Move Better Monday: Cat Camel Variations

"You need to strengthen your core and hip musculature."

We hear this all the time when it comes to the advice given to folks that suffer from back pain. In a bunch of cases, pain could be due to poor exercise technique. Better engagement of the muscles that attach at the hips and core could prevent lower back pain during loaded movements.

But what's causing our debilitating pain when we rotate, bend sideways, or move in such a way where we don't train that line of motion?

Speaking from first-hand experience and the consensus amongst clients I've worked with, it always comes down to whether or not you have control of movement at the entire spine. With most exercises for injury "prevention" of the lower back, we talk about stabilizing the spine with proper bracing. While building strength in these positions is 100% a good recommendation for anybody, these static positions we train might not necessarily ensure that we relieve pain completely.

This is exactly why I love Cat Camel.

The neuromuscular control cat camel helps you develop is unlike any other drill I've ever performed for the spine. The key to making this drill as effective as possible is concentrating on moving one vertebrae of the spine at a time. It takes time to really hone in on this and control it to the best of your ability, but the variations in the video above should be a great starting point for you.

Move Better Monday: Quadruped Hip Extension with Contralateral Hip Flexion

As I've touched on in the past, hip extension is a crucial movement for most athletic movements. If you don't have enough control or range of motion at the hips, you're more than likely going to suffer an injury at some point down the road.

To prevent this, learning how to properly extend the hip without any lower back movement should be your top priority. If you're stuggling with the initial hip extension video I posted in the link above, the drill below will ensure that you're lower back doesn't move as you try to extend the hip.

If you've found that these drills I publish every Monday are helping you, it might be a good idea for you to check out the Par Four Performance Virtual Kinstretch Group. Every Sunday, we upload a new Kinstretch class that you have access to 24/7 as well as new weekly drills that we suggest you perform every single day. For a complimentary session, subscribe to the newsletter below to receive yours today!

Move Better Monday: Supine Hip Flexion with Knee Hinges

Anterior hip pain is one of the common problems that becomes present with any type of squat. More often than not, this is chalked up as some type of structural impingement issue without any further look into the symptoms. While impingement at the hip is definitely a common issue, there are tons of cases that provide similar symptoms that aren't actually driven due to structural restrictions.

While you might have the flexibility (passive range of motion) to flex your hip, this doesn't ensure that you have the mobility (active range of motion) to do so. One of my favorite drills to improve our range of motion while also better controlling it is through Supine Hip Flexion with Knee Hinges.

Of course, this is a great way to primarily challenge your ability to move through hip flexion. I've also found great improvements in internal rotation for myself just by focusing on not letting my hip bow out to the side it wants to while holding the ball. Trust me, this drill is much harder than it looks. The carryover benefits it provides make it a no brainer for your warm-ups and off-day training.

Move Better Monday: Improving Hip Extension

Want to throw a baseball hard or deadlift the house? You better make sure you have enough hip extension to do so. This movement, which is so important for power output, is quite often limited in a lot of athletes and general population clients I work with on a daily basis.

Instead of using the muscles of the posterior leg, these people limited in hip extension range of motion typically rely on excessive lower back motion to compensate. Doesn't exactly sound ideal if you're a rotational athlete like a golfer, right?

Here's one of my favorite ways to both assess and improve the way you extend the hip, while avoiding movement at other joints.

Move Better Monday: Virtual Kinstretch Group

It's live, folks!

The Par Four Performance Virtual Kinstretch Group is officially up and running. We're excited to spread this awesome system through an online platform to help people move and feel better. To say thank you for your support, we'd like to offer you a complimentary Kinstretch class! Check out the video below for a preview:

You could receive our first Kinstretch class, a 32-minute video, for free by signing up for our newsletter below.