The hips are without a doubt the biggest focus in the P.volve method. Centrally located in the body, the hips set the foundation for all movement above and below the midline and are equally responsible for muscle activation as well as muscle strain. We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about tension in the hip flexors, and it’s an important topic deserving of it’s own blog.
First, let me explain a bit about flexion. Flexion in your hips is what allows you to bring your leg or knee in towards your torso and vice-versa, folding your upper body down toward your legs. In most workout regimens that consist of squats, lunges and deadlifts, the hips are limited to this motion of flexion. It may sound counterintuitive, but only moving your hips through flexion, and not exercising the other motions of the hips, can actually lead to hip flexor strain.
As I explained in greater detail in my previous blog about the importance of the hips, the hips are designed to move not only through flexion but also extension, internal rotation, external rotation, abduction, and adduction. Over time, only training the hips through flexion leads to inactive, dormant glutes—and the rest of the body suffers as a consequence.
This is why it is imperative that you move slowly when going through the workouts, especially when you are first starting out with P.volve. It’s worth emphasizing that no matter what kind of shape you are in or how often you work out, everyone first coming to this method starts as a beginner, and I recommend everyone start with the 2-Week Beginner Series.
With P.volve, we are effectively reprogramming the way your body moves, awakening it to the natural motions we are biologically designed to perform on a daily basis but that modern (sedentary) life has caused us to forget. As an unfortunate result, many of us have much less control over our bodies than we even realize. The less control you have of your body, and the more you try to throw yourself into the new movements of this method, the more you risk injury.
If you start off rushing through the movements or doing more advanced workouts before you’ve progressed through the foundational levels of the P.volve method, you run the risk of pulling or straining the muscles—and the hip flexors are often the first ones to take the hit.
Here are some P.tips if you’re feeling a strain in the hips:
- Take your time with the warm up to really open up the hips; even though they are just stretches, they are often pretty intense, so don’t rush them
- Lose the equipment if you start to feel strain in your hip flexors
- When doing leg lifts, don’t lift your leg as high; work within your current range of motion, and build up to it
- Be sure to keep your knee back on the standing leg as you do any sort of single-leg exercises
- When doing mat exercises on the back, really press your lower back and lower abs into the mat and keep the motions smaller (ie. don’t lower your legs so much; keep it controlled).
If you’re applying these tips and still feeling a strain, it’s always best to stop and ask your doctor. You likely just need to take a few rest days, but you want to be sure there isn’t a greater issue at play.
Ultimately, only you can truly know your body and its limitations, but that is what P.volve sets out to teach each and every client—whether you’re coming in to the studio or are streaming across the world. Rather than place emphasis on speed or big, grand movements, P.volve teaches you refinement and control to build a stronger, leaner, naturally proportioned body that will you take you throughout your life, not just your workouts.
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