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    • #70720
      AvatarMichael Schwerin

      Ive made huge improvements though mwod, however I’m struggling to gain end range at the hips specifically hip flexion. my hip flexions ok. similar to the guy in this video. seems impossible to get all the way to end range and be able to just externally rotate and arch as easy as kelly does. how do i prevent the femur running into the hip early?

    • #73774
      AvatarNathan Richer

      few thoughts:

      1. when roop worked with me, he said that you must organize yourself before you descend.  we hear more often to brace 20% in the torso and get into good alignment, but we don’t hear so much 20% *also* in the glutes. the glute tension will give a slight posterior tilt to your pelvis, thereby giving yourself a bit more room for the femur before it runs into the pelvis. so get in good alignment, then brace both torso AND glutes 20% and descend.
      2. are you driving outward torque with your upper legs? as a consequence they should be rotating outward to create space between your legs for your hips/body to drop down into.
      3. try different stance widths. if you go a little wider than shoulder width, you may be able to get lower. going too wide means it can get restrictive again, as is too narrow.  not that wider or narrower couldn’t be a good goal to shoot for – it just may mean that there is an optimal stance width for the mobility you have now.
      3. when you reach your end point, where do you specifically feel tension or tight? those would be areas to smash. some areas you can feel (obviously smash those), and some areas you might not.  you might try some exploratory smashing all around the typical areas: anterior tib, posterior tib, peroneals, ankle, foot, heel cord, calf, flexor hallicus, hamstrings, quads, glutes, TFL.  if you smash and you don’t feel any soreness, then move on.  you may find some places to smash that you missed.
    • #73779

      I agree with a lot of what David has said.

      I experience similar issues as well and have found a few extra points in my research.

      1 – David mentions engaging the glutes. I feel that as I descend, it becomes harder and harder to keep them engaged which results in my pelvis tilting incorrectly.  I read an article that coached to focus on squeezing the sphincter. Kind of weird and funny, but I can see the value. The sphincter is almost at the most center and deepest point of all the glute muscles. If you focus on squeezing that – you almost can’t help having all the surrounding glute muscles also engage.

      This doesn’t necessarily create more room for the femurs, but it helps keep the pelvis in the right position throughout the whole movement. Which keeps you from LOSING room. Other factors, at least for me, I think are still getting in the way.

      Wider stances definitely help me.

    • #73780
      AvatarNathan Richer

      hey Thor,

      i think that you won’t be able to squeeze the glutes the whole way down.  since descending into squat means the glutes are lengthening, you won’t be able to flex them as they want to lengthen.
      IMHO “squeeze the glutes” is a cue and one that is usually results in a good starting position for the descent. however, it’s the hams that pull the pelvis down and into posterior tilt and if you try to cue “squeeze the hams” you’ll probably fail because flexing the hams is really hard and takes a ton of practice. however flexing the glutes usually results in the right action happening in the hams. on the way down, you should have the feeling of pulling your pelvis down by using the hams and also closing the gap between your top of quads and the front of your torso using all the hip flexors.  and don’t forget to be screwing your upper legs outward in external rotation as you descend!
    • #73792
      AvatarLoren Phillips

      I have the same problem, and have been hitting the hip capsule mobs pretty hard on a daily basis. What I’m really unclear about is what are the muscular restrictions of end range hip flexion? I’ve been reading different opinions as to how the hamstrings are involved… Tony Gentilcore proposes multi-planar hamstring mobilizations as the hamstrings are stiff in relation to the anterior core, which results in pelvic tuck. 

      Also, how should an athlete with more of an extension bias should work hip flexion as opposed to an athlete with a more flexion bias? For example, should an athlete with an extension bias who theoretically already has lengthened hamstrings do any work on their hamstrings? My brain just died. 

      As an idea, I think it would be great if the DailyRX would present different daily mobilizations for people in flexion and people in extension.
    • #73797


      You say that you don’t think that you can squeeze the glutes the whole way down. Does that mean that you should let them relax? Or should you still try and keep as much contraction and tension in them as possible throughout the entire squat movement?

      I get that it’s difficult to squeeze them throughout the whole movement. I experience that challenge. But I find that the movement “flows” better if I try to keep that tension throughout. I also find that focusing on squeezing the sphincter in addition to the glutes further influences a proper “flow” of motion.

      Lastly, if I don’t try and squeeze my glutes towards the bottom position of a squat, I find it very difficult for my hamstrings to be able to keep my shins vertical in a stable fashion. I also feel that the attempt to squeeze the glutes helps to keep that pelvis being pulled downward. It’s almost as if the glutes are what’s pushing the pelvis down and under, and the hamstrings are pulling the shins backwards. Because if I don’t try and engage my glutes, my pelvis feels like it doesn’t get pulled down.

      Ultimately I think it’s actually a combination of glute and hamstring engagement that keeps the pelvis in good position, but both of those need to be engaged.

      Maybe I’m thinking about it wrong, but I always thought that you shouldn’t let anything “loosen” throughout the squat movement. Which tells me that I should keep trying to squeeze the glutes – regardless of how difficult or successful it is.

      I could be wrong about this, so please share your thoughts. I definitely agree with the external rotation focus on the femurs.

    • #73798
      AvatarNathan Richer

      first, i am not a clinician or a researcher so i could not tell you exactly what is happening or supposed to happen. that is why this is a cue and not a description of what exactly happens.

      suffice to say that you need to have a lot of tension in the bracing, rising as the load does. that is why the cue is to pull yourself down into position with hams to calves and abs to top of quads. i believe this activates more fully all muscles required, as we are a quad dominant society and if we don’t pull down into position (versus letting gravity drop us into position), we will inevitably over-engage our quads, which leads to knee pain, etc.
      definitely don’t let the glutes relax – if you do then the legs might lose their stability in ext rotating and start drifting inward. i’m just commenting on the fact that tensing glutes usually results in a concentric contraction which wants to keep you up. 
      if you ext rotate at hips, you will have to engage the glutes as the glutes help drive the femurs out and it stabilizes the whole thing. so i think a better cue than thinking about individual muscles like flex glutes, is to ext rotate the femurs out which will not only engage glutes but also all other leg ext rotators. as kstarr says, this creates the super stable position at the hips, and then your body knows what to do from there. if you lose tension (ie. ext rotation), all sorts of things will go wrong like lumbar spine rounding and butt winking.
      so i’ll add this – organize yourself with 20% bracing in torso and glutes, and before you descend torque your femurs outward into ext rotation. then descend.
      also you don’t want to tuck your pelvis at the end or else that leads to butt winking. if you have created enough space between the legs at the hips and have sufficient mobility your pelvis should be in the correct position. 
      but yes squeezing glutes will help engage the high hams and keep your pelvis neutral and not letting it hang out in anterior tilt. and if you can engage the high hams by themselves, do that too! 
    • #73799

      I think we’re on the same page now. 🙂

      I get your concern about how focusing on the glutes might take away some focus on the external rotation.

      I think a blend of the 2 is the right way to go about it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel a lot better about the system now. 🙂

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