Today wraps up our four part series on soft tissue release. We talked about the the importance of soft tissue’s role on your movement signature, specifically these key qualities:
Today we dive into the final soft tissue release area – the hips.
The Hips are like a Car Differential; Balancing Forces
The hips are often referred to as the “engine” behind force production, but they are more like the differentials of your car. These joints are the connection that balance the input and output of three force vectors (right leg, left leg, and torso). Because most of the movements that we do are not symmetrical, there is a constant balancing of incoming and outgoing forces. This constant tension takes a toll on the muscles of the hip, and just like routine maintenance on your car, it is important to take care of the inner workings of the hips.
Like many of the other areas that we have discussed, soft tissue release of the hips is important because knots and tension in this area often result in transferred pain elsewhere. This transfer of pain can be understood through the mobility / stability continuum. This principle explains that when a joint that is intended to be mobile (the hips) loses function it forces ROM into adjacent joints that are intended to be stable (the spine or knees). One example is trigger points in the high gluteus medius that manifest as low back pain. Also consider the connection between tension in the adductors and resulting knee pain. One important strategy for dealing with chronic pain through soft tissue release is to look “upstream and downstream” of the painful area for dysfunctional tissues.
How to Release the Hips **Bonus Footage**
Roll the Adductors – Use the roller to work the inner thigh, start just inside the knee and work up toward the hips
Roll the TFL (the tensor fascia latae – found at a 45 degree angle below crease of hip) – Curl up on your side and use a lacrosse ball to roll small circles just outside of hip pocket
Roll the Glutes – Focus on the high insertion point of the glute along the pelvic ridge. Cross the right ankle over left knee, lean back on the right elbow, roll side to side along the waistband
How to Release the Groin and Hamstrings
Find a box or bench in order to get a better angle and more weight into the groin or hamstrings
Lean forward and use small rocking motions to release the high adductors and groin
Stay more upright to work through the hamstrings
You now have all the tools you need to perform basic maintenance on the soft tissues of your body in order to develop and maintain your Sparta signature. This is critical because most injuries are a result of chronic accumulation of fascial tension and trigger points that lead to poor body position and inhibited performance.
The only element that remains is consistency. Take care of your soft tissue everyday.