Today we are sitting so much that our mobility is suffering dramatically. Most people have lost their capacity to effectively put their leg behind their body. As we move, be it walk, run, or even going down stairs, we need good hip extension, that is, to be able to move the knee behind the butt.
Hip extension uses one of your strongest muscles - hip extensors, which helps stabilize your pelvis and is important for daily movement, exercise and sport activities. Loss of glute function has an effect on control of our back and can create low back pain or knee pain.
Here’s a simple drill to check your hip mobility to see if it needs improvement;
With arms over head, step forward in a Deep Lunge. Your front leg should be at a 90 degree angle with the knee in line with the ankle. Your back foot should be far enough back that your knee should be behind your butt. Squeeze your butt to activate the glutes. Your arms help to keep your back more upright. You can place your knee on the ground or slightly above if you can handle it. Hold that stretch for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
This exercise not only helps you understand your body alignment but it is a great stretch for your gluteal muscles - as it helps reduce tension, tightness and prevents injury.
It’s important to realize that movement is key to longevity and quality of life. Working your hip extensors helps improve movement, coordination and a sense of body awareness. Something that I incorporate in all of my fitness workouts.