3/20/14

Fix You Hips & Fix Your Progress

Life without the hills and valleys is, honestly, just a boring ride. When my training, diet, and recovery are on point I can feel my progress climb to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, when I begin reaching the summit I pull back on my "strictness." Can you blame me though? The view is just so beautiful.


So here I am at the top of the mountain, looking at all of my recent gains when I notice something funny. I try and ignore it, but it doesn't go away. Eventually ignoring turns into stubbornning, and stubbornning turns into failing, and failing turns into breaking.

Being broken is horrible; any athlete knows that. It's really easy to forget the mountain tops when we're down in the valleys.

Hip misalignment is a common-thief that steals progress from eager athletes. Personally, I have watched what started off as a fixable ailment turn into a gain-robbing predicament. If only I knew then what I do know, I might be lifting hundreds more pounds. Hopefully you haven't been dragged down into a canyon of failure yet, but if you have don't fret; this will help you climb out. And if you're still at the top, this might help you avoid the pit of despair.

Do you know what spine neutral is? It's when the bones in your back are pulled by your muscles into proper alignment. Everything is in its happy place. The happier your spine is, the happier your hips can be. This is great because happy hips lead to reduced injuries and improved performance.

Unfortunately, doing things like sitting, lifting, running, laying, moving, breathing, and etc. can all lead to hip misalignment. Okay maybe not breathing, but doing anything for an extended period of time can reshape muscle. After-all, soft tissue can be changed after 2 minutes of continues stretching. Like sitting on a couch being slumped over while you watch TV.

What we want is for our hips to be aligned. In my experience there are two progressive ways to fix hips: use a trusted chiropractor, or perform spine neutral exercises which use attaching muscles to pull the hips in alignment. I have nothing against Chiropractors, but for this post I will choose the exercise.

Allow me to introduce you to the "spine neutral foam roller hip setter", or SNFRHS for short. I'll come up with a better name later. Performing this exercise is simple. Sort of.

Grab your favorite foam roll and lay down on the ground with it. Place the roller right above your butt, at the bottom of your spine. Push the back of your head, and the palms of your hands into the ground. Straighten you legs out, and using your lower abs, perform a "leg raise" ab exercise. If you notice that one leg comes up before the other, then you have found your "favorite" leg. Focus on the lagging leg and even them out. If it's easy, move the foam roller an inch up your back and repeat. Continue rolling it up your back until you cannot keep your head flat or your legs even. This is anatomical failure.

video

After I did this for the first time  I sat up and felt my entire hip and low back pop. I had been needing this pop for a long time. So it was no surprise that  I began testing it on my lifters, then on my clients, and now all of ENDU.

This exercise works by recruiting several muscles that connect the upper body to the hips and lower body. The rectus abdominis, psoas major, and psoas minor. By forcing these muscles to equally pull the hips and legs in a spine neutral position, the hips will "theoretically" pulled into alignment. The more that you do this exercise, the more your soft tissue will be stretched into the happy hips and happy spine position.

Now comes the fun part.

That's right. Take 30 seconds out of your workout to do this career saving exercise and you could win some free Endu merchandise! Help me, help you!
Feel free to save the anatomical art from Endu. Just give us credit.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.