Do You Want to Learn More About Optimizing Movement and Enhancing Performance? 

I’m really excited to be launching my brand new course for rehabilitation and fitness professionals looking to help people restore, optimize, and enhance performance.   It’s my Introduction to Performance Therapy Training course.

And you know what the best part is???

It’s absolutely FREE!

Check out the information and video below, and click the link below to enroll today!

 

Introduction to Performance Therapy and Training

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you’d love to work with more highly motivated people, and even athletes, that want to focus on improving their performance.

But I remember not really feeling prepared for this or knowing how to get started, I really felt overwhelmed. We all learned the basics, but no one really teaches you how to optimize movement and enhance performance.

Over these years, I’ve learned a ton. Good and bad! But everything I have learned has shaped what I do, and it took some time and experience to realize this.

There so much info out there, but people tell me all the time they’re still confused and that they feel like they just start treatments and training programs and aren’t even confident that they choosing the right ones!

Check out this video for more of what I mean:

 

Enroll in My Course for FREE

I want to help.  When we started our facility at Champion PT and Performance, one of our biggest goals was to develop a simple system for our physical therapists and strength coaches to help people move and perform better.

My Introduction to Performance Therapy and Training program will teach you our 4-step system at Champion to assure you have everything you need to start helping people move and perform better.

Introduction to Performance Therapy and Training

Best of all, it’s absolutely free to anyone that signs up for my Newsletter. You’ll get all my best articles straight to your email, and immediate free access to the course.

Thank so much, hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 3 Keys to Building an Epic Online Training Program

Online training has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It dramatically increases your ability to help others reach their goals from only those within a 5-mile radius of your gym to people anywhere in the world.

We built out the start of our Champion online training platform over a year ago and recently updated it.  We spent the year learning, tweaking, and evolving.  Along the way, we learned a bunch.  If you want to build an epic online training service that maximizes its effectiveness, retention, and scalability then there are 3 major keys that we feel you have to master.

One of the people we learned a ton from is Jon Goodman.  Jon runs the PTDC and the Online Trainer Academy.  We sat down with Jon during a recent visit to Boston to discuss these 3 keys, and a bunch more.  Check out our interview and read more about our 3 keys below.

 

Become an Educational Resource

As a coach, if we are to label ourselves experts in the field and expect others to trust us enough to choose us to help them get the results they’re looking for from a training program then we have to do more than send them a list of exercises to perform.

This is one of our core values in everything we do from our social media posts and online training programs to our in-person coaching. It’s not enough to simply tell people ‘what’ to do. Educating your clients on the ‘why’ behind everything in your programming and coaching will empower your clients and make them more likely to succeed and to rave about it to others.

Remember you are not a technician, you are a coach.

A lot of coaches are afraid to show their whole hand and give away too much information. They’re afraid that if they do, then their clients won’t need them anymore and they’ll leave to do it on their own, when in fact it’s often the exact opposite. Helping clients become a better version of themselves by understanding why they’re doing what they are will lead to greater buy-in, results, and longer retention.

 

Provide Accountability

People need more than a program.  In fact, the program is often the easiest part of the process.

Often times, the people coming to you for online programs and coaching have tried numerous other programs in the past. Maybe it wasn’t the right program or didn’t provide enough education, but more often than not, it simply didn’t provide enough of a community of people that supported them, encouraged them, and held them accountable for sticking with it any longer.

Building a community lead by accountability and coaching that provides support for everyone involved will without question foster longer relationships with your clients. Knowing that you have others supporting you, and more importantly, relying on you for their support gives every individual a sense of purpose and ownership over their part of the community.

 

Assure Scalability

You have to remember, people are coming to you with so many different backgrounds, goals, needs, and experience level.  You have to create an option for everyone.

Everyone has a unique starting point and it’s your job to find a way for them to belong.

People fail other programs because they don’t continue to evolve or have options for them once they’ve graduated from a particular plan. If you want to combat this, you have to figure out a way to scale your online training business to the point that it can continue to serve your clients no matter where they’re at in their fitness success path.

There are pros and cons to every style of online training. Individualized coaching can be hyper-specific to a client’s goals and needs, but is limited by the price point and the number of people you have feasibly serve. Training templates have the ability to help an infinite number of people at a low price point but are limited by their generality and lack of customization.

By having a variety of coaching levels to meet people’s goals, needs, and budgets and thinking ahead enough to provide the coaching to answer the potential questions you can maximize your reach and client retention to scale your business.

 

Want to Learn How to Start Your Own Online Training Program?

Online Trainer AcademyMy friend Jon Goodman of the PTDC has a really amazing online training certification program.  Kiefer and I both went through the material several times, it really helped us when developing our programs.  The program is absolutely amazing, not only in how comprehensive it is but also in the quality of all the materials.  I have no doubt that this investment will save you a ton of time and help you get started on the right path.

The program opens a couple of times a year, so if it’s not open now, be sure to sign up for the waitlist to be notified next time it’s available:

 

Want to Join Our Online Training Programs?

champion online personal trainingIf you want to see these principles in action, I encourage you to check out our online programs and “learn by doing.”  I think that really helps with your own authenticity when you can say you’ve been through this type of programming yourself.

We really do pride ourselves in the 3 principles above, so I know that you’ll not only get a great training experience for yourself but also a great educational experience as well.

We have a variety of programs depending on your goals, check them out below:

 

 

Strength Training for Runners

There are still a lot of misconceptions about running and how to best train runners to minimize injuries and enhance performance.

Part of the problem is that there is a low barrier to entry to running.  All you need to do is start running, right? No gym membership, no equipment, heck most people don’t even do anything to prepare themselves for running.  They just decide to start running.

For recreational runners, running also tends to be a fitness choice.  Many people pick a way to get in shape and start exercising, and feel like they need to choose.  Do I want to do strength training or do I want to do cardio work?

Competitive runners also have some misconceptions when it comes to training to enhance their performance.  In the past, many have believed that strength training will bulk you up too much, make you less flexible, and may even slow you down.

There is no doubt that running requires cardiovascular conditioning.  But we can’t ignore how the rest of the body is biomechanically involved.  

Let’s simplify running a little more.

Running is a series of little jumps.  The rear leg has to propel the body forward.  The stride leg has to absorb force.

To minimize your chance of running related injuries and enhance your running performance, you need to understand both of these concepts.  

The key to both of these is strength training.  We can build tissue capacity to handle these forces much more efficiently, especially if we build a specific strength training program for runners with these two concepts in mind.

 

Strength Training for Runners

When it comes to runners, my go-to resource for injury rehab and performance enhancement is Chris Johnson.  Chris has an excellent website and clinic that specializes in runners.  He’s helped me a ton over the years.

Chris has an amazingly comprehensive book right now, Running on Resistance: A Guide to Strength Training for Runners.

We had been talking online recently, and I thought that my readers needed to benefit from Chris’ amazing knowledge on runners.  So we sat down and talked about the book, as well as a bunch of other topics related to strength training in runners:

 

Running on Resistance: A Guide to Strength Training for Runners

If you’re interested in learning more, Chris’s book is an amazing resource for both runners, as well as rehab and fitness professionals that want to work with runners.  It is a detailed guide and program to building capacity, becoming more resilient to injuries, and enhancing running performance.

Chris was nice enough to extend a special 15% off discount just for my readers.  Check out the book below:

 

 

5 Common Core Exercise Mistakes and Fixes

We’ve come along way over the last decade when it comes to training the core.  Not too long ago, training the core consisted of mainly exercises like sit ups, with no specific attention to how the core functions.

One of the key areas of core training that I focus on to enhance movement quality and performance is stabilizing the core while the arms and legs move.  Essentially proximal stability, with underlying distal mobility of the extremities.

However, don’t forget that the body is amazing at compensating to get the job done.

Any lack of mobility or motor control will often result in compensatory movements.  Many people want to fly through their core program, but often times don’t focus on the quality of the movement.

Here are 5 common core exercise mistakes that I see, along with some suggestions on how to fix them.  I posted these as a series on Instagram, if you want to see more posts like this, be sure to follow me there.

 

Front Plank

A common error I see when people perform a front plank is over relying on the hip flexors to hold the position. You sometimes see them tighten their core but also come up into a bit of hip flexion.

If you hold planks for too long, you may also notice that you slowly creep up into this position as your core fatigues and your hip flexors take over.

There are two easy ways to improve this:

1. Focus on tightening your core AND your glutes.  This should help hold the neutral pelvic position.
2. Perform sets of planks with each rep being ~8-10 seconds, with no break, just a quick reset, instead of sustained holds.⠀This will keep the focus on the core before the hip flexors take over.

 

 

Side Plank

Similar to the front plank, the side plank is easy to use larger muscle groups to compensate.  One easy way to ruin a good side plank is simply to lift the body too high off the table. You’ll see too much side bend and will make this a lateral bend motion instead of a core stability exercise.

To fix this, try performing with a mirror so you can see your form. Your body should be in a straight line with a nice neutral spine.

 

 

Dead Bug

One of the common faults we see with the dead bug core exercises is a loss of neutral spine when the arms or the legs are full extended. ⠀The person tends to focus on getting there hands and feet extended, rather than keeping their core stable.

Remember the goal of the exercise is to brace and stabilize the core while moving the extremities.

Be sure to keep that brace, but also realize that it’s often better to reduce your arm and leg motion a bit if you are struggling and arching your back.⠀I’d rather you make the exercise less challenging, but performed well, then slowly progress over time.

 

 

Bird Dog

I’m a big fan of the bird dog exercise for two main reasons:

1) It’s great exercise to work on driving hip extension with proper core stability. A lot of people hyperextend their back instead of extending their hip.
2) Because you use alternate arm and leg for advanced variations, it also provides some rotational stability through the core.

But people LOVE to perform this exercise poorly by compensating and arching their back.  Many people struggle to extend their hip while keeping their spine stable.  Be sure to keep your core stable and just work on reaching with arms and legs.⠀Similar to the dead bug, I’d rather you reduce the quantity of your motion, and focus on the quality of the motion.

 

 

Glute Bridge

A common flaw with the glute bridge exercise (and hip thrusts) is thinking that you need to go as far as possible, as far as your body will go.

But keep in mind, the goal here is the glutes, not the low back. So the exercise should really be performed to extend you hips and NOT your back.

To help with this, really tighten your anterior core during the exercise and focus on squeezing your glutes. Then, simply stop the motion when the glutes are done squeezing. Many people want to keep going.  They tighten their glutes, but then keep pushing the body higher over the ground.  Resist the urge to continue by hyperextending at your back.

 

 

Want to Learn More About How I Train the Core?

Check out Eric Cressey and I’s Functional Stability Training of the Core program.  We discuss the core in detail and how we rehabilitate and train the core.

 

 

 

 

5 Exercises You Should Perform If You Sit All Day

Do you sit all day? Don’t worry you are not alone.

Sitting throughout the day, and a more sedentary lifestyle in general, has dramatically increased over the last several decades as desk jobs have become more popular and our devices have taken over as our form of entertainment.

The media loves to tell you that “sitting is the new smoking.” This is backwards in my mind, and something I’ve discussed in detail in a past article Sitting isn’t bad for you, not moving is.

In the article, I listed 3 things you should do if you sit all day to stay healthy:

  1. Move, Often
  2. Reverse your posture
  3. Exercise

For those looking for some specific exercise, here are 5 great exercises to perform to combat sitting all day.

 

5 Exercises You Should Perform if You Sit All Day

I’ve been talking about the concept of Reverse Posturing for years. The concept is essentially that we need to reverse the posture that we do the most throughout the day to keep our body balanced and prevent overuse.

Sitting involves a predominantly flexed posture, so doing exercises that promote the posterior chain would be helpful. These will depend on each person, but if I had to pick a basic set of exercises these would be the 5 exercises to combat sitting all day.

 

Thoracic Extension

The first exercise is for mobility of your thoracic spine. This is the portion of your back that becomes the most flexed while sitting all day. This is probably the biggest bang for you buck exercises in my mind:

If you are looking for more drills, you should view one of my past articles for several more great thoracic mobility drills.

 

True Hip Flexor Stretch

The second exercises is another mobility drill, this time for the pelvis. We always perform mobility drills first to maximize range of motion. This exercise is called the true hip flexor stretch, something I termed several years ago after seeing so many people do this stretch poorly.

This exercise will help prevent your hips from getting too tight, as well as put your entire spine in a better position.

Chin Nods

Now that we’ve done a couple of mobility drills, let’s try to reinforce a few movement patterns to reverse your sitting posture and activate a few select muscle groups.
The first is the chin nod, which is great for the neck muscles and forward head posture. Many have heard of the chin tuck exercise, but the chin nod exercise is a little different in my mind.

Shoulder W’s

The next exercise builds off the chin nods, and now combines the chin nod posture with retraction of your shoulders. This will help turn on your posterior rotator cuff and scapular muscles all in one drill.

Glute Bridge

Lastly, we want to focus on the glutes and their ability to extend the hips, and taking some pressure off your low back. This glute bridge exercise, in combination with the above true hip flexor stretch, will be a great combo to help with your overall posture and core control.

How to Integrate These Exercises into Your Day

An easy way to start and keep it simple is to perform each of these 10 times. These should take less than 5 minutes to perform and will make a big impact on how you feel throughout the day.
Many people ask, “how many times a day should I perform these?” Or even, “do I need to do these every day?”

You don’t need to do these every day. Just on the days that you sit… :)

But seriously, remember these are 5 exercises you should do if you sit all day, so doing them at the end of each day to reverse your posture is a great idea. Many people who sit for a really long time like to perform them during the day as well.

As you get comfortable with them, you may find that certain ones help you feel better than others. Feel free to add repetitions to those as needed.

 

Want a Comprehensive Online Training Program?

champion strong online training - multiple devices

We’re super excited to now offer our amazing online training programs.  You can now train from a distance using the same programs we use at our gym Champion PT and Performance with many of our clients.  We have a ton of options to choose from based on your goals.  All of our programs are designed to give you a comprehensive program to follow at the gym that focuses on helping you look, feel, move, and perform better.

We’re really proud if it. Click below to learn more and sign up for less than $1 a day:

 

Sorry, Sitting Isn’t Really Bad for You

Over the last several years, the health concerns surrounding sitting have really been highlighted by the health and fitness crowds, as well as the mainstream media.  In fact, there have been entire books published on this topic.  I’ve seen articles with titles such as “Sitting is Evil,” “Sitting is the New Smoking,” and even “Sitting will kill you.”

Wow, those seem pretty aggressive.  We’ve been sitting since the beginning of time!  I’m going to really shock the world with this comment…

Sorry, sitting isn’t really bad for you.

Yup.  There is nothing wrong with sitting.  I’m actually doing it right now as I write this article.  You probably are too while you read this article.

Don’t get me wrong, sedentary lifestyles are not healthy.  According to the World Health Organization, sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality and raises the risk of health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and even depression and anxiety.

But let’s get one thing straight:

It’s not sitting that is bad for you, it’s NEVER moving that is bad for you.

By putting all the blame on sitting, we lose focus on the real issue, which is lack of movement and exercise.  We are seeing a shift in people switching to standing desks at work, still not exercising, but thinking that they are now making healthy choices.

This is so backwards it boggles my mind.

It it all begin with the negative myth that “sitting is the new smoking” and completely ignores the true issue.

The body adapts amazingly well to the forces and stress that we apply to it throughout the day.  If you sit all day, your body will adapt.  Your body will lose mobility to areas like your hips, hamstrings, and thoracic spine.  Your core is essentially not needed while sitting so thinks it’s not needed anymore during other activities.  And several muscles groups get used less frequently while sitting and weaken over time, like your glutes, scapular retractors, and posterior rotator cuff.

Your body is a master compensator, and will adapt to the stress applied (or not applied) to make your efficient at what you do all day.

Unfortunately, when all you do is sit all day, and you never reverse this posture or exercise, your body adapts to this stress to make you the most efficient sitter.
That’s right, you get really good at sitting.

For example, think about what happens to the core when you sit all day.

One of the functions of your core is to maintain good posture and essentially to keep the bones of your skeleton from crashing to the floor.  The core is engaged at a low level of muscle activity throughout the day for postural needs.

The problem with sitting is that the chair also serves this function, so your core isn’t needed to keep you upright, the chair serves this function. If sitting is all you do, then when you stand up, your core essentially isn’t accustomed to providing this postural support so you rock back onto your static stabilizers by doing things like standing with a large anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar extension.

bad sitting posture isnt bad for you core control

Unfortunately, this becomes the path of least resistance, and most energy efficient, for your body.  Your core gets used to relying on the chair to function, then when you need it, gets lazy.

Despite what you may read in the media, it’s OK to sit all day.  That is, as long as you are reversing this posture at some point.  This can be as specific as exercises designed to combat sitting and as general as simply taking a walk in the evening.

 

3 Strategies to Combat Sitting All Day

I want to share the 3 things that I often discuss with my patients and clients.  You can apply these yourself or use them to discuss with your clients as well.  But if you sit all day, you really should:

  1. Move, Often
  2. Reverse your posture
  3. Exercise

But the real first step is to stop blaming sitting and start focusing on the real issue.  It’s lack of movement and exercise that is the real concern, not sitting.

 

Step 1 – Move, Often

The first step to combatting sitting all day is to move around often.  The body needs movement variability or it will simply adapt to what it does all day.

I get it, we all work long days, and sitting is often required in many of our jobs.  But the easiest way to minimize the effects of sitting all day is to figure out ways to get up and move throughout the day.

This doesn’t need to be 10 minutes of exercise, it could simply be things like getting up to fill up a water bottle or taking quick 2 minute walk around the office.  When I am not in the clinic or gym, I personally tend to work in my home office.  What I do is try to work in one hour chunks, so I will get up and walk around in between chunks to get a glass of water, snack, or use the bathroom.

This works well for me, but you need to find what works for you.  I know of others that use things like Pomodoro timers, or even some of the newer fitness tracking devices, which can remind you to stand up and move around at set times.

 

Step 2 – Reverse Your Posture

I’ve been talking about the concept of Reverse Posturing for years.  The concept is essentially that we need to reverse the posture that we do the most throughout the day to keep our body balanced and prevent overuse.

Sitting involves a predominantly flexed posture, so doing exercises that promote the posterior chain would be helpful.  These will depend on each person but a basic set of exercises may look like:

  • Thoracic extension
  • True hip flexor stretch
  • Chin nods
  • Shoulder W’s
  • Glute bridges

reverse your posture

I have another article you should check out on the 5 Exercises to Perform if You Sit All Day.  Perform each of these for 10 reps.  These should take 5 minutes to perform and will make a big impact on how you feel throughout the day.

 

Step 3 – Exercise

Remember going back to some of the past concepts above, the body adapts to the stress applied.  To combat this perfectly, a detailed exercise program that is designed specifically for you and comprehensively includes a focus on total body and core control is ideal.

This will assure that the muscle groups that are not being used while sitting all day get the strength and mobility they need, while the core gets trained to stabilize the trunk during functional movements.

If you want to get the most out of your body and stay optimized, you need to do things like work on your hip and thoracic spine mobility, strengthen your rotator cuff, groove your hinge pattern, and learn how to deadlift and work your glutes.

 

Sitting Isn’t Bad For You, Not Moving Is

As a profession, we need to get away from blaming sitting as the enemy and labeling it evil.  Our society is sitting more and more each generation.  We need to be honest with ourselves and realize that sitting isn’t the problem, it’s not moving enough that is the concern.  We need to stop pointing fingers and get to the root of the problem.

Go ahead and sit, just move more often and use these 3 strategies to combat sitting all day.

 

Want a Comprehensive Online Training Program?

champion strong online training - multiple devicesWe’re super excited to now offer our amazing online training programs.  You can now train from a distance using the same programs we use at our gym Champion PT and Performance with many of our clients.  We have a ton of options to choose from based on your goals.  All of our programs are designed to give you a comprehensive program to follow at the gym that focuses on helping you look, feel, move, and perform better.

We’re really proud if it.  Click below to learn more and sign up for less than $1 a day:

 

 

My Favorite Articles of the Year

Over the years, I have always published an article at the end of each year that highlights some of the best articles of the year from my website.  I always enjoy looking back at the site analytics to find what my readers thought were my best articles.

However, sometimes I don’t agree, haha!

Sometimes some of the articles that I enjoyed writing the most weren’t the most “popular” when it comes to site visits.  Plus, I now have more websites that you may find my content, like EliteBaseballPerformance.com.

So this year, I thought I would write up a list of my “favorite” articles of the year, instead of the most “popular.”  I bet after reading them, you’ll agree!

Thanks so much to all of you for another awesome year.  For those that like sneak peeks…  We have some BIG stuff in store for 2018:

Online Training

We have just launched our new online training platform with our first flagship program, Champion Strong.  This is based on our most popular programs we use at Champion.  It’s an awesome online program for those looking for an amazing workout program that progresses each month.  You can take it to the gym with our phone app that allows you to view, schedule and log your workout for the day to track your progress.  Plus, there are great exercise demos and educational content.  If you’ve ever wanted to work with us at Champion, this is the program for you!

Our Performance Therapy and Training System

We’ve been alluding to this for a few months but we’ve been working hard to bring together everything I have learned in the last 20 years into a complete system of performance therapy and training.  We’re getting close, but it’s going to be EPIC.

Stay tuned…

My Favorite Articles of the Year

Research Updates on K-Tape, Self Myofascial Release, and Topical Analgesics

This was my favorite podcast of the year.  Lenny and I got together with Phil Page at our annual ICCUS Society meeting and asked Phil to summarize some of the latest research on K-Tape, SMR, and Topical Analgesics.  This was a fun one.  Phil is the best.

 

Should We Delay Range of Motion After a Total Shoulder Replacement?

I recently updated my online program teaching you how I evaluate and treat the shoulder over at ShoulderSeminar.com and added a new lesson on Rehabilitation of the Arthritic Shoulder.  I wrote this article to share some of the research about ROM after a total shoulder replacement.  I think there are still some misconceptions out there.

 

3 Popular Exercises I Am No Longer Using

Sometimes what is popular on the internet and social media is not best.  In this article, I show a few videos of 3 common exercises that I have stopped using, as I just think they aren’t the best.

 

Velocity Down After Weighted Balls and What Pitchers Should Do After Games

This was another fun episode of the podcast where I team up with Will Carroll, Dan Blewett, Kevin Vance, and Dave Fischer to talk about some of the things we learned at the big Sabermetrics meeting in Boston and how they are using it with their high school and college pitchers.

 

Working with the Hypermobile Athlete

This was my favorite Inner Circle presentation of the year.  I sat down with Dave Tilley and talked about some of the things to consider when working with hypermobile athletes.  This is essentially a lot of what Dave and I do each day, so there is a ton of nuggets of info in here for everyone to learn.

 

5 Ways to Get More Out of Self Myofascial Release
Self myofascial release is super popular but often performed poorly.  Follow these 5 tips and you’ll get even more out of performing them in your programs.  I have a bunch of great videos in the post for you to watch.

 

Are Weighted Baseball Velocity Programs Safe and Effective?

This was a review of our 2-year research project that we conducted at Champion in conjunction with Dr. Andrews and Fleisig of ASMI.  I published this on Elite Baseball Performance while the manuscript is in the press as I wanted the information to get out to the public and it takes months for a proper peer review and publication process.  Unfortunately, based on the reaction observed on Twitter, I’m not sure people wanted to hear the results…

 

6 Hip Mobility Drills Everyone Should Perform

In this article, I have 6 more videos going over my favorite hip mobility drills.  This is the cornerstone of most of my hip mobility programs.  I’m not a fan of torquing the joint or working into (or pushing through) end range of motion, which is, unfortunately, becoming more popular lately.  I much prefer these drills.

 

4 Ways to Modify the Squat So Everyone Can Perform

Another great Inner Circle presentation where we look at how different people may present and how that could impact their squat form and mechanics.  This is a very important concept to apply to your clients.

 

What is the Best Graft Choice for ACL Reconstruction?

Lenny Macrina wrote a great guest post discussing some of the options for ACL reconstruction.  We get questions like this a lot on the podcast, so thought an article was long overdue.

 

The True Hip Flexor Stretch

The hip flexor stretch has become a very popular stretch in the fitness and sports performance world, and rightly so considering how many people live their lives in anterior pelvic tilt.  However, this seems to be one of those stretches that I see a lot of people either performing incorrectly or too aggressively.  I talked about this in a recent Inner Circle webinar on 5 common stretches we probably shouldn’t be using, but I wanted to expand on the hip flexor stretch as I feel this is pretty important.

I’ve started teaching what I call the “true hip flexor stretch.”

I call it the true hip flexor stretch as I want you to truly work on stretching the hip flexor and not just torque your body into hip and lumbar extension.  It’s very easy for the body to take the path of least resistance when stretching.  People with tight hip flexors and poor hip extension often just end up compensating and either hyperextend their low back or stress the anterior capsule of the hip joint.

I explain this in more detail in this video:

 

The good thing is, there is a simple and very effective.  Once you adjust and perform the true hip flexor stretch, most people say they never felt a stretch like that before, hence the name “true hip flexor stretch.”

 

True Hip Flexor Stretch

To perform the true hip flexor stretch, you want to de-emphasize hip extension and focus more on posterior pelvic tilt.  Watch this video for a more detailed explanation:

 

Key Points

  • There is a difference between a quadriceps stretch and a hip flexor stretch.  When your rationale for performing the stretch is to work on stretching your hip flexor, focus on the psoas and not the rectus femoris.
  • Keep it a one joint stretch.  Many people want to jump right to performing a hip flexor stretch while flexing the knee.  This incorporates the rectus and the psoas, but I find far too many people can not appropriately perform this stretch.  They will compensate, usually by stretching their anterior capsule too much or hyperextending their lumbar spine.
  • Stay tall.  Resist the urge to lean into the stretch and really extend your hip.  Most people are too tight for this, trust me.  You’ll end up stretch out the anterior hip joint and abdominals more than the hip flexor.
  • Make sure you incorporate a posterior pelvic tilt.  Contract your abdominals and your glutes to perform a posterior pelvic tilt.  This will give your the “true” stretch we are looking for when choosing this stretch.  Many people wont even need to lean in a little, they’ll feel it immediately in the front of their hip.
  • If you don’t feel it, squeeze your glutes harder.  Many people have a hard time turing on their glutes while performing this stretch, but it is key.
  • If you still don’t feel it, lean in just a touch.  If you are sure your glutes and abs are squeezed and you are in posterior pelvic tilt and still don’t feel it much, lean in just a few inches.  Our first progression of this is simple to lean forward in 1-3 inches, but keep your pelvis in posterior tilt.
  • Guide your hips with your hands.  I usually start this stretch with your hands on your hips so I can teach you to feel posterior pelvic tilt.  Place your fingers in the front and thumbs in the back and cue them to posterior tilt and make their thumbs move down.
  • Progress to add core engagement.  Once they can master the posterior pelvic tilt, I usually progress to assist by curing core engagement.  You can do this by pacing both hands together on top of your front knee and push straight down, or by holding a massage stick or dowel in front of you and pushing down into the ground.  Key here is to have arms straight and to push down with you core, not your triceps.

 

 

I use this for people that really present in an anterior pelvic tilt, or with people that appear to have too loose of an anterior hip capsule.  In fact, this has completely replaced the common variations of hip flexor stretches in all of our programs at Champion.  This works great for people with low back pain, hip pain, and postural and biomechanical issues related to too much of an anterior pelvic tilt.

Give the true hip flexor stretch a try and let me know what you think.