (Video Series) appeared first on JV...

    YouTube Video

    🤸‍♂️Welcome to Novembers Middle Split Mini Series🤸‍♂️⁠ ⁠

    Each week I will be rolling out a new video which has been recorded from a live class.⁠ ⁠ Make sure you drop any questions you may have below so that I can answer them for you.⁠ ⁠ Don’t forget to share me with a friend!⁠

    YouTube Video

    Here is the second part of the middle splits mini series. The focus is on strengthening and conditioning the adductors and abductors.

    If we don’t strengthen what we stretch the muscles become weak and throws the body into an imbalance. That means that other areas will be affected by having to compensate resulting in tension and possibly pain depending on the severity.

    Wishing you happiness and health,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Check out my flexibility classes and online coaching.

    The post Middle Split Flexibility Routine. (Video Series) appeared first on JV Flexibility.


    7 Top GLUTES MINIMUS Exercises

    Are you finding it hard to get results on your turn out? Despite working really hard on them? The glutes minimus may be the problem. Stretch and strengthen them with these glutes minimus exercises so that your external rotators can move freely. In today’s article we’ll dive deep into this specific muscle the gluteus minimus.... View Post The post 7 Top GLUTES MINIMUS Exercises appeared first on JV...

    Are you finding it hard to get results on your turn out? Despite working really hard on them? The glutes minimus may be the problem. Stretch and strengthen them with these glutes minimus exercises so that your external rotators can move freely.

    In today’s article we’ll dive deep into this specific muscle the gluteus minimus. You’re going to discover some of the greatest exercises and stretches but before all that let’s talk about the anatomy, function, injuries and treatments.

    Anatomy

    YouTube Video

    The gluteus minimus is a small triangular muscle located deep in the posterior region of the hip, spanning from the gluteal surface of the ilium to the proximal end of the femur. It belongs to the group of gluteal muscles, along with the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and tensor fasciae latae.

    Function

    Gluteus minimus acts in association with the gluteus medius to produce the two main movements on the hip joint; the internal rotation and abduction of the thigh.

    Said differently, the main functions of the gluteus minimus are to move the legs out to the side away from the body (abduction) and rotate the leg inward.

    As muscles do not function individually, they work in groups the glutes are the muscles that overlay the deep external rotators. These give you your rotation.

    This is why it is important to strengthen and stretch the glutes so that the external rotators can function without any contraindications from impeding muscle groups.

    Relations

    The gluteus minimus is the smallest and the deepest of all three gluteal muscles. Its deep surface is entirely related to the ilium (the upper part of the hip bone), and is covered by the gluteus medius muscle.  

    Key facts about the gluteus minimus muscle

    • Origin – Gluteal surface of ilium (between anterior and inferior gluteal lines)
    • Insertion – Anterior aspect of greater trochanter of femur
    • Action –   Hip joint: Thigh abduction, thigh internal rotation (anterior part); Pelvis stabilization
    • Innervation – Superior gluteal nerve (L4-S1)
    • Blood supply – Superior gluteal artery, trochanteric anastomosis

    Lifestyle factors effecting the glutes minimus

    Sitting for long periods of time with your legs crossed, carrying heavy objects, or applying pressure to one hip while standing can injure the gluteus minimus.

    The discomfort is often described as pain in the posterior and lateral (outside) area of the thigh or pain that runs down the calf and numbness along the affected leg.

    With our lifestyle heavily influenced by sitting for long periods of time not only can the glutes minimums become weak, it can also become extremely tight. Consequently throwing our hips and pelvis out of balance. That is why we need to incorporate a regular glutes minimus exercise and stretching regime into our daily routine.

    “When your glutes are weak, they can cause decreased mobility in the hips

    The body then over-compensates for that lack of function and mobility from those two areas, which then leads to improper use of the rest of the muscles and functions in the body,” says Dr. Saadiq El-Amin, MD, PhD.

    In order to keep everything balanced incorporate these seven glutes minimus exercises prescribed in this article.

    Contraindications Of Weak Glutes Minimus

    Exercises

    As we said earlier this muscle is extremely important for hip stabilization, turn out and strength when you are performing extensions that require balancing on one leg.

    To keep your gluteus minimus strong you will need to perform hip abduction exercises.

    Prior to any targeted exercises or stretches make sure you warm up and get that blood pumping. A quick and dirty warm up I use is:

    • 40 jumping jacks
    • 30 plies
    • 20 mountain climbers
    • 10 crunches

    Always consult with your doctor before starting a workout regimen.

    Let’s get started

    Glutes Minimus Exercises

    Knee Knocks Routine

    Rainbows

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Laying on your side. Elbow in line with shoulder, shoulder in line with wrist.
    • Raise the top leg and bring it forward to touch the floor in front of you.
    • Lift the leg and tap the floor behind you.
    • Bring the foot back to center in the starting position.

    Internal Rotation Leg Raises

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Laying on your right side with the legs together.
    • Elevate the left leg and rotate the leg in towards the center of the body.
    • Lower the leg to the starting position.
    • Repeat 3 sets of 15.

    Bent Knee Side Bridge

    The bent knee side bridge will work out both sides of your bootie!

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Lie on your right side. Place your right elbow under your right shoulder and your right forearm perpendicular to your body. P
    • lace your left hand on your left hip.
    • Bend both knees to 90 degrees and keep them bent.
    • Keep your hips fully extended.
    • Push into your right forearm and lift your right hip off the floor.
    • Simultaneously lift your left leg up.
    • Slowly lower to the floor.
    • Complete three sets of 15.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Straight Leg Side Bridge

    Side bridge is similar to bent-knee side bridge. However, your legs are straight in side bridge. It’s more challenging, as it demands more work out of your gluteus minimus.

    How To:

    • Assume the same position as in bent-knee side bridge, but in this exercise your legs are straight.
    • Push into your bottom forearm as you lift your hip off the mat, balancing on the lateral edge of your bottom foot.
    • Simultaneously lift your top leg.
    • Slowly lower your top leg down to meet your bottom leg and lower your hip to the floor.
    • Complete three sets of 15.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Transverse Abduction

    YouTube Video

    Transverse abduction is the movement of your leg away from the body when the hip is bent or flexed.

    How To:

    • On all fours, place a resistance band around the thighs.
    • Extend the right leg out and away from the body.
    • Slowly lower it down to the starting position.
    • Complete three sets of 15.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Kettlebell Swings

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width with a kettlebell about a foot in front of you.
    • With your weight in your heels, hinge at your hips while lowering your hands to the kettlebell handle.
    • Grab the kettlebell with an overhand grip, “Hike” the kettlebell back between your legs, catching the force of the moving kettlebell with your hips.
    • Exhale as you swing the kettlebell forward by thrusting your hips, straightening your legs, and squeezing your glutes and abs.
    • Once the kettlebell reaches chest height, inhale as you allow it to fall, and guide it back to the “hiked” position.

    Glutes Minimus Stretches

    Seated Pretzel Stretch

    YouTube Video

    Stretching after performing strengthening exercises will help restore your muscles.

    How To:

    • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and your right hand on the floor behind you.
    • Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg.
    • Reach your left arm up then cross it over your right leg, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh.
    • Hold the pose for six long and deep breaths, twisting deeper on each exhale.
    • Repeat on the other side. For a deeper stretch, bend your bottom leg.

    Cross Legged Glutes Minimus Stretch

    How To:

    • Sitting down with your feet out in front of you, the knees are bent and the feet are flat on the floor.
    • Raise the left leg keeping the left foot flexed and bring it on top of the right. The ankles and knees stack.
    • Drop the knees towards the right.
    • Hold for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Aeroplane Roll Ins

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • From warrior three position with your right leg being the supporting leg.
    • Fold the left hip as though you are trying to get the left hip to touch the inner right thigh.
    • Repeat several times.

    Double Pigeon

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Sitting upright bring the right leg in front of you with the knee bent and the foot flexed.
    • Stack the left leg on top of the right.
    • The left ankle sits on top of the right knee, left knee sits on top of the right ankle.
    • Fold from the hips and walk the hands forward.
    • To mix it up you can gently rock from side to side.
    • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

    Gluteus Minimus Injuries

    A recent study published in 2019 by National Institute of Health, showed that chronic lateral hip pain is commonly caused by the tear of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

    This acute traumatic tear is rare but can occur. In most cases, chronic injuries are far more common than acute tears. Because of the nonspecific and slowly progressive symptoms, patients are often misdiagnosed with other conditions such as osteoarthritis.

    This pain is often described worse when lying on the affected side. Based on this study certain movements which require gluteal activation, such as climbing stairs, may exacerbate the pain. 

    Treatment

    Ice, specific glute minimus exercises, and rest may be helpful. Most commonly, gluteus muscle injuries heal with time and no further treatment.

    Some patients with gluteal injuries have difficulty sitting comfortably. A stool softener may be considered for a short period of time.

    If the gluteal injury is due to overuse, or an abnormal gait (pattern of walking), physical therapy may be considered to prevent further injury and inflammation.

    Physical therapy like massaging and ultrasound may also be helpful in treating. Rehab may include exercises to strengthen muscles and maintain range of motion to prevent future injury.

    In some circumstances, medical professionals may consider administering steroid injections. Using ultrasound, a long needle is guided near the injury site so that the injected steroid can work directed at the site of inflammation.

    Surgery is not commonly considered but may be an option when nonsurgical treatments have failed, and torn muscles need to be repaired.

    As the 2019 study reported if treatments like physical therapy, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain, and cortico-steroid and local anesthetic injection might fail (extremely rare) the patient should consider operative repair. Returning to the preinjury lifestyle takes around 6 months.

    Last Words

    When you are training for increased mobility and flexibility in the body it is imperative that you keep the body in harmony. Strength and flexibility needs to be equal on the agonist and antagonist in order to avoid weakening and shortening of the muscle groups.

    Healthy hips are one of the essential foundations for flexibility and contortion. If you are trying to increase your range of motion through the back or legs you need to have a strong pelvis with unrestricted muscle or fascia tightness.

    I would reccommened doing these 7 glutes minimus exercises at least three times a week in order to build strength and harmony in the pelvis.

    Tell me, which of the glutes minimus exercises was your favourite? Do you have some to share? I would love to hear them. Drop them in the comments below and I can add them to the post!

    If you need some motivation or personal feedback you can always join me for a Flexibility & Contortion Class.

    In happiness and health,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Check out my flexibility classes and online coaching.

    Related Articles

    7 Strengthening Hip Adduction Exercises

    19 Straddle Stretches To Increase Leg Flexibility

    9 Hamstring Flossing Exercises To Elongate The Nerves

    The post 7 Top GLUTES MINIMUS Exercises appeared first on JV Flexibility.


    3 Amplifying Hip Adductor Exercises

    Looking for higher lifts, deeper middle splits, square front splits and better turn out? Then hip adductor exercises are for you! Did you know that this one muscle group can increase your overall performance and also help decrease the chance of getting injured? The adductors are critical for overall strength and stability of the body.... View Post The post 3 Amplifying Hip Adductor Exercises appeared first on JV...

    Looking for higher lifts, deeper middle splits, square front splits and better turn out? Then hip adductor exercises are for you!

    Did you know that this one muscle group can increase your overall performance and also help decrease the chance of getting injured?

    The adductors are critical for overall strength and stability of the body. If you have worked on building the muscles of your lower body but still are not getting the results you desire it may be the adductors.

    In this article I’m going to teach you some amazing, effective hip adductor exercises to help you build bullet-proof lifts and killer turn out.

    These hip adductor exercises are going to improve your athletic performance significantly and help you tone, strengthen, stretch and stabilize your hips.

    Anatomy of the adductors

    The hip adductors are a group of five muscles placed in the medial compartment of the thigh. These muscles are called the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus.

    Due to their location, the hip adductors shape the surface anatomy of the medial thigh. These muscles extend from the anteroinferior external surface of the bony pelvis to the shaft of femur and proximal tibia.

    The main part of hip adductors are innervated by the obturator nerve (L2-L4) and supplied by blood mainly via the branches of the femoral and obturator arteries. 

    Just like their name, the main action of this group of muscles is to create adduction of the thigh at the hip joint. When doing a jumping jack, it’s the muscle group that pulls your legs back together at the end.

    The unilateral adduction is the strongest when the hip joint is in the anatomical position. Just like the Leonardo Davinci piece, The Anatomical Man, above.

    Meanwhile, the bilateral synergic adduction is the strongest when the hip and knee are being flexed and extended, for example during weight-bearing exercises or horseback riding.

    The adductors contribute to the stabilization and balance of the pelvis and body posture while standing, walking, or running.

    Each muscle function

    Adductor Longus – The main function of adductor longus is to adduct the thigh at the hip joint. Additionally, it contributes to the flexion of the extended thigh, as well as the extension of the flexed thigh. Its contribution to the internal (medial) rotation of the thigh is still under discussion.

    Adductor Brevis – The main function of the adductor brevis muscle is the adduction of the thigh. Additionally, the adductor brevis muscle has a role in the flexion of the hip and some recent studies suggest it may also be involved in the external rotation of the thigh.

    Adductor Magnus muscle – Aside from being a strong adductor of the thigh, adductor Magnus contributes to the flexion of the thigh (adductor part) and extension of the thigh (hamstring part).

    Gracilis muscle – Gracilis is one of the weakest adductors of the thigh. However, it acts as a strong flexor and internal (medial) rotator of the leg at the knee joint.

    Pectineus muscle – The main function of the pectineus muscle is to flex and adduct the thigh at the hip joint.

    Why you should strength train the adductors

    A 2015 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that hip adductor strength was one of the most common risk factors for groin injury in sport.

    Interestingly, research on professional ice hockey players also found that they were 17 times more likely to experience an adductor muscle strain if their adductor strength was less than 80% of their abductor strength.

    No, you’re probably not a hockey player or an experienced athlete, but I’ve got some news for you: Groin injuries are also very common in the gym, and in everyday life… Especially if you are trying to work that turn out way too hard or fast.

    You should start incorporating regularly exercises to improve the strength of the hip adductors that will not only help you to make your training programs more comprehensive, but also may help to reduce the risk of suffering a groin injury.

    Wide-Stance Squats And Single-Leg Exercises Aren’t Enough!

    Many personal trainers say that you don’t need to do specific isolation exercises to target your adductors, since compound exercises like squats and lunges do the job perfectly.

    A review investigating the barbell squat found that a greater hip external rotation position along with a wide stance of the feet increased hip adduction activation during this exercise. Adductor activation increased as the weight load increased.

    However, the highest activation values for this movement, as well as for single-leg squats and lunges, are still relatively low compared to exercises that focus primarily on the hip adduction movement.

    Said differently, incorporating some adductor isolation exercises into your workout, along with compound exercises, can make your training way more effective. And unlike lots of heavy, wide-stance squats, you can add it to your workout with pretty much no further impact on your recovery or other training.

    Here are my 3 favorite exercises for hip adductors you can do at home.

    Hip Adductor Exercises

    Hip Adductor Exercise #1

    Side leg raises

    YouTube Video

    This exercise is suitable for all levels. It works your hips, glutes, and legs.

    How To:

    • Lie on your right side with your left leg extended out straight in front of you. Knee is bent and foot meets the floor.
    • Use your right hand or a cushion to support your head.
    • Slowly raise your right leg as high as you can towards the sky.

    Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your leg back down.

    Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions on each side.

    Hip Adductor Exercise #2

    Wide leg squat

    YouTube Video

    These squats target your adductors, quadriceps, and glutes. Use a resistance band around your thighs to increase the resistance and keep your body in alignment.

    How To:

    • Stand with your feet wider than your hips.
    • Slowly lower your hips down as far as you can.
    • Pause in this position, engaging your inner thighs.
    • Return to the starting position.

    Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

    Hip Adductor Exercise # 3

    Copenhagen Hip Adduction

    YouTube Video

    How To:

    • Place a rolled-up towel or mat both underneath your leg that’s atop the platform and underneath your bottom elbow for comfort.
    • Keeping your right leg straight and your body in a straight line from your left knee to your hips to your shoulders, press your left leg into the top of the platform as you elevate your right hip off the ground. Simultaneously lift your right leg up to squeeze the inside of your right thigh against the inside of your left thigh.
    • Pause for 1-2 seconds at the top before reversing the action and lowering your right leg and hip back down to the floor. That completes one rep.

    Do all reps on the same side before switching sides and performing the exercise with your right leg on top of the platform.

    In term of sets and reps, I generally recommend doing 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps per side.

    Abduction Exercises

    To keep the body in harmony you will want to train the antagonist muscles too!

    Clamshells

    YouTube Video

    This inner thigh exercise can also be done while sitting in a chair. You can do this with a resistance band around your lower thighs for an even better stretch.

    Instructions:

    • Lie on your right side with bent knees.
    • Slowly open your left leg as far as you can.
    • Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower back down to the starting position.

    Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions on each side.

    Fire hydrants

    YouTube Video

    Reduce back pain and work your core, hip flexors, and glutes with this exercise.

    How To:

    • From tabletop position, yield your weight evenly onto your hands and right knee.
    • Slowly lift your left leg away from your body, keeping your knee bent.
    • Pause here before returning to the starting position.

    Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions on each side.

    Standing lateral leg raises

    YouTube Video

    This exercise builds strength and flexibility in your glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. Increase the difficulty by using ankle weights or a resistance band.

    How To:

    • Stand on your right foot with your left foot slightly raised.
    • Place your hands on a wall or chair for support and engage your core.
    • Keep your hips square as you engage your inner thighs to lift your left leg as high as you can.
    • Pause here for a few moments before slowly returning your leg back down.

    Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 14 repetitions on each side.

    Which of the hip adductor exercises helped you the most? Have one to share

    If you need some motivation or personal feedback you can always join me for a Flexibility & Contortion Class.

    In happiness and health,

    Vanessa Barthelmes.

    Related Articles

    21 Beginner Leg Stretches For Total Leg Flexibility

    7 Strengthening Hip Adduction Exercises

    Measure Your Splits With An Adductor Flexibility Test

    11 Adductor Longus & Magnus Stretching & Strengthening Exercises

    The post 3 Amplifying Hip Adductor Exercises appeared first on JV Flexibility.


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