Whether you're athletic or just trying to carry on with your daily routine, good movement in your hips is essential. Good hip extension is especially important if you're physically active though.
Hip flexors are a group of muscles that work together to help bend or flex the hip joint. These muscles are present in the inner part of your hips, lower back, and the front part of your thighs. These muscles work to help you sit, stand, straighten your legs, pull your knees up, bend down, run, move your legs side to the side, front and back, and stabilize the lower body.
There is a reason why trainers emphasize form and good position when doing WODs. In fact, the inability to fully extend your hip causes other joints to compensate for the lack of range of movement and this can be problematic with repeated exposure.
You might due to the fact you might sit a lot at your job or you could be overtraining your hip flexors, glutes, and lower back.
Not sure what I mean, here's an example using the deadlift movement:
Starting with a tight mid-line as you squat to grasp the bar, you try to squeeze your glutes and maintain a tight abdomen as you rise up, but you are having trouble.
When you try to open your hips, your anterior hip muscles pull your lower back into a forward arch. The more often you complete this movement without full range of motion, the more your back muscles tighten and you end up overworking your spine, putting too much weight on your knees and other areas that are being overworked.
The long story short of it is:
Problem: Missing that hip extension at the top of a movement.
Cause: Poor movement patterns or a tight anterior hip.
Effect: Overworked spine, overworked knees
Most of us aren't able to tell when we're doing it wrong because we tend to ignore those little aches in our body, but that's where a good trainer or swole buddy comes in handy because they can see it.
So, what do we do about it?
Push the reset button.
The first step is to start by learning about hip extension. You should improve your hip extension mobility to achieve a full hip extension at the top. This will relieve your lower back and other muscles that are working overtime to compensate for your missing hip flexibility.
Some quick tips include self-massaging, mobilizing your hips, activating your psoas, and just generally learning more exercises that can help you improve your hip mobility.
One of my favorite ways to work on hip extension is by using resistance bands. Check out this video to help drive this all home!
Do you suffer from poor hip mobility? Share how it's affected your WODs in the comment section below!