Your Hips Don’t Lie

So we’ve hit toward the top and toward the bottom, but let’s discuss the middle. Specifically your hips (according to Shakira, they don’t lie).

The hips are needed in most lifts. You need them open, you need them strong, you need them mobile.

I shared an article to the group page some time ago regarding hip exercises for runners. I went for a run recently, and have since remembered one of the many reasons I hate running. My hips hurt! Specifically my hip flexors (Ashley’s favorite thing). I had revisited that article myself before the run, and did the warm-up recommended prior to running, but ultimately my problem comes back to I sit almost all day. My hip flexors are used to being shortened, and whether it’s running or crossfit, I’m asking them to do something they’re not accustomed to.

I – as well as any of you who sit for most of the day prior to hitting the box or asphalt – need to break up with sitting for long periods of time. I visited a chiropractor within the last year to address a different issue, and he ended up gifting me with a little stretch that I should do several times throughout my work day to force my hip flexors in the opposite direction. I think it looks super awkward and you may have seen me doing this in the box prior to a WOD, but it helps!

Stand up, and take a step forward. Not a huge step, your feet should be about hip distance apart and facing forward. Next, tuck your hips forward, rotate them so that your glutes and lower abdominals are tightened. Then, keeping your back leg straight, lean forward, like a light lunge. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your low back, get out of the lunge, you’re doing it wrong. Tuck those hips, then trying leaning forward again.

Another important thing for you sitters to do is to warm up and stretch those hips better in general. Yes, before every WOD there’s a warm up and mobility component related to that day’s movements, but that may not be sufficient to counteract eight hours of sitting. Arrive early and take the time to do a bit more for your body.

Do some slow and controlled squats with a band around your legs. Do the monster walk front and back, and the side step, all with the band. Then get down on the floor, try out a couple stretches:
– Pigeon – start in a front lunge, lay front leg on floor with your calf perpendicular to your body and knee at a 90 degree angle, lean over that leg as much as possible, keep back leg relaxed on the floor
– Knight in Shining Armour pose (my mobility app calls it this, but I don’t think it’s officially a thing) – wide lunge, front foot on the floor and knee around a 90 degree angle, glutes and abdominal tightened, rear leg stretched out
– Hip opener – same position as above, but rotate the knee around in the stretch
– Wide hip opener – again same position, but rotate the foot to the side, pushing knee outward
If you need assistance, or a visual, grab my attention and I’ll show you how to get into these positions. If you would rather not talk to me, that’s cool, just watch me pre-WOD on squat days.

I’m also resharing the running article because it demos five exercises to help strengthen, and stretch your hip flexors, glutes, and quads. Two of them you can do in your office without getting on the floor! From Runner’s World:

For a little motivation, listen to Otis:

Start here

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