One of the more difficult movement preparation drills - the quad stretch to toe touch - challenges dynamic stability on the stance leg, and mobility on the other leg.
In movement prep, a great drill that follows the high knee march and leg cradle is the quad stretch with hip IR walk. The natural flow of movement of the hip in extension is to rotate into internal rotation. Performing a walking drill over 10 metres, pulling the knee into flexion, hip into extension and applying a little hip internal rotation is a nice way to a) check that hip E and IR is comfortable, and b) lubricate the tissues into this pattern.
The posterior chain is crucial for all sorts of reasons in runners, but the strength or control of hip flexion by the psoas is equally crucial. Asymmetry, or active insufficiency, is notable in many people with hip pain or low back pain. The ramifications of not noticing it are significant. Here's how to look for it. Iliopsoas is most active above 70 degrees hip flexion, where the length-tension relationship of the adductors, TFL and rectus femoris restrict their ability to generate force, leaving iliopsoas as the primary hip flexor.
Some neural activation drills for paddlers, built on previous mobility drills as part of the movement preparation package for the Australian Aurora's Dragon Boat Team for the 2015 World Championships.
As part of the Australian Aurora's movement preparation package for the 2015 world championships, and following on from split kneeling thoracic mobility drills, this drill patterns the hip hinge.
The classic inchworm mobility drill, with some added up and down dog transitions, as part of the movement preparation package for the Australian Aurora's Dragon Boat Team for the 2015 World Championships.
The Brettzel 2.0 mobility drill for the posterior chain of tissues throughout the body, performed by Australian Aurora's dragon boat team paddlers.
The Brettzel mobility drill for the anterior chain of tissues throughout the body, performed by Australian Aurora's dragon boat paddlers as part of a movement preparation package.
The hip anatomy should permit a minimum of 10 degrees extension, 120 degrees flexion, 30 degrees internal rotation, 40 degrees external rotation. Now, the shape of the hip capsule and ligaments dictates that as the hip approaches full hip extension, the anterior capsule tightens, pulling the hip into more internal rotation. So, for a mobility drill to achieve an increase in hip extension range of motion, hip internal rotation is a natural permission - extend with a neutral or slightly internally rotated hip to permit more hip extension. Also, activate the core to stabilise the trunk when mobilising hip extension - to do this, lock the elbows, press down on the front knee - this activates the pecs and obliques to bring the ribs closer to the pelvis, thus preventing lumbar extension with this mobility drill - this isolates hip extension. Use breathing strategies to permit further range of motion.
The second element is that of increase external rotation mobility of the anterior capsule, whilst in some extension - the key movement is abduction/external rotation, adding extension as tolerated. Core activate as above.
Be gentle on yourself - pushing into pain sends a signal to the nervous system to resist.
When a runner's trunk and pelvis position breaks down, send them back to the wall to assist stability. Cue them to press into the wall, which provides compression sensation to the mechanoreceptors in the spine, via the upper limb. This causes reflex stabilisation, permitting better mobilisation of the lower limb.
Maintain an isometric stance on the ground.
Start with isometric holds (great for achilles rehab) for 10-15 seconds.
Progress to alternating march.
Then to quick switches.
Add a "load and lift" - also part of achilles rehab (except for those who don't tolerate load at length), to check for single leg triple flexion force absorption competency - a great acceleration mechanics drill.
To drill acceleration mechanics