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Part One: Static Stretching
In this three part hip series we are going to walk you through general movement preparation for hip dominant exercises.
The first part of this series is going to hinge on breaking our hips out of the static posture in which they find themselves all day, and isolate planes of movement through static stretching so that we can load our hips safely and effectively.
The first movement we will perform is the pigeon stretch, followed by the frog stretch, and then finishing up with the couch stretch. This is a systematic approach to addressing all three planes of the hip (internal/external rotation, abduction/adduction, and flexion/extension).
Duration will depend on your limitation in the given range of motion. The more limited the range of motion, the longer and perhaps more frequently you should challenge that position. The goal is strain, not pain. If at any point these movements become painful, terminate the stretch immediately.
Part Two: Foam Rolling Iliotibial Band (ITB) (3:18)
In the second part of this three part hip preparation series, we are going to cover foam rolling the iliotibial band (ITB). This is common practice in many people’s “prehab” programming, but we’re going to add a slight variation that will make this drill much more effective.
The common way of foam rolling the ITB is to just arbitrarily roll the lateral leg on top of the foam roller. In this method, we keep the foam roller static on a particular point of the ITB while we generate a dynamic internal stimulus by putting our knee through flexion and extension by flexing the hamstrings and then the quads.
This method will be done for a rep scheme rather than duration. Shoot to pick 4 different points on which to pause the roller, then go through 3 bouts of knee flexion and extension at each of the four places along the ITB when holding the roller in place.
Part Three: Walking Lunge (4:54)
The third and final part of this hip movement preparation series is going to be focused on cueing a proper walking lunge. The lunge is a simple exercise that exaggerates our natural gait cycle and will help us pick out and correct imbalances without having to worry about risking injury while doing so.
The following key points are highlighted in the video:
1) Controlling the descent: make sure we try to challenge the end ranges of motion at the hip, knee, and ankle as we track our knee slightly outward into that bottom position.
2) Controlling the transition: as we look to initiate the movement from the eccentric to the concentric, we need to make sure our hip is actively stabilizing the position of the knee. This will be evident by whether or not we shoot the hips back or if the knee waivers, both of which are signs that the hip’s stability needs training.
3) Control of the swing phase: now transitioning into the next rep, we are going to attempt to stay on one leg as the other hip flexes forward to start the next rep. We are going to use that standing leg’s hip to keep us stable as we bring the other hip from extension into flexion and begin the descent on the other leg.