Oct 19th, 2006
I’m sure you have all heard us say "everything we do in CrossFit is a wave of contraction that starts at the core (hips) and radiates to the extremities." Well how does this work exactly?
The hip flexors or iliopsoas are a group of muscles passing through the pelvis that act to flex the hips and rotate the lower spine. Lying deep within the torso, these are some of the least known skeletal muscles.
Imbalances in the muscles of the hip can cause back and hamstring trouble. Most problems with the hip flexors (such as leaning forward in the squat), don’t originate in a lack of strength but in a lack of flexibility. If the iliopsoas and hip flexors are tight, they pull down and forward on the pelvis, which tilts the pelvis forward and rounds the lower back. We must fight to pull the pelvis back and keep it from tucking under.
This lack of flexibility also impacts the ability of an athlete to fully fire the hips in exercises such as the squat, kipping pull-up, deadlift, clean, box jump, sprint, etc. and is referred to in CrossFitese as "muted hip function."
Over time, as many of you have experienced, such inflexibility can become uncomfortable, if not downright painful–causing problems with full mobility and creating some sciatica-like symptoms. We urge you to keep working through this issue!
There are several hip flexor stretches that can be done daily to alleviate chronic issues, and should be included in a daily stretching program for athletes that are just beginning to to develop the musculature of the hip flexor.
These hidden muscles are a goldmine of power that are heavily relied upon in 95% of athletic activites and 75% of CrossFit moves!
Find those hip flexors, use them, and stretch them! We have an arsenal of stretches to help fight off hip flexor problems: talk to us if you are having "issues"…Read More