To start the season in rhythm, it is important to identify the pelvic girdle as the power area of movement. Often deep muscles of the pelvic girdle will tighten and inhibit your free flow. Knowing how to release these muscles will be a good start to your season.
In 1999 Peter Ried was to defend his 1998 Ironman championship. Then in training something happened and Peter lost his rhythm. By race time he was hurting, yet still managed a second place. Peter was in great shape, but the deciding factor for his less then peak performance was a small tight gluteus muscle. Because of this tightness Peter’s hip was unable to drop away from his ribs. This prevented the relaxed side to side movement you see in great runners. A normal glut stretch cannot get to this powerful muscle. Therefore a variation that goes right to the spot was used. The muscle loosened, the rhythm was back and Peter took the championship in 2000.
Knee over Knee
- Lie on your back, feet on the floor with knees bent.
- Cross your right knee over your left knee.
- Let you left knee drop to the right, like a twist.
- Use the weight of your right thigh to leverage the left knee down.
- Stay; adjust the position of the left knee to access different areas of the upper glut.
- As you stay create space between the pelvic girdle and the ribs on the left side.
- After 10 – 15 breaths change sides.
Peter also needed a complementary stretch; one that reinforced the objective of the primary stretch, to release the tense pelvic girdle. A good candidate was one that accessed the upper area of the quadriceps. As a triathlete you need different ways to stretch this powerful quadriceps muscle. It is impossible to have one quad stretch effect the whole muscle. To isolate the upper portion and make the stretch easy use a chair. This slight variation creates less risk and ensures a clear path to the upper quad. For this reason pros have come to enjoy and rely on the quad stretch that uses a chair.
Lunge with Chair
- Put your right foot on a chair.
- The left foot will move away from the chair a little.
- One key is to keep the left foot closer to the chair not further away.
- Then create space between the upper left leg and the lower left abdominals.
- Tilt the top of the pelvic area back to find the tight areas.
- After 10 -15 breathes change sides.
Use the above stretches when you need some rhythm or as a pre-run warm up and notice the difference. Refine your intention for your body and your performance, get a jump on the season, loosen the muscles of the pelvic girdle, and race and train forever. Brian Dorfman’s proven techniques keep triathletes performing at their peak.