August 7, 2012

Spend Five Minutes With This Stretch to Improve Your Mobility

I believe in looking at motion to decipher if someone is going to have joint issues. One of the more problematic movement issues we deal with at Smith and Esch is overly tight hipflexors and quads. When the hipflexor and quads get tight, they tend to shut down the neural recruitment of the glutes and hamstrings, which will not only lead to a flabby glutes, but more importantly put undue stress on your knees, and back. 

Something I have been seeing a lot when doing squats or the squat split lunges is everyone is getting the squats, but I difficulties with the squat split lunge. What I have been seeing is the pelvis coming under the body and then raising up. This is putting a lot of stress on the low back.

What is happening is your hip flexors do not have the ability to open up. Your hip flexors attach at the top of the femur and attach right about L3 in the spine. For your hip flexors to actually physically get closer you need to sit back into a stretch position and pull that pelvis under. Sometimes we just need a little bit of mobility warming up before you get in that squat and lunge routine.

To do this effectively we need to quiet down that muscle. There is a number ways to do this to stage that muscle. The first thing to do is to put one knee on floor and one foot up.  Sit in that lunge and squeeze the muscle lose all the way to the pelvis. The same knee that is down reach that hand up to the sky. You will feel it from your shoulder to your hip flexor.

The next thing to do is to kneel your foot over on a raised box. To do this you will take a stance like you are lunging with one foot forward and one foot back. Raise your back foot and hook it on a raised box. Bend into that knee so you feel the stretch in your hip flexors.

Spend 5 minutes on these two stretches a day, and before you know it your hip flexors will be a lot looser.

This article was written by Bill Esch

Bill Esch is the founder of Smith and Esch Fitness, United States Weightlifting sports performance specialist, and a C.H.E.K Golf biomechanics coach.

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