Stretching Alone IS NOT The Answer To Unlocking Your Hips…
Tight hips happen to most of us, we sit too much and don’t do enough stretching. While stretching is good for short term relief there is usually a reason you got tight in the first place.
If your job involves a lot of sitting then your hips may become tight due to the position you are in, however the same applies to standing all day. While the hips become tight, they often become overactive and prevent the Glutes from doing their job. As a result we end up with tight hips, sore knees and backs, this is usually when we start stretching again…
So what can you do to prevent this if stretching alone isn’t the answer?
We can bring in Activation moves and mobility work into your daily routine, this helps to get the gluten activated while unlocking your hips. So by including the ACTIVATION along with the stretches, you are recruiting the under-active muscle and forcing it to work while stretching the overactive muscle and allowing it to relax. This can help with postural issues, reduce tightness throughout your body and allow for better movement!
We will look more into gluten activation and exercises over the next few weeks as this is a very common issue for people everywhere. This is because we have become lazy with our Asses, we don’t activate them and allow other muscles to pick up the slack, most commonly the HIPS. In order to keep our hips loose, we need to make sure our glutes are working.
SO WHAT ARE ACTIVATION EXERCISES???
These are isolation exercises that help you to focus on specific muscles and create a better mind-body connection with them. This may sound silly but often we forget to actually how to use many of the muscles in our body and we have become lazy with them. It’s easy to engage them when there being forced to work when exercising but harder to remember to engage your core and glutes when simply standing. When it comes to our glutes, we often don’t think about whether or not they are working. We just go through the motions and repeat movements regardless and assume that we are using everything that should be getting activated.
While compound movements like squat may be are great for the glutes, if you’re tight then other muscles like our quads, hamstrings and lower back will take over. That is why we need to include Glute Activation Moves as often as possible. By doing activation exercises we help create a better relationship with our bodies and recruiting the correct muscles, so our Butts actually work when doing Deadlifts and Squats. As an added bonus these activation exercises also help to strengthen the core, another area we often under use in daily life and can loosen the muscles that feel tight.
THE ACTIVATION EXERCISES….
1. Donkey Kick – This move will wake up your entire core, activating your glutes and warming up your abs and shoulders. Don’t let the low back arch and make sure you draw your belly button in toward your spine. Make sure that as you lift you are squeezing the glute of the leg you are raising.
2. Glute Bridge – The glute bridge can be used for developing gluten strength as well as activation and can be performed bodyweight or with resistance.
3. Fire Hydrant –
This is a great way to wake up the glute medius, a critical muscle for maintaining balance and preventing knee and ankle injuries.
4. Bird Dog – We’ve spoken about this before and with good reason as this is a great core stabiliser exercise. The key with the bird dog is to move slowly. You can add a band connecting your hand to your heel if you want to add resistance.
5. Side Plank with Leg Lift – While this is a great core exercise it is also a brilliant glute activation exercise.
Give these exercises a go and see how simply activating your glutes and core can help alleviate tightness and prevent back and knee pain.
If you want further help or to go through these exercises in more detail, give us a message through the website or Facebook to get booked in for a FREE Programme or technique session as part of your membership.