Tracy’s Transformations: How one simple hip flexor release helped a Team GB athlete get back in the saddle
Katie came to see me suffering from problems in her right knee and lower back. Representing Great Britain as a horseback archer, these issues had left her unstable in the saddle and unable to fulfil her potential in the sport she loved.
“I couldn’t cope with the pain when riding. Eventually I lost all muscle in my back and shoulders and could not pull my 35lb bow without it hurting. I am a member of Team GB and this was a massive blow that led to me give up places at national and international competitions.“Katie
As there had been no recent trauma, it was more likely Katie’s problems could be postural or from compensations brought on by a knee injury she experienced a few years ago.
Back to basics
The first step to Katie’s recovery was to assess her body as a whole to map out the specific areas that needed attention.
This information was key to Katie’s recovery and allowed us to put together a training schedule that would get her back in the saddle and improve her performance while fitting in with her busy lifestyle.
The next step in Katie’s recovery plan was to release her tight hip flexors. This was key to improving her posture and stability and fundamental for a horseback archer.
The release involved a very simple anti-spasm exercise, rather than a traditional stretch, which Katie worked on three to four times a day. One week later we rescanned Katie’s body to see how the release had affected her body map.
Strong and stable
Now that Katie’s stability had improved, the next phase of recovery was improving rotation and stabilising the pelvis to mimic the actions of an archer on a moving horse.
Katie is now back in the saddle and pulling her 35lb bow with no pain or discomfort. Her confidence has soared so much she even went skiing earlier this year.
“Tracy really helped bring a bit of hope back into my life. After the first session I already had movement back in my spine that I didn’t realise I was lacking. Throughout the sessions we focused on different techniques that would help free me up when I stiffen, enabling me to continue my journey with Team GB.”Katie
Katie is still doing the exercises we put together as part of her recovery plan and is adding more strength conditioning to her workouts to help keep her injury free.
As you can see, Katie is up to her old tricks and looking mighty pleased about it!
Tracy says: “As an intrinsic biomechanics coach I do not treat pain – however, if there has been no trauma, there’s a fair chance improved posture, movement, muscle function and symmetry will help. One simple release made a huge difference in this case. Good luck Katie and thanks for allowing me to share your journey.”
About One Body Coach
Tracy Swindell is a former GB international marathon runner who has trained and competed in a number of sports from a young age. She is passionate about helping people reach their potential and is a strong believer in empowering her clients to understand and care for their own bodies.
Always updating her skills to get the best possible results for her clients, Tracy’s extensive studying covers coaching and movement-based qualifications including intrinsic biomechanics, anatomy in motion, pilates and yoga.