Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Hips Don't Lie?

Q: Hey, I cycle long distance, but lately my hips are getting tighter and less flexible. How can I get them loose again? This tightness is killing my back!

A: Sitting on a cycle makes your pelvis tilt forward, pulling your butt muscles out of alignment.

This forces you to use more of your lower back for everything instead of your bigger and stronger glutes.

See, since your hips act as a brace for your lower back, your back has to compensate with more flexing, extending, and rotating than it was designed for.

You can release your tight hips and fire up your glutes with a few simple exercises performed 3x weekly.

(Note: We use these exercises in our warmup routine, to make sure your back stays healthy)

Active Hip Flexor Stretch:

Lie on your left side with your heels by your butt and your knees at waist level. Place your left hand on your left knee. Grab your right ankle, flex your foot toward your knee, then rotate your right leg downward. Pause, return, and repeat 10x each side.

1 Leg Glute Bridge:

Lie on your back, knees bent to 90 degrees and heels on the floor. Lift one leg off of the floor and straighten it. Squeeze your butt to lift your hips until you make a straight line between your knee and your shoulder. Lower your butt back to the floor. Repeat 10x each side.

Side Bend Back Lunge:

Stand tall. Step back with your left foot and bend your knees 90 degrees. At the same time reach overhead with your left hand and bend your torso to the right. Then push yourself back up. Repeat 10x each side.

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