Ha ha – I just couldn’t help myself – I had to make a pun
But really, this is no laughing matter.
Let’s continue our 3 part series we started yesterday on
“3 Controversial Tricks for a stronger Press.”
Many KB users are lacking hip mobility and this makes
their Press weak.
Many people are actually lacking full hip extension – the
ability to move their hip into extension. They get that
extension from their lower backs.
Here’s a great case in point:
I’ve been training lately at an Olympic lifting gym that
also does CrossFit-esque type classes.
One of the warm ups I see done is the classic leg
swing. You know the one – where you stand on one leg
and swing the other.
The problem is that most of their movement, especially
when the leg moves underneath and behind the body
comes from their lumbar spine.
As someone who used to have an overly-mobile
lower back that’s been injured – this, in the words of
Goose from “Top Gun,” is –
“Not good, Mav. Not good.”
Here’s how you know if you’ve got a hip mobility issue.,
as proposed by some really smart movement specialists –
Dr Vladimir Janda and PT Shirley Sahrmann:
Lie on your stomach and place your legs together.
Keeping your legs straight, lift one leg off the ground
so the front of your thigh comes off the ground without
the knee bending. Do the same for the other side.
The simple “self-diagnosis” is that if you can’t get your
thigh off the floor without bending your knee or without
your pelvis rolling off the floor with your leg, then you’ve
got a problem with hip extension.
Same thing if doing this causes a pinching or cramping
in your lower back.
And yes, for any clinicians reading, I realize this is a
reductionistic and simplistic interpretation of this test.
But since no one is standing over our good friend
reading this, ready to palpate and determine muscle
firing order, this will have to do.
It’s a start and it’s better than nothing.
Ok, so back to the test and why hip extension is
important for your Pressing strength, and really for
your total body strength.
If you’re lacking hip extension, you’re most likely
one of “those” people – you know – people who sit
on their butts all day long chained to a computer or
This does a wonder – or as I just read recently – a
plethora – or even a myriad if you prefer – of really bad
things to your body.
1. It makes your hip flexors tight, which inhibits
your abs from working properly.
2. Tight hip flexors prevent your glutes from contracting
properly or fully. (Called “reciprocal inhibition.”)
3. This means you’re losing stability – literally leaking
strength, most times through your lower back and
your sides – when you try to put heavy weight over
And that’s bad news in the long run for your Press.
Because the body doesn’t like to load the spine with
heavy weights when the spine is not aligned.
And without the ability to contract your glutes fully
when you press, you’ll not have the ability to fully
recruit your abs either.
Both of which increase not only the compressive
load on the spine, but also the sheer forces. And that’s
where you can get seriously jacked up.
“Seriously jacked up” is of course Latin for “some kind
of nasty lower back injury.”
Bottom line on hip extension:
(Heh, heh, get it – “bottom” – as in hips as in glutes… Oh
Find out if you’re lacking full hip extension and do
everything in your power to get it back.
Not only will it boost your Press, but all your KB ballistic
work like your Swings and Snatches will get much
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start with this –
I’ll show you inside the “Kettlebell Burn Inner Circle”
in the first month’s program, called “The Four
Oh yeah, one more thing I forgot to mention –
If you’re lacking full hip extension like I was, then you
also have a chance of getting some kind of hip injury
when squatting, like I did. I tore the labrum in both
hips cause my body was compensating. (Left hip
twice – “lucky” me!)
And you know what really interferes with your Press
strength along with overall total body strength?
The body no like-y pain.
And the last thing it cares about when it’s in it is
getting stronger. The FIRST thing it cares about is
AVOIDING more pain.
So in order to do that, it changes your movement
patterns, helping you successfully build even more
So take care of this hip extension thing today.
It really is THAT important not only to your overall
health, but also to your performance – your strength.
The “Four Corners” program inside the Inner Circle
will get you back on track.