Welcome back guys to RedheadRunner, I've hope you've had a restful weekend thus far. I'm currently sipping my mid-afternoon coffee in my LOVELY Ironman Santa Rosa mug with my unicorn socks on..pretty comfy.
As I write this I can feel the ache of my hips talking to me from my earlier bike ride. I know it's time to do some homework and prepare them for my run tomorrow...The question is, do you do YOUR homework?
Today's Topic? It's all in the hips
To KISS it, (keep it simple silly) having good hip movement basically makes it a lot easier to move from one good position to the other easy, right? Our bodies keep a position that we regularly put them in (they're really smart) How often do you sit during the day? Not that much?
Do you sit at every meal? How about when you drive? When you work ?
The time adds up pretty quick, so imagine if you never taught your hips to be in an extended position (think of a big lunge) it only knows to be in that bent,sitting position. NOW, go for a run without warming it up, or stretching it and I bet down the road you will feel tightness and/or pain.
When we run correctly, our back leg's hip is in extension and our front hip is in flexion. When our range of motion is shortened, due to tight hips, we then compensate that range with other tissues and parts of our body. Lower back pain is expressed when that hip is looking for range and instead of being able to use it's full capacity because of tightness, it begins pulling on the lower back for reinforcement...Ahhh..if you've been dealing with lower back pain have you tried opening up your hips?
Hips provide power with lifting weights as well as running. We are continuously closing and opening our hips as we cycle through Pose-Fall-Pull. When we're not able to fully express that motion our legs have to work HARDER to get to these positions. Our speed suffers as well as a the longevity of our run.
Ok, so I have tight hips what can I do?
1. Stand more during your day
Take walking breaks at work, put your computer on your kitchen counter (my counter is the perfect size for my 5'6 frame, check yours out!)
2. Perform daily mobilizations
Take 10 minutes a day (everyone can find 10 minutes somewhere) and make sure you do some hip opening mobilizations daily as well as before/after your workouts. Couch stretch is a GREAT and DAILY mobilization you should be performing. Check out my improvement over the months.
3. Form Check
Educate yourself on proper running technique ( I know a pretty good coach, if you're in need head on over to my coaching page to contact me for a running analysis). We can mobilize daily and get special massages monthly but until you have the most efficient form, you're only going to put your body in injuries path over and over again. Until we fix the pattern the result will remain the same.
Notice below how in the bottom picture coach Christine was using her legs to get her feet in front of her instead of her hips. There's really no hip flexion or extension at all. By a few cues and quick drills of Pose Method coach now has FULL expression of hip extension/flexion. "It felt like I could fly". Her pull (contact with the ground improved as well)..hooray for hips!
Watch my quick warm up video to get an idea on how to prepare your hips before a run
3 Moves to Perform:
1) World's Greatest Lunge with hip circles, both sides
2) Downward Dog
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I'm passionate about running, fitness, nutrition and all things that make me and everyone else a better version of ourselves.