So, when was the last time you stretched your Inferior Gemellus? What? You don’t even know what that is…?
Fear not. Inferior Gemellus is just one of the external rotators of your hip. There’s a little pack of them deep under your gluteus maximus. They hang out and work together, and they’re such a rebel group they even have a gang name: The Deep Six. And whether you knew it or not, you have probably hit them all with a hip stretch at some point recently – the most popular ones are the “Figure Four” stretch or “Pigeon” in yoga.
This week on #MaintenanceMonday, I’m giving you my hottest hip stretch – actually, two! They’ll both dig deep into your external rotators and may provide some relief from all kinds of skating-related discomfort.
Here’s a Look at Your Hip Anatomy:
Symptoms of tight rear hip muscles can include sciatic pain (shooting pain sensations down the back of your leg, or localized to your glute area), dull pain, worse pain after lots of sitting, reduced range of motion, and reduced power.
**Keep in mind – if your external rotators are always bugging you, you should also pay attention to stretching your hip flexors regularly. To oversimplify a complex biomechanical chain reaction, the two sets of muscles are co-dependent, so chronically tight hip flexors will cause overuse of the Deep Six to compensate. You can check out my Way Better Quad Stretch, which is also a hip flexor stretch for some inspiration!
Here are My Hottest Hip Stretches:
When to do this: At the end of your training and skating sessions, after you are very warm and loose! Pair it with a hip flexor stretch as mentioned above.
Sets/Reps: Fire Log Stretch: one to two minutes hold each side, with deep breathing. Pretzel stretch: 30 seconds or more each side.
What if you can’t even get into that position? Sounds like just a wee sign that you’ve got something to work on! Start with a regular cross-legged seated position. Sit tall, and gradually walk your hands out in front of you so you’re bending forward at the waist. Repeat with your legs crossed the other way. Work your way up to the fire logs position over the course of a couple of weeks, stretching every day.
Booty’s Hot Tip: If you have chronic hip tightness and/or pain, in addition to these stretches, you may benefit from also “rolling” your hips out on a lacrosse ball (or similar sized hard ball). My chiro instructs me to do less actual ‘rolling’ and more laying still on a hot spot until I feel a release in that area, then rolling around a bit more to find the next hot spot to stick with, and so on. Please remember to breathe! :)
Did you try this? What did you think? Tell me all about it by leaving a comment below!
xo Booty Quake
PS: check out my manifesto about Why Your Stretching Routine is Bogus!
PPS: You can get all of the #maintenancemonday videos here.