I’ve been listening to a lot of Tower of Power lately. Man! What a smoking hot band! Anyway, if you’re not too familiar with them you might not know one of their most popular songs, “What is Hip?”
If you don’t know this song, do yourself a favor, take 5 minutes and enjoy.
Anyway, as many of you know I’m pretty big on hips. I hear from and see a lot of people with a variety of issues and goals, but each day I am becoming more and more convinced that no matter what anyone’s goals may be, the key to feeling better overall lies in your hips. I know what you’re thinking, but this is a family publication so let me explain. Think of a door and its frame. What connects the two parts? The door hinge. Think about how nice it feels to open a door when the hinge is nicely set and oiled. Now think about how it feels to try and open a door with a creaky hinge. Not so smooth. You have to yank on the doorknob and put stress on the frame. Well, your hips are just like a door hinge. They lie right in the middle of our body, connecting the two parts and allowing them to move smoothly back and forth into flexion (hips in a sitting position) and extension (hips fully forward).
If your hips move well it takes stress off our shoulders, back and knees. Unfortunately, the fact that most of us sit all day tightens our hips and that forces our back to move more than it should. It also puts pressure on our knees and all of that tension moves up to our shoulders and messes them up, too.
This also brings up another crucial point. One of the biggest problems people have is that they can’t differentiate between hip movement and lower back movement. The problem there is that our hips are meant for movement and our lower backs are meant for stability. When our hips don’t move well our lower backs have to, and that creates problems This is also exacerbated by the fact that many people have weak glutes and they are a very important muscle when it comes to good hip movement.
How do you know if your hips move well? Here’s a simple test: Stand with your back against a wall. Take two steps forward. Try to touch your butt to the wall. Did your knees bend more than just a few degrees? If so, then your hips probably don’t move all that well. Sorry.
Please drop me a line if you have any questions and don’t forget to contact your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!