Stretch and train like an athlete to see faster gains here
Everyone knows that they have to stretch their hips and legs if they want to maintain optimal performance in their training. That said, people often times forget about the mobility component of this and think stretching your hips alone will do the trick. It will not. If you want to build bigger, stronger legs you need to be sure you have both adequate mobility and hip flexibility. In this video, I show you a stretching drill that you can do to improve your hip mobility and flexibility at the same time.
The target of this drill is the psoas major. The psoas is a large muscle that has the main responsibility of flexing the hip. Due to the fact that it has attachments on the lateral aspect of the vertebral bodies in the lower thoracic and enter lumbar spine however, this muscle not only has a great impact on the health of your back, but needs to be addressed completely if it is to have an impact on your training.
To really stretch the psoas major you need to perform a drill that combines hip extension and lateral trunk flexion away from the side of the stretch. This video showcases a quick and easy stretch that you can do in mobility fashion (by moving into and out of the stretch dynamically) that will not only help to loosen up that tight hip flexor of yours but also mobilize your hips in general.
All you need is a moveable bar (as I show in the smith machine) or a simple broomstick that you support over the back of two pieces of furniture. Ideally, this bar can be placed at hip height. You start by standing to the side of the bar with your feet pointed straight ahead of you. Duck down and squat with hips wide apart as you attempt to move under the bar. You will perform a side lunge at the bottom of the squat to get your body from one side of the bar to the other.
Once underneath, rotate your back foot so it’s pointing in the direction you are going. From here, reach your hands up overhead to increase the extension of the hip and lean your torso away from the hip being stretched. This tilt will intensify the stretch even further. The fact that you have to hold this position and then slide back under in the other direction will help to reinforce the greater mobility of the hips as well.
Perform this mobility stretching drill 10 times in each direction or until your hips feel adequately mobilized and loosened.
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