They say mom always knows best. This proves no different. Soccer moms all over the US have been excessively swinging their arms while “power walking” for years. Now we’re adding it to exercise.
By adding a reciprocal reach pattern to single leg exercises we are mimicking the pattern of a human’s walking gait. Walking gait is the gold standard of human movement. If you have mobility and stability in the proper places, your gait pattern will look and feel as its suppose to. We have modified our exercises to reflect these views.
The snowballs: After a week at the Hruska Clinic with Ron Hruska, Dr. Heidi and Torin Bridge, this concept came up a lot. Think of your body; the sacrum (pelvis,) sternum (rib cage) and sphenoid (head) as three snowballs that make up a snowman. In your walking gait, the bottom snowball needs to rotate one way while the second snowball (rib cage) moves the other. All the while the top snowball (head) stays straight.
Get into your hip:
You have probably heard coaches tell you this over and over. Do you really know what it means? It may not be as easy as once thought. “Find your heels” “get into your hip.” Getting into your hip isn’t some ancient strength coach secret. Coaches and therapists alike have confused your femur for your hips. They think reaching the top of your femur back is “getting into your hip.”
FA vs. AF Movement:
There are two types of movement at the hip. There is whats called FA and AF movement. FA movement is when the femur moves within the acetabulum (hip capsule).This is what I mean when I talk about the femur. Reaching your hips back, while squatting and dead lifting is creating FA movement. AF is the piece of the puzzle we’re missing. AF is when the acetabulum moves upon the femur. This means that your pelvis is swiveling and rotating on the bone (as its designed to.)
I bring this up because we have been emphasizing the wrong type of movement. Maintaining a “tight” core limits the muscles we use during an exercise. We are designed to move at the torso. Therefore exercises should emphasize this movement.
Adding a Reach:
Whether its a SLRDL, single leg squat or a walking or reverse lunge reach the opposite arm and shoulder forward. Emphasize the shoulder.This should turn your pelvis towards your front leg allowing you to “get into your hip.” For the first time you may start to feel the outside of your hip working, maybe even your hamstring and a different pull at your quads. This is what you’re suppose to feel. Don’t be alarmed. Your hamstrings and quads are suppose to work during a squat. It’s not just all about the glutes.