Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Great Cue To Teach The Hip Hinge

I know, I know another post about teaching the hip hinge:)  Well, I have found this tip to be one of the most effective at teaching it, and I have tried a lot of them.

As I am sure most of you know, teaching the hip hinge pattern should be one of the first things you do with your new clients.  I know you have probably read a ton of articles on effective cuing and performance, but I never think it hurts to have too many cues.

When someone is first learning this pattern, it is very common to see excessive extension in the low back.  This is most likely due to a faulty pattern in which the person has learned to stabilize with their passive structures (i.e. approximating the vertebrae of their spine) instead of using their active structures (i.e. muscles such as obliques).  It is "easy" to just rely on passive structures for support and stabilization because you do not have to work as hard.  However, over time this can lead to wear and tear and injury.

To cue people out of excessive extension, I like to have the client place their hands on the lower part of their ribcage.  Then, I tell them arch back slightly.  When they do this, I point out that their ribs are poking out, which they should be able to feel.  Next, I have them push their ribs back down so that they are flush with their skin.  I tell them that is the ideal position they want to be in.  Lastly, I have them perform the hip hinge pattern with their hands on their ribs.  I ask them to pause at the bottom position and then ask them if their ribs are "poking out" (BAD) or flush against their skin (GOOD).

Good hand position - now she needs to push her ribs down!

Lastly, this is also a great tip because if I say "ribs" to one of my clients they know exactly what I mean and fix their low back position.  And as I mentioned in my last post (HERE), you want your cuing to be as succinct as possible.

Give this cue a shot and let me know what you think.  

NOTE: This cue does not necessarily teach someone to move from their hips.  If someone is struggling with moving from the hips, then I look at a progression scheme that goes from supine to quadruped to kneeling to standing.  Some examples are:

Supine:  Supine straight leg raise
Quadruped:  Rock Back
Kneeling:  Tall Kneeling Squat
Standing:  Hip Hinge

Have a great week everyone!!

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