SANTA CLARA, California, October 13. DURING this week's dryland tip, G. John Mullen, a Swimming World correspondent, focuses on Dynamic Hip Mobility. These movements will help increase the mobility in a swimmer's hips.
Purpose: Hip flexion and extension are essential for kicking (specifically in long axis strokes). Muscles preventing hip flexion include the glutes and hamstrings. Hip extension can be prevented by tight hip flexors: psoas, iliacus and quadriceps. This dynamic mobility exercise improves muscle length through a range of motion while warming-up the body. During this exercise, work on balance, relaxation and allowing the muscle to move through the full range of motion.
Direction: Prior to swimming or dryland have your athlete perform the following mobility for approximately 30 seconds on each side.
1) Stand and bring one knee to chest, effectively stretching their glute and repositioning their pelvis.
2) Extend their leg back (keeping their knee straight) and driving their hips forward, stretching their iliopsoas.
3) Kick one leg forward (toe touch) while keeping you back straight. If the athlete can not touch their toe, just have them kick forward to stretch the hamstring.
4) Grab the front of your foot and pull it backwards to your glute, stretching the quadriceps.
5) Grab the inside of your foot and pull it in front of your body, straight towards the ceiling stretching the glutes and piriformis.
Dr. G. John Mullen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. At USC, he was a clinical research assistant at USC performing research on adolescent diabetes, lung adaptations to swimming, and swimming biomechanics. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal. He is currently the strength and conditioning coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration and creator of Swimming Science.