Lack of hip flexibility is one of the most common issues I see in clients with lower back pain, middle back pain and neck and shoulder pain. Why are our hips so inflexible? Well, our bodies get really good at doing whatever it is we do repeatedly. Since we sit so much – at desks, on couches, in cars and restaurants – our hip flexors get tight, short and stiff.
Tight hip flexors pull your pelvis into anterior rotation, giving you a “sway-back” and throwing your body out of balance. A horizontal pelvis is as critical to good posture as a solid foundation is to a structurally sound building. Tip your pelvis too far in one direction or the other and your body has to compensate with excess tension elsewhere.
This kettlebell routine will help you develop functional flexibility in your hip flexors. It’s far more effective than static stretching because dynamic flexibility exercises prepare your body for real life. Your muscles need to be able to both lengthen and contract. Static stretching only trains the lengthening portion.
Also, dynamic movements actively engage your nervous system, the “software” that controls muscle tension. Working with the nervous systems is the fastest way to make changes to muscle tone throughout the body.
Troy - Cube.Dweller.Fitness says
That looks great. The side lunges and split squats are excellent exercises.
I’ve also done tai chi and baguazhang which have some great stretches and movements for leg/hip mobility. Steve Cotter teaches some dragon leg drills that combine bagua and kettlebells.
Do you do any foam rolling? I’ve found that it helps; especially considering my job keeps me sitting for too many hours of the day.
Thanks, Troy. I love Steve’s hip and leg mobility exercises. He smoked us a few years ago when I first met him in Miami – a real eye opener.
Foam rolling is not my favorite flexibility tool, personally, but if it’s helping then stick with it!
thank you for this post…I am going to try it, but I need to know is the kettleball an essential part of this because I don’t own one
can weights be used as an alternative?