Most people go right to those spots and blame dysfunction at those points for the pain they feel.
For years, during Spring Training, I would take one set of magical measurements that would tell me a lot about a persons pain-patterns, injury history, and current pain/ functional performance.
Measuring their hips. What does that mean?
Most people think they either have tight hips or loose hips. NOT TRUE.
In order to understand if your hips are truly working properly, you must get a measurement of the range of motion within the joint.
Most physical therapists have this ability to get the measurement number using a goniometer.
This provides actual metrics to a potentially hazardous situation. There is a lot of talk about mobility right now- but NOT ONCE have I heard mention of getting measured.
For those that have low range of motion around their hips (low is less than 40 degrees), both internally and externally, you must take action.
I have found a direct correlation between lower back pain and hip range of motion. If the hips lack motion or are asymmetrical in their measurement- this is concerning.
So what do you do? You must start stretching/ mobilizing the internal/ external rotators of the hip, as well as reducing tension in the hip flexors using massage, trigger point therapy, and foam rolling as a part of a daily plan and prep routine pre activity.
Asymmetrical hips can also be the reason why you have chronic postural issues- from leaning to slouching.
Let me simplify this for those of you that are not performance coaches.
If you do not have enough motion in the hip joint and you try to power through activity, and even stretch aggressively, you will have daily aches/ pains and performance limitations.
These limitations could be anything from PAIN to lack of speed, strength, or power.
Lack of hip range of motion is a major performance limiter- as well as a performance inhibitor.
Most injuries to the lower extremity of the body can be traced back to hip function. Why? Poor hip function leads to compensations which ultimately lead to dysfunction and breakdown.
A poorly functioning hip will pave the way for secondary muscles, performing primary functions- which overloads patterns and muscle groups that are not built for what they are being asked to do.
Let's take action. If you are really serious about this- get to a physical therapist that can measure your internal and external hip rotation.
If you just want a simple routine, visit www.danacavalea.com and you can access a simple stretching video that addresses the hips.
Dana Cavalea is the former Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees.
Currently, he is a high performance speaker and consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes.
With the New York Yankees Organization, he spent many of those as the Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance Enhancement, winning a World Series in 2009.
Dana is also the founder of The Proformance Agency, a network of like-minded coaches focused on advancing the performance of CEO's, Executives, Celebrities, and high profile performers. Dana is the owner of ML Strength, a group of health, wellness and fitness centers located in the New York Tri-State area.