As can be clearly seen from her video below, she knows the hips don’t lie.
And because I’ve been inspired by Shakira and her masterful hip mobility, today I’m going to make a case for why you should really take heed of her deep insight on the honesty of this often overlooked joint.
For all of my desk jockey readers out there, pay special attention.
I could go into a lengthy description of the hip joint and all the associated musculature and potential compensations that can occur.
But I won’t.
I tried that many years ago with my clients and soon realized that the look that settled on on their faces was not actually interest, or even feigned interest, but rather the intricate contortion of the small facial muscles into a very purposeful look of “I don’t give a shit”.
Mentally, I suspect that this was probably their first out of body experience. They were making their grocery lists, reviewing their emails or possibly even replaying the latest episode of American Idol from their memory banks.
Lesson learned…Most of my clients don’t really care to know a whole lot about the anatomy behind their pain. They just want to know the bare minimum to enable them to do what they have to do to fix their problems.
So here’s the gist of why happy hips equal happy spine.
The body, in all its elegance, simply executes the directives sent by the brain. If the brain wants a certain movement done, the body will do everything it can to make it happen.
Even if said movement happens to be damaging.
If the hips don’t move, the required movement will come from somewhere else. Unfortunately, in most cases, this happens to be from the vulnerable lumbar spine.
Many people with low back pain have tight or restricted hip mobility.
Some aren’t able to extend their legs backward through the hip joints properly. So their bodies will help create that extension by moving excessively through the lower spine.
Others aren’t able to flex their hips up, so their bodies compensate by flexing through the low back instead in order to achieve the desired range of motion.
Both of these compensations override the built in protective mechanism that is key to our back health: the ability to activate our built in corset to brace against both internal and external forces.
Over time and with repeated flexion and extension compensation movements, the tissues of the back are slowly worn down. Until something breaks, something gives or something hurts.
So if you don’t like hurting, take care of your hips and keep them mobile.
In the next post I’ll go over a couple of my favourite hip mobility drills.
And remember, your hips don’t lie.
Yours in movement.