November 13, 2012

Solo hip flexor stretch standing


This is the limbering/mobility version of the all-important hip flexor stretch. And, although I do not talk you through this aspect in this video, you can add a contraction, described immediately below:

**Once in the deepest, and technically best, position you can achieve (and making sure that you have tucked the tail as much as you can AND have the back leg's hip as far forward as you can), then try to drag the back leg forwards for five seconds or so.

Then, take a breath in, re-apply all the cues, and as you breathe out, try to straighten the back leg's knee a little more. This will be hard work.**

This solo hip flexor stretch is the best possible warm-up for both a quadriceps and a hip flexor stretch. This sequence is unique in that it is both a strong stretch (if you add the contraction) and an excellent strengthening movement—try holding the bottom position for two minutes (we have done *five* in the Advanced classes).

Read transcription

Kit Laughlin:

The Foundry is also the home of Rocca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And the floors I'm about to show you are simply the best I've ever worked on anywhere in the world. A wonderful surface; they grip and slide at the same time.

Hi, folks. I'm here today at the Foundry, Misty and Mike's fantastic facility here in Edmonton. It's freezing outside, I think it's minus 22 yesterday from memory, but it's lovely and warm in here. And what I'm going to show you today is the standing hip flexor stretch. This is the best of the solo hip flexor stretches.

Now I've recommended elsewhere, and all of you who've attended my workshops have heard me say this, I recommend strongly that you do the partner version first, so that you can feel exactly where it is you're supposed to be feeling the effects of this stretch. But once you've got that partner version down, then this solo version here is just worth its weight in gold. This will keep you limber. This is what it looks like.

Now, the key cues are this. This hip here, I'm going to call this my back hip. The back hip has to come around towards the front, literally as far as you can. The second cue is you have to tuck your tail. Remember that tail tucking cue which flattens the lumbar spine. Make sure you've got enough distance between your feet, front and back, and also make sure that they're wide enough apart, otherwise balancing is going to be a problem.

So this is what it looks like. I'm going to take a breath in, sink down, ideally until the hip is below the knee or close to it. Re-square, re-tuck. Try to straighten the back leg a bit, you won't be able to get it completely straight. And then take another breath in, lean back a little bit, breathe out, breathe in, reach the arms up like this and press your arms against your shoulders. Against your ears, I should say. Sink down like this until the knee just touches the ground. Re-square, re-tuck, re- straighten. And then here's big bit.

Take another breath in, and slowly lean back like this. Re-square, re-tuck, re-straighten, lean back. Go down a bit further. Re-square, re-tuck, re-straighten and lean a bit further back. Now you can see I'm deeper in the position, and we normally, in class we normally stay in this position for a minute or so.

Then come out. And then I'll turn around and show you what this looks like from the other side. Just adjust my microphone. Okay, like this. This will allow you to see the hip position I think really well. Sink down, square, tuck. Sink down further, square again. Make sure the feet are far enough apart. Try to straighten the back leg a little bit, lean back, take a breath in. Press the arms up. Sink down just to feel the knee touching. Re-square, re-tuck, re-straighten slowly without coming up.

Take another breath in and slowly lean back like this. And continue to apply all of the cues for perfect form. I'm loosening up as I'm doing this; it feels fantastic.

Come up. And as always, whichever side was the tighter of the two, stretch it a second time. And I would normally run through this routine probably in a row two or three times. This is where you'll feel the stretch. And the standing version has one advantage over the floor version. Because we're leaning our trunk back, you get this massive fascial involvement through here, and it feels absolutely fantastic. Try it. You'll like it.


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