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Leg Circles Part II – Stretching the Hip Muscles for Higher Kicks

This is the second in a series of articles that focus on the hip joint and its muscles. This article discusses the application of extended length conditioning as part of leg circle exercises. Part 1introduced leg circle exercises that isolate and stretch the hip joint muscles to produce greater freedom of movement.

In this article we will continue the discussion of the leg circle, and its impact on the performance of the hip joint. As you already know, the leg circle is a great exercise to stabilize and strengthen the joint of the hip. At the same time diligent practice of this technique leads to flexibility and functional isolation of the hip articulation.

A great complementary exercise to the leg circle is the All-Around Hamstring Force. This exercise is an extended length conditioning exercise and is one of EasticSteel's primary exercises.

Taking the name of the technique literally, the All-Around Hamstring Force strengthens the hamstring muscles in their extended length. In other words this exercises develops the strength in the exact range where the resistance to stretching begins to interfere with flexibility gains. Increasing strength in extended range of the muscle length, allows the nervous system to allow for deeper stretch.

It's always nice to hear, "wow, I don't believe this," when athletes first try the All-Around Hamstring Force and other extended length conditioning exercises.

To perform this exercise, begin by placing the band around your foot or your heel (this is a wide rubber loop of material available from ElasticSteel.com). Lie down on your back and extend the leg straight up. Keep the end of the bands in your hands. You can bend the elbows (Pic.1.) or extend both arms over your head. Move your leg toward the floor, on the outside. (Pic.2) Lower the leg almost down to the floor, next to the other leg. (Pic.3) Bring the leg up and over the opposite thigh/hip. (Pic. 4) Try to move the leg in a fluid circle.

Perform this exercise 5-10 times, and repeat the movement in the opposite direction.

Now that you know how to do the leg circles and the All-Around Hamstring Force, ask yourself the following question: Am I one of those people who can't touch my toes with my legs straight?

If you are, then you may have an underlining difficulty in one of the following areas:

- Weakness in the abdominals and/or front of the hip muscles.

- Lack of strength/flexibility in one or more of the following: lower back, gluteus, hamstrings, and calves.

I encourage you to try the combination of the core/hip conditioning exercises and extended length exercise such as illustrated above, to break the state of helplessness and finally achieve what you have been longing for.

Great Luck Training
 
Paul Zaichik

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"I had purchased Paul's " Everything You Wanted to Know About the Splits DVD" and was very enlightened by his technique. I tripled my flexibility." - Craig Breuwet
 

 

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"It's just a hair short of two hours..and two hours with Paul is like four hours with most of the time-wasters that sell DVDs. This is nothing but moves-moves-moves, with short, insightful explanations about the underlying common aspects of all the stretches for any given muscle. I know more about stretches now than after all the other books and videos I've seen, put together.
 
This is the single best exercise DVD out there, for it's combination of quantity and quality. I have no doubt that he has continued to find a wealth of other high-quality exercises that he hasn't had a chance to release.
 
I wish he'd put together a series for TV: "Wake up in the morning and work out with Paul". Maybe he's not show-bizy enough to do that, but I enjoy the way he lays it out. There's almost no time for a casual comment, with the program so filled with pertinent information." - Lazur
 
 
 
As stated previously this DVD is your one stop for ALL the knowledge you need, to achieve the flexibility that you have dreamed about for years!
 

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When I bought the manual, I emailed Paul and told him that if this is another B.S I will make sure people know about. I also told him that If I get my split before my birthday, October 18th, I will also scream it out loud. Well listen up, today is October 2nd, I did a full split and it feels GOOD. That's right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Rockettone
 
 
If I would have found this website earlier my flexibility training would have been different and safer. Better late than never. -Frank Wilson, Pushmataha, Oklahoma
 
I just got elasticsteel book yesterday. This morning I practised all the exercises on the book. Surprisingly I didn't feel pain in my low back pain and hip when I attempted side splits as shown in the book although I have been suffering back pain and hip injury for about 17 years which was results of isometric stretching method which I learned from stretching book by another "expert".  - wolvie

 
Hello. I've been working on the exercises fromElastic Steel for a week. I simply can't believe the results. Maybe this sounds like a stupid advertisement but so do the other messages I read about people that had the same experience.
 
Actually I noticed something "new" on my legs right after the first session; my knees didn't hurt at all, and when I finished with the hip turns I stood up, I threw a kick and I laughed!! My hips didn't click anymore, and moving my legs was just like moving my arms.
 
Also, I used to have a slight pain in my quads every time I attempted a front split. Guess what? It's not there anymore; all the previous exercises you do before the split seem to have kind of fixed it or whatever. So, now you know, if you still have some problems with your hips or something similar keep on doing the conditioning exercises and the techniques explained in the book.
 
Never give up. Thank you Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!! Regards. -Daniel, Buenos Aires, Argentina"