Hip Opener for Hinge Shapes

Many lifting injuries result from a lack of movement awareness and weakness of the posterior muscles. The hip hinge is a foundational movement for so many actions like deadlifts, squats, sprinting, jumping. Lacking an effective hip hinge is like racing a formula 1 car on flat tyres.

Developing a good hip hinge will improve the strength of the posterior chain. This includes muscles like the glutes, hamstrings and back extensors. The hinge movement is primarily coming from the hip. The goal is to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement, the hips start to bend with your butt moving backwards and minimal flexion in the knee. This will increase the tension on the hamstrings and glutes.

The majority of people find this pattern of movement unnatural, as it’s rarely practiced and in most cases, are quad dominant. This quad dominant pattern causes weight to be distributed anteriorly, which is fine with some activities, but most actions we need to be more engaged with our posterior chain.

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Below are a series of stretches and strengthening exercises to help Improve your hip hinging abilities.

Weighted Hip Hinge

This exercises is a great way to warm up and encourage the hip back movement while fighting the resistance to maintain a neutral spine.

WEIGHTED HIP HINGE ❌ Practising your hip hinge, can be difficult to maintain position through range. Using a weight on the mid back can encourage more activity from your back extensors. This is a good war up technique if you've programmed some deadlifts or back squats ❌ Place the weight on your mid back. While maintaining the neutral spine, take your hips back, build up tension in the hamstrings, then bend your knee. Keep the knee track over your ankles. Repeat this movement over 10reps 2-3sets. #fundamentalPhysio #physio #physiotherapist #physiotherapy #crossfitnewmarket #crossfit #gym #fitness #squat #hiphinge #auckland #newmarketnz #mobility #mobilitywod #flexiblehips #strongerhips #injuryprevention #athelete #rehab #deadlifts #sprints #boxjumps #stronghamstrings

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Banded Hip Distractions

These two movements are also great for warming up. Both encourage release of the hamstrings but also the band provides a traction force on the hip socket. This should allow the joint to move free’er and help you access more range in the joint.

BANDED HIP DISTRACTION❌ Using a resistance band to distract the hip from its socket is a great mobility technique to do before training. Helping you access more range in the joint without risking impingment ❌ This will help with your hip hinge making deadlifts and squats feel easier ❌ With the band up in your hip crease and pulling from behind. Go onto your hands and knees, find your neutral spine. Maintain the spinal position while moving your hips backwards and then forwards. Repeat this movement on each leg for 1-2 minutes. #fundamentalPhysio #physio #physiotherapist #physiotherapy #crossfitnewmarket #crossfit #gym #fitness #squat #hiphinge #auckland #newmarketnz #mobility #mobilitywod #flexiblehips #strongerhips #injuryprevention #athelete #rehab #deadlifts #sprints #boxjumps

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Banded Hip Hinge ❌ Achieving a good hip hinge with help you out in so many activities. It's particularly important for lifting activities and minimising stress to the spine ❌ Using the band is a great way of assisting the movement, as well as providing a capsule distraction on the hip joint. Allowing you to access greater ranges within the joint safely ❌ For this movement, get the band up close into the groin, with the same leg step out in front. Maintain a neutral spine and bend forwards to wind up the tension on the hamstring. From this point gently straighten and bend the knee to give you hamstrings a stretch. Repeat the process 1-2 minutes on each leg ❌ This is a particularly good movement to do before training. #fundamentalPhysio #physio #physiotherapist #physiotherapy #crossfitnewmarket #crossfit #gym #fitness #squat #hiphinge #auckland #newmarketnz #mobility #mobilitywod #flexiblehips #strongerhips #injuryprevention #athelete #rehab #deadlifts #sprints #boxjumps

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Dynamic Hamstring stretch

This is a deeper stretch of the hamstrings. Having more flexibility here will help you hinge better at the hip which will off load the knees.

SPLIT HAMSTRING STRETCH ❌ The dynamic stretch works deep into the hamstrings. Providing more range for the muscle will help you with a stronger hip hinge, which will improve performance with so many activities, not just for lifting ❌Close to a wall go into this split position, try to get your heel close to the wall. The loop your arm under the front leg and hold the opposite forearm. Now contract your quads and push against the arm underneath. Repeat this hold-relax for 1-2 minutes. #fundamentalPhysio #physio #physiotherapist #physiotherapy #crossfitnewmarket #crossfit #gym #fitness #squat #hiphinge #auckland #newmarketnz #mobility #mobilitywod #flexiblehips #strongerhips #injuryprevention #athelete #rehab #deadlifts #sprints #boxjumps #football #basketball #hamstrings

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Jefferson Curl

This movement is a great way of developing movement segmentally and will help build strength when maintaining a stable spine. It’s important to note if you have a spinal injury to avoid this movement until you have gone through the appropriate phases of rehab.

JEFFERSON CURL ❌ with this movement it breaks the tradition of holding a rigid neutral spine. It teaches you moving the spine sequentially under control. This will help improve the strength of those static nutral positions, like when doing the hip hinge ❌ Standing on a block, hold the kettlebell. From your neck down begin to CURL, eventually bending at the hips, keep the knees straight. You will feel the hamstrings stretch. At the bottom breath out and relax into the stretch more. Then again breath in and then start straightening through the hips, then stacking the segments of the spine until you ware standing straight again. Repeat 5-6 times 2-3 sets ❌ This one comes with a prepackaged warning, anyone with a back injury should avoid this. Anyone with back injury history should approach it carefully. #fundamentalPhysio #physio #physiotherapist #physiotherapy #crossfitnewmarket #crossfit #gym #fitness #squat #hiphinge #auckland #newmarketnz #mobility #mobilitywod #flexiblehips #strongerhips #injuryprevention #athelete #rehab #deadlifts #sprints #boxjumps

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Read moreHip Opener for Hinge Shapes

Lets stop calling it tennis elbow

Lateral elbow pain is a regular complaint from athletes to manual workers, even office workers are exposed to the risks of these injuries. Sometimes this injury can be difficult to shake off without the necessary changes being made.

Why tennis elbow and what should we call it?

The diagnosis of “tennis elbow’ dates back to 1882 described as “lawn tennis arm”. While it effects up to 50% of tennis players throughout their careers there are many other activities other than tennis that cause this problem.

Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy (LET) is a more appropriate and clinical description of the injury. It encapsulates both a tendinitis (inflammation of the tendon) and tendinosis (micro-tears of the tendon).

With repetitive use of the arm, whether you’re doing a swing, cleaning a 60KG barbell, hammering together a fence or typing up endless reports. As the muscles in the forearm are being used continuously without rest the immune and metabolic bi-products cause micro tears in the tendon, leading to scarring, swelling and lateral elbow pain over time.

What can cause LET?

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The most common cause for LET is mentioned above, the small tearing of tendon inserting into the lateral epicondyle (outer elbow). Most commonly the tear occurs with the small muscle Extensor Carpi Radialus Brevis due to its weak insertion into the extensor tendon. But there are several other wrist extensors that can also overload this tendon complex.

For a long time, it was thought the sole problem was with the tendon and its connecting muscle. But the most recent model of LET suggests that as well as inadequate muscle power and endurance, there are also external factors influencing the pain.

These external factors could be…

  • Neck and mid back dysfunctions – Particularly the lower Cervical spine, the nerves that supply the lateral elbow have nerve roots at this level (C5-6). If nerve roots are irritated at these levels it can enhance the feeling of pain in its pathway down the arm, into the elbow. Following the Law of Denervation (This is a whole other blog!).
  • Posterior shoulder trigger points – Following that same C5-6 nerve root into the shoulder, it supplies posterior shoulder muscles. The development of trigger points in these muscles can irritate the nerve branches travelling down the arm causing enhanced pain into the elbow.
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – This is another condition that effects the nerves supplying the arm. The pressure places on these nerves can also cause pain in the elbow.

As you can see all these external factors add a nerve component to the elbow pain and should be cleared in assessment to ensure they’re not involved or treated appropriately.

How long it takes to recover?

Like all injuries, it will vary. Depending on the severity and how irritable you are this could be a few weeks to a few months. Following the guidance and management of the injury from physio you will have greater success than treating it on your own.

If symptoms persist, with no overall improvement over 12 weeks an ultrasound scan may be indicated, followed by an assessment from an orthopaedic specialist.

How do I prevent LET?

LET is a silent assassin, it’s one of these conditions that develops unknowingly (with scarring and tissue inflammation) until it’s too late (when you feel pain).

If you’re involved in sport or work that uses repetitive motion at the elbow, you’re already a candidate for this type of injury. Consider that your warning and take control.

Firstly, those forearm extensors need to be managed. Taking regular breaks to stretch and strengthen the wrists will help. Rolling the lacrosse ball into the forearm and back of the shoulder to reduce tightness. Consider your posture when sat at work or in the car, aim for your head to be over the shoulders.

For those in the gym, look at your wrist position. Most movements other than front rack and press positions, you want to maintain a neutral wrist. Look at your kettle bell swing or pull up, keeping the wrist close to neutral will reduce the force through the muscles of the forearm.

How can physio help?

Depending your presentation when assessed there are a range of treatments that could include…

  • Soft tissue manipulation of the wrist extensors, neck and shoulder
  • Joint mobilisations to the elbow, cervical and thoracic spine
  • Dry needling of forearm wrist flexors/extensors, deep neck extensors, posterior rotator cuff.
  • Mobilisations with movement for the elbow, neck and shoulder
  • Strapping of rigid or kinesio tape
  • Prescription of elbow brace/clasp
  • Specific exercises to strength and stretching exercises for the wrist, shoulder and cervical spine
  • Mobility exercises for thoracic and cervical spine

There are many treatment options available but to help with a quick recovery it’s important to provide a tailored treatment plan to meet your individual needs.

For an appointment, call on 095290990 or click here to book online 

Read moreLets stop calling it tennis elbow