Here’s a really simple exercise featured in our current block of programming.
The standing KB hip flexor raise.
If you find yourself tight in the hips or suffer from frequent low back pain. This might be just the movement you need.
With many of us sitting for long stretches of time, our hip flexors become shorter, tighter, and weaker.
If we just train movements that help us open up our hips, like squats, deadlifts, cleans, and snatches our hips will find improved ranges of motion in flexion and conversely improve mobility in our hip flexors…..right?
While it’s definitely important to train hip extension, those movements do not actively target the hip flexors. That’s why it’s important to include exercises that strengthen the hip flexors as well.
And like I’ve shared before, when a muscle becomes stronger it not only becomes more durable, but mobile as well!
Why I really like this movement is due to how it not only strengthens each hip separately, but it how it supports good gait mechanics.
When we walk, one leg has to support the body as the other leg swings forward in preparation for heel strike. When one hip is flexing, the opposite hip is driving hard into extension. By teaching the hips and limbs how to coordinate and fire effectively and efficiently, you get a movement that develops balance and stability too.
An added bonus of this movement is some shin strengthening, too, as the toes must stay pointing up (ankle dorsiflexion) to prevent the kettlebell from slipping off the foot.
You won’t need much weight for this movement to be effective.
Keep a slow burning tempo to keep the time under tension high!
3 sets of 8-10 reps and you’ve got a nice accessory movement to keep you injury free and healthy for the long run!