posture correction week 4: its all in the hips

At the start of this week’s training session, Rob wanted to check my mind/body connection to see if it is stronger with one side of the body to the other.  The way we did this was to have me dance around a rope ladder.  It was very rhythmic and, at times, I felt like I was waltzing in and out of the squares.  And it was finally something I was OK at.  Yay!

And its a good thing that we started off dancing, because this week was all about my hips and my knees.

Mostly about how fucked up they are.

Mostly just my right one.

Oddly enough, this exercise hurt my right knee.

Like, really a lot.

Or maybe it was the bajillion squats I was doing right before this…but either way, my knee hurt.

My knee hurts a lot when I work out, and I’ve always just attributed it to being fat and having so much weight on my wide load bearing joints.

But Rob had another idea.

To test his theory, he had me lay back on a bench with one leg at a time hanging straight down.

And what he saw confirmed his suspicions.

My left leg (the picture on the right) hangs down perfectly straight and offered me no problems.  My right leg, however (the picture on the left), falls out to the side (notice it in relation to the bar under the bench).  Rob explained that this is because my hip flexor muscles, as well as the sartorius muscle (the longest muscle in the body; it runs the diagonally down the length of the quads from the outside of the hip, to the inside of the knee) are so tight and can’t help but pull my leg out to the side.

That pulling tight of a muscle that originates in my hip was also the cause of my knee pain.  Who knew?

When Rob showed me the movement the sartorius muscle was responsible for – I knew immediately why the right was so tight and the left was not tight at all.  It’s all because of the way that I sit at work every day: with my left leg (always my left leg) bent and my left foot tucked up under me with my right leg hanging.  Sort of like a half-lotus in a desk chair.

This position automatically stretches out the sartorius on my left leg and, in turn, bunches up my right hip.  It also has me sitting on an angle which, I’m sure, messes me up in so many other ways that we haven’t even got to yet.

Luckily, Rob knew just what to do.

Instead of making me do more squats, I got to lay down…now this is a workout I could do every day!

And then he proceeded to cause me a great deal of pain.

And then he made me do more squats!

Jerk.

But in that last round of squats, much to my surprise* my knee didn’t hurt.  Not one bit.

And then it was time for my massage!**

In addition to the knee pain, the tightness of my hip muscles is what keeps pulling my pelvis forward and out of alignment, and are the cause of the majority of my ass pain.***  So my massage this week focused on convincing those hip flexor muscles to give up some of their tension.

Like the rest of me, they were stubborn and resistant to change.

The biggest surprise (and gasp, and CURSE) came when Rob started to work on my iliacus muscle, which is part of the iliopsoas group of muscles and sits right under the front of the hip bone.

Which meant he was touching my stomach.

Which was mortifying…and extremely painful (did I mention mortifying?).

Ladies, imagine your worst period cramps…then multiply that pain by 100!  Gentlemen, just imagine horrible, crazy, stupid pain that radiates throughout the entire core of your being…and then ask a lady friend about her worst period cramps.

But Rob was patient, and he moved slow, and after a few breaths I could actually feel the muscle start to relax.  No biggie – just some blinding pain, a few deep breaths, then slightly less blinding pain.

Remember when I was complaining about those fluff’n’puff spa massages that don’t actually help anything, but feel really good while they are happening?

What the hell was I thinking?

*because as smart as Rob sounds when he’s explaining all this, I didn’t fully believe him that my hip was making my knee sore

**sorry, no video here

***not to be confused with the pain in my ass…which is something completely different.

If you’re interested in more videos of my progress, check out Complete Body Care’s YouTube Channel.

Do you need to catch up on my past sessions with Rob?  Just hit the links below:

The Setup

Posture Correction, Week 1

Posture Correction, Week 2

Posture Correction, Week 3

0 thoughts on “posture correction week 4: its all in the hips

  1. Wait, what!? So, I have the same knee pain, and I sit the same way. I wonder if I did these stretches if it would help. Hmm.. I’ll have to get back to you! I just started working out again and I always end up slowing down because of my bum knee, which I thought was from being a giant person and from basically being sedentary for the past year. How exciting! The squats are not as exciting though.

  2. Ok seriously it’s like we’re living the same life! I went to a trigger point class on Monday night and we used what looks like a tennis ball to work out our soads. Bloody hell! That and my quads are apparently what cause all the pain in my hips, knee and lower back. I thought I understood the human body until this week.

  3. I sit the same way at work. In fact, I’m sitting like that right now. However, I switch feet, so I guess both sides are getting stretched. Check me out…I’m being all smart about fitness without realizing it!

  4. Man, you are a brave woman. I give you a lot of credit for doing this posture/body/torture make-over. I have been reading your posts through my email subscription (still unable to get to your site on my computer but i can on my nook…totally weird) so i am just now lovin’ the new design…very cool! xx Bliss

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