QL stretch variations

silveraw

Level 6 Valued Member
I've always been a stiff person and haven't been able to really feel my QL while doing the straddle stretch from S&S.

Does anyone have any good progressions they recommend to work up to the straddle stretch? Or some alternatives?
 

Ken_

Level 4 Valued Member
I also have difficulty doing the S&S QL stretch, due to not enough flexibility to bend forward when sitting on the floor with my legs spread. I keep wanting to fall on my back. Frustrating! So I did it sitting with my back against the wall. I did that for a while but wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do, so now I do it sitting on a raised surface.

There seem to be a lot of alternatives if you google for it.
 

marvinthemartian

Level 5 Valued Member
I started doing them from the edge of my bed (wodden frame to sit on) and with a rubber band hooked onto my foot to help guide my arm and upper body.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I've always been a stiff person and haven't been able to really feel my QL while doing the straddle stretch from S&S.

Does anyone have any good progressions they recommend to work up to the straddle stretch? Or some alternatives?

I never feel the QL in a straddle stretch until I lean over.

And even then, I feel it more in my QL when I do supine stretches.

The straddle is best as a groin stretch for me, not a QL stretch.

I use other stretches entirely for the QL.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I also have difficulty doing the S&S QL stretch, due to not enough flexibility to bend forward when sitting on the floor with my legs spread. I keep wanting to fall on my back. Frustrating! So I did it sitting with my back against the wall. I did that for a while but wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do, so now I do it sitting on a raised surface.

There seem to be a lot of alternatives if you google for it.

I used to have this problem until I learned to do a very assertive anterior pelvic tilt during it.

Then suddenly I could stay upright.

It also made me understand what the yoga term "your sit bones" meant -- they meant tilt your pelvis until you feel like you're not sitting on the thickest part your butt meat.
 

silveraw

Level 6 Valued Member
That is one interesting movement. I tried it out and my wife asked me if I had worms. Thanks for the ideas though. I’m going to work with these a bunch.
The straddle is best as a groin stretch for me, not a QL stretch.
Same. I always feel it in my groin and feel like I'm about to fall over backwards.
I also have difficulty doing the S&S QL stretch, due to not enough flexibility to bend forward when sitting on the floor with my legs spread. I keep wanting to fall on my back. Frustrating! So I did it sitting with my back against the wall. I did that for a while but wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do, so now I do it sitting on a raised surface.
This is exactly where I'm at. After about 4 months I'm kind of giving up on trying to power through it and want to try a different stretch as I'm noticing my lower back getting tighter than it was.
 
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silveraw

Level 6 Valued Member
I used to have this problem until I learned to do a very assertive anterior pelvic tilt during it.

Then suddenly I could stay upright.

It also made me understand what the yoga term "your sit bones" meant -- they meant tilt your pelvis until you feel like you're not sitting on the thickest part your butt meat.
Interesting, I've never heard that before. Trying it out I think I might have less flexible hamstrings than I thought as I can't tilt my pelvis much without feeling an intense stretch there. Also found that I'm cramping up in my hip fold when doing it. So that is interesting.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Interesting, I've never heard that before. Trying it out I think I might have less flexible hamstrings than I thought as I can't tilt my pelvis much without feeling an intense stretch there. Also found that I'm cramping up in my hip fold when doing it. So that is interesting.

I used to have that, too.

Once I got my TVA stronger, my hammies loosened up and pelvic tilting became easier.
 

silveraw

Level 6 Valued Member
Try tilting your pelvis.

Cue is show your sphincter to the sky.
I think my question just changed to how to tilt my pelvis lol
I used to have that, too.

Once I got my TVA stronger, my hammies loosened up and pelvic tilting became easier.
Now I regret ignoring some advice that I had weak inner ab muscles and needed to focus on that. I got that tip last December...
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I think my question just changed to how to tilt my pelvis lol

Now I regret ignoring some advice that I had weak inner ab muscles and needed to focus on that. I got that tip last December...

@Anna C once said that Mark Rippetoe claims some substantial chunk of men don't know how to do it (and most women do).

I don't know what Rip says is the solution, though.
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
I started doing them from the edge of my bed (wodden frame to sit on) and with a rubber band hooked onto my foot to help guide my arm and upper body.
@silveraw I used to be there, too. Similar to Marvin I used a prop to sit on. In my case I started with 2 or 3 yoga blocks and slightly bent knees. Sometimes I used a standing QL stretch in a doorframe. It is important to find a position where you can relax and breath calmly. Otherwise it does not work that well.

Pavel mentions in the Tim Ferriss podcast the three S of flexibility:
Strength: Get out of the stretch with the help of the stretched muscles (for me it works on a nice deep inbreath, similar to a yawn in the morning)
Space: Wiggle around and explore the stretch (usually on an outbreath)
Spread the Load : Be mindful of where you feel the stretch and adjust a bit, so that the load is spread across multiple muscles

So: You need to learn how to breath into you stomach (diaphragm) and how to relax while stretching (at least in the context of a cooldown like in S&S). Feel yourself expand on an inbreath and then sink into the stretch on an outbreath. This is restorative and should decrease your stress levels. (When you are stiff and not used to it, stretching will often trigger a stress response).

And then you need patience. Don't fight it. Right now I am able to do the straddle QL on the floor and actually reach my toes with the opposite arm. It took a year or so. Anyway, keep it easy and trust Pavel.

PS: I often take rounds: First I only stretch one side for 1-3 breaths, then the other side. When I come back to the first side it is usually much better. So try stretching in shorter rounds, until it gets easy and then spend some relaxed time in your final position. Shake off unecessary tension between stretches.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I do well with stretches that let gravity to the work. That way you can breathe like Bauer mentioned and relax into the stretch. This one was recommendsd by a PRI doc & it did well for me.

View attachment 11985

I just got a stability ball to try ball presses.

I'm still not sure about the ball press, but I'll give this a try.
 

Nate

Level 5 Valued Member
I just got a stability ball to try ball presses.

I'm still not sure about the ball press, but I'll give this a try.
I use it mostly for single leg glute-bridge hamstring curls. Helps me avoid having a pull. Stir the Pots are useful too. That's about it for me, not a well used item...
 

silveraw

Level 6 Valued Member
@Anna C once said that Mark Rippetoe claims some substantial chunk of men don't know how to do it (and most women do).

I don't know what Rip says is the solution, though.
Funny enough when I asked my wife she knew immediately what "sit bones" were and is confused that I can't seem to find mine.

Also I'm sure Rip's solution involves sets of FAHVE.
@silveraw I used to be there, too. Similar to Marvin I used a prop to sit on. In my case I started with 2 or 3 yoga blocks and slightly bent knees. Sometimes I used a standing QL stretch in a doorframe. It is important to find a position where you can relax and breath calmly. Otherwise it does not work that well.

Pavel mentions in the Tim Ferriss podcast the three S of flexibility:
Strength: Get out of the stretch with the help of the stretched muscles (for me it works on a nice deep inbreath, similar to a yawn in the morning)
Space: Wiggle around and explore the stretch (usually on an outbreath)
Spread the Load : Be mindful of where you feel the stretch and adjust a bit, so that the load is spread across multiple muscles

So: You need to learn how to breath into you stomach (diaphragm) and how to relax while stretching (at least in the context of a cooldown like in S&S). Feel yourself expand on an inbreath and then sink into the stretch on an outbreath. This is restorative and should decrease your stress levels. (When you are stiff and not used to it, stretching will often trigger a stress response).

And then you need patience. Don't fight it. Right now I am able to do the straddle QL on the floor and actually reach my toes with the opposite arm. It took a year or so. Anyway, keep it easy and trust Pavel.

PS: I often take rounds: First I only stretch one side for 1-3 breaths, then the other side. When I come back to the first side it is usually much better. So try stretching in shorter rounds, until it gets easy and then spend some relaxed time in your final position. Shake off unecessary tension between stretches.
I just tried this out on a meditation cushion I have and I actually felt some QL stretching from the straddle and I was more stable. I could also actually breathe a bit more too. Breathing while stretching is something I'm really not good at as it seems when I stretch I tense. I'll try out the rounds this evening as that sounds more structured than my arbitrary timer I'm using now.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
@Anna C once said that Mark Rippetoe claims some substantial chunk of men don't know how to do it (and most women do).
Also I'm sure Rip's solution involves sets of FAHVE.

Test for control of the pelvis can be done in the standing position. Pretend that you pelvis is a bowl of water. Pour water out the back (posterior pelvic tilt). How did you do that? You tightened your abs and glutes. Now back to neutral/level. Now pour water out the front. Can you do it? If you can, how did you? Erector muscles in your low back. If you can't, Rip's cue is this: point the thing that's in the front of your pelvis at your knees. Most men can do that, and that helps to find the muscles that need to be active when squatting and deadlifting.

Once you've got pretty good control of the pelvis in standing position, practice in other positions. Practice lying on your back with knees up. Tip the pelvis forward and back, slowly. Lots of people don't have good control of these muscles. Practice is helpful.

Then, what @watchnerd is saying, is do that same thing while sitting in QL straddle position. Tip your pelvis forward by contracting those same low back erector muscles. This should put you sitting on your sit bones, and in a better position to stretch.
 
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