HIP being the key word here.
When Eric and I released our Magnificent Mobility DVD, the goal was to get people moving and feeling better. Quite simply, better movement capacity is vital to anything in life, whether you’re an elite athlete or an 85 year old who just wants to hang out with the grandkids.
One issue that I’m really trying to reinforce is that the movement here needs to come from the hips. For example, watch people perform a rather simple exercise like an A-P or S-S leg swing, knee hug, etc., and you’ll typically see movement at both the hips and lumbar spine. This isn’t what we want! Obviously improved mobility and joint ROM are the goal, but we need to ensure that we’re targeting the correct joint during our movements. Here are some simple cues to remember:
- When you’re stretching your posterior chain (this can be either via dynamic or static means), make sure to keep a slight lordosis in your low back. If you try to stretch your glutes, hammies, etc., and there’s a rounding or flattening out of the lumbar spine, you’ve gone beyond what your hips are currently able to do. Remember, quality always trumps quantity.
- When you’re stretching your anterior chain (again, either statically or dynamically), make sure to maintain a neutral pelvic alignment throughout. Quite often, you’ll see people who are in anterior pelvic tilt but appear to have great flexibility/extensibility in the hip flexors and quads. How is this? Because they are allowing their pelvis to move! Brace the core and squeeze the glutes/keep the hips extended throughout – I’m sure you’ll feel a huge difference in the quality of your stretch.
Try some of these simple tips out; I’m sure it will make a profound difference in how you move and feel!
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