Why Deep Squats Are Good for You

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Half Kneeling Adductor Dips

Very similar to the one above, this exercise is another great movement to help open up the hips and target the adductors.

Prone Hips Flexed Hip Rocking

This is a great exercise I stole from strength coach Kevin Neeld that helps mobilize the hips into both adduction and abduction.

Everyone has “tight” hip flexors. Not a surprise, since the vast majority of us spend 10-15 hours per day in front of the computer, at class, commuting, playing video games — in other words, sitting.
Starting in a quadruped position, flex one hip to 90 degrees. From there, simply “rock” side to side making sure to limit movement from the lumbar spine and focusing more on the hip capsule itself. It’s important to note that this is a self-limiting exercise, meaning don’t be too concerned with range of motion here – just use what you have and try to improve on that as you go.

Hip Flexor Tightness is extremely common. Everyone has “tight” hip flexors. Considering that the vast majority of us spend 10-15 hours per day in front of the computer, at class, commuting, playing video games, or watching American Idol, it should come as no surprise.

To that end, there are a handful of valuable exercises/drills that we have our clients implement on a daily basis that hammer the hip flexors, but the one we use the most at CP is the wall hip flexor mobilization.

Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization

Specifically targeting the rectus femoris (which crosses both the hip and knee joints), kneel in front of a wall and rock back and forth. Seriously, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

3) Poor Thoracic Mobility

While poor t-spine extensibility causes a plethora of issues up and down the kinetic chain (cervical pain, shoulder pain, anterior pelvic tilt, etc.), particularly regarding squatting, limited shoulder mobility and/or thoracic extension will hinder one’s ability to get into proper position.

Some basic drills one can implement to address this include:

Three-Point Extension-Rotation

While considered a progression from your typical quadruped extension-rotation, this exercise incorporates a bit more anterior core engagement (see below) as well as a little more serratus recruitment, which is always important for optimal shoulder function. 8-10 repetitions on each side should suffice.

No-Money Drill

This is an exercise that Eric Cressey popularized and targets both glenohumeral mobility and scapular stability simultaneously.

Simply stand flush against the corner of a wall (or a power rack) with your elbows at your sides, bent to 90 degrees. Abduct your lower arm, making sure to keep your shoulder blades down the entire time – be sure not to compensate by hyper-extending your lumbar spine! Perform 8-10 repetitions.

T-Nation originally posted this article on January 19, 2011. To read the full article, click here.

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