Testing Hip Extension
The ability to achieve hip extension is crucial. What tends to happen for many people, is they actually compensate with the lumbar (lower back). The hips are meant to "create" movement while the lumbar is meant to "resist" or stabilize....so if your lumbar is doing all the moving...it's going to be fired up - pain, discomfort etc.
Hip extension is used whenever you do "hinge" movements such as bridge and deadlift variations. Or something as simple as sitting in and out of a chair and shovelling snow. That's right. For back health we don't bend at the knees first - we actually focus on the "hip hinge". The hip hinge will allow the hamstrings to be engaged taking the stress of the lower back.
One of the ways we can test hip extension is using the supine (lying on the back in bridge) position.
Test yours now...set up your phone to video a side profile. Think of these crucial steps:
1. Heels under knees
2. Arms 45 degrees to torso - palms facing up
3. Take a diaphragmatic breath - if you do this properly your lower back will be touching the ground and rib cage comes down - there should be no "arch" in your lower back
4. Squeeze glutes, press through the heels
5. If you had a dowel - do you have a straight line shoulders-hips-knees? or are you in a "V"
6. If you are in a "V" do about 10-15 reps of a resisted glute bridge as shown in the video...
7. Retest your bridge - did it get better? I'm sure it did...so now you have a new exercise to do daily and especially during your warm ups and movement prep:-)
Good Luck !!