By Thomas DeLauer

Did you know that you’re shortening your hip flexors while sitting at your desk? In this video, HYLETE Community Captain Thomas DeLauer will explain why improving hip extension is important. Follow these 3 therapeutic exercises to help improve the way your hips move. 

Key Terms:

Hip flexors- inner hip muscles that flex when we move our legs forward.

Hip extensors- muscles that open up the hip joint wh

If you’re focusing on a healthier year then watch DeLauer’s video on how to ease your way into a push-up.

About the Author

From 280lbs to the Covers of Magazines... All by living a lifestyle that is honest and real. Thomas DeLauer brings the nutrition expertise along with a unique perspective on health and wellness that is everything HYLETE.

The following is a transcription of the above video:

What's going on HYLETE Nation? It's Thomas DeLauer, your community captain, and I want to give you some tidbits today, simply talking about the hip extension. All right, as you well know, whenever we are at work or whenever we're in the office and we're sitting down, we're shortening our hip flexors. Okay, that's one thing. Sure, we have tight hip flexors. We all know that. That's not a good thing, but did you know that you can actually start improving your lower back pain and start improving how your hips move simply by increasing the strength of your hip extenders, okay? So we've got the extensors which actually move the leg back and we've got the hip flexors that move it forward. It's super basic. Whenever you're squatting or whenever you're doing anything like that, you're shortening those hip flexors. And a lot of the movements that we do whenever we're training the quads or anything like that, we're working on those hip flexors all the time.

Then we go and we sit down, and we sit down and we shorten them even more and we've got the super short hip flexors, but we also don't have strong hip flexors. See, they've gotten so short, their range of motion really isn't that great, so we need to actually increase the range of motion by strengthening the hip extensors. So here's how we do that. I'm gonna give you three exercises that improve that. We need to be able to improve the strength and the static hold ability of the hip going back. We're talking about the hamstrings, the glutes, the glute medius and a little bit of that. All right so the first movement, I'm going to show you, we're gonna get down on our hands and knees. This is literally just going to be a quad extension exercise. All we're doing is trying to keep the back as flat as possible and we're literally gonna stick the leg back out and we're going and we're holding for about two seconds and coming back down.

You can see when I'm doing this, my lower back is tight because my hip extensors are so weak that my lower back is having to take the brunt of it. I'm a perfect example of what is happening to most people that are working in an office or most people that are doing a lot of quad dominant movements, so just repeating the same thing. These are all therapeutic exercises. These are not ones that you really want to incorporate into your workout as total gut busters. These are ones that you want to do in a therapeutic sense whenever you just have some downtime. They will not only strengthen up your hip extensors, but they will also stretch out your hip flexors, which is just an added bonus. We want to get them strong. We want to get that neural connection there between your brain and your hip extensors.

Okay, so the next one we can actually stay on the ground. Super basic. Going to be a bridge, okay? You can do these weighted or you can do them just with body weight. So the first thing we do, we're just going to lay flat on our back. We're going to have our knees at about a 45-degree angle, feet flat on the floor, okay? We're not doing anything crazy, but we're gonna be digging their heels in. Bringing the hips up. Okay, remember ... Hey, Remi. This is a good time to mention that HYLETE has some awesome involvement with ScratchMyBelly Dog Rescue, which is an awesome dog rescue organization out of San Diego. But anyway, all we gotta do while simultaneously petting a dog is make sure that you're bringing your hips up to the point where your hip flexors are stretching and then you're squeezing the glutes at the top. Remember, you're trying to build that neural connection between your brain and your glutes, so hold for about two to three seconds up top. Hit it again.

Again, this is not a gut buster movement. This isn't something you're gonna incorporate in your workout. This is simple movements that you can do just when you're at the office and need to break away and work on your lower back and work on your hip extensors so your low back doesn't hurt. Okay, you can go ahead and do like 15 to 20 reps. Doing about three to four sets throughout the course of the day, okay? Then the next one I want to show you, we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna stand back up again. This one is super basic. You can do this with either a cable machine or just with straight up body weight. You're going to laugh because this is how bad my hip extensors are. I shouldn't even be showing you guys this because I'm a bad example.

All right, I'm going to just plant one foot down, slight bend to it, and all I'm doing here is I'm kicking that foot back, keeping that leg totally straight. If you start feeling a pinch in your lumbar spine when you're doing, it can definitely be a good indicator that you are way too weak in these hip extensors and you're again taking the brunt of the load through the lumbar spine. I actually have a little bit of a slipped disc down there, so I really feel it, which tells me that my hip extensors are way too weak and it's probably why I slipped the disc, to begin with. Okay, so again, repeating the other side. It seems so pathetic, but you want to keep that chest super high. Try not to do this. That is not doing a good movement. That's more of a Romanian deadlift almost.

You just want to be kicking this leg back and working that extensor. And over time you're going to start feeling it right in here, right in the glute, a lot more. Super simple movement.

So that's how we do it, HYLETE. That's how we improve our hip extensors so we can start alleviating that back pain and start getting on the track to being the best version of ourselves in 2018. And as always, keep it locked in here on HYLETE so you can get the best health tips for 2018, but also so you can continue to get the best apparel that you possibly can without the high price tag. I will see you soon.