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Old 12-30-04, 09:51 AM  
herya
 
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Pilates teasers and quad pains?

Is anybody out there who have experienced this and could help? When I'm doing Pilates teasers with straight legs my quads contract and hurt, almost to the point of cramp. I can do any kind of teaser with bent legs or any other Pilates abs exercise so it's not that my abs are weak. I thought that it's abs that make you do the teaser not quads and I try to engage my abs as much as possible but it's quads that hurt! Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 12-30-04, 10:44 AM  
Pratima
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My abs are also strong, but I think my hip flexors are weak. That may be the case for you also. Many exercises that engage the lower abs seem to engage that whole front wall, including hip flexors. So, I'm hoping I build mine up enough to hold a straight-leg teaser!
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Old 12-30-04, 10:53 AM  
herya
 
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Could be! I haven't really paid much attention to my hip flexors. Are there any exercises especially for this area?
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Old 12-30-04, 11:24 AM  
Sophie
 
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not the teaser

but the yoga boat pose, navasana: that too kills my quads when I'm attempting the straight legged version. Yes I'm sure it's hip flexor strength.

For a while I was doing stuff I thought would strengthen them, then forgot about them again :rolleyes:

The one I felt addressed the right area on my body was to sit in staff pose (on the floor, legs straight out, body at 90 angle) and lift one straight leg, then the other. Then both. I think there's probably a pilates equivalent to this.

(PS, I'm sure for some people hamstring length may also be a factor)
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Old 12-30-04, 11:31 AM  
herya
 
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Thanks. I will surely try to concentrate on how to strenghten them.

Question: when you stand straight and you want to lift your straight leg in front to the waist level, is it abs or hip flexors that lift it?
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Old 12-30-04, 01:17 PM  
herya
 
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I found another thread on hip flexors:
http://69.93.245.62/forum/showthread.php?t=44859

Do you think that being flexible in hip flexor area may mean weaker hip flexors? I am very flexible there, I can sit with my feet crossed one foot on the thigh of the other and then bend forward to touch the floor with my forehead. Maybe it could be the reason for weaker hip flexors? Just wondering!
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Old 12-30-04, 01:33 PM  
Loretta S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophie
but the yoga boat pose, navasana: that too kills my quads when I'm attempting the straight legged version. Yes I'm sure it's hip flexor strength.
Me too Sophie. I'll have to try your staff pose variation.
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Old 12-30-04, 01:52 PM  
Pratima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herya
Do you think that being flexible in hip flexor area may mean weaker hip flexors? I am very flexible there
That's a really interesting thought. I'm hypermobile pretty much all over, can stretch in ways I probably shouldn't. But I would think (or maybe just hope) that being more flexible doesn't affect strength.

I think standing and lifting your leg even with a bent knee engages the hip flexors. One exercise that particular engages my hip flexors are the crunches that involve sitting up, leaning back on your hands with your legs off the floor, knees bent, and pulling your legs towards your body, using lower abs and hip flexors.

This type of crunch is in Kari's Curl, and is illustrated here:
http://www.pro-weight-training.com/r..._crunches.html (I sit on the floor, not on a bench)

ETA: Standing and lifting a straight leg straight up (so it basically swings in front of you) does engage the hip flexors and quads; I don't really feel it in my abs as much as when my knee is bent.
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Old 12-30-04, 02:18 PM  
herya
 
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Great. Thanks so much for your truly informative responses!

It's very important to me because I do Irish dancing and we need to be able to hold up straight leg in front - for Irish jumps. I was always told that we need strong abs for it and I wondered for months what's wrong with me that I can't do them well (I can't *hold* my leg parallel to the floor even though I can kick it up to my head!) even though my abs are OK? Now I know - my hip flexors are not OK! I'll work with them using the exercises you posted and I will pay special attention to Pilates exercises that seem to engage them!

Looks like no one in Irish dancing world is aware of the hip flexors' existence not to mention importance - I was always told abs abs abs and I trained abs abs abs.
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Old 12-30-04, 02:21 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratima
But I would think (or maybe just hope) that being more flexible doesn't affect strength.
I don't think so either, Pratima - just watching someone like Ana Forrest or Shiva Rea stand on their hands pretty much convinces me flexibility doesn't exclude strength.
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