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You need full range, but you need to control it
I want you to have full range of motion of your hip joint...but you have to be able to control it, too. Just having a lot of range of motion and being extremely flexible isn't applicable to reality. You need that range of motion and you need to control that range of motion.
We can look at controlling that ROM in several ways. This week we are taking a look at it in an open chain setup.
Open vs closed chain made easy
I always thought the terms 'open chain' and 'closed chain' were annoyingly confusing when I was first learning them.
Here is how I think about them (and hopefully this makes it easier for you to understand too):
Open Chain: The limb is moving in space freely around your body
Closed Chain: The limb is stationery and your body is moving around your limb
That's probably not the 'technical' definition, but it translates the same.
For example: bench press is an open chain shoulder exercise (arms/hands are moving in space around your body) and a push up is a closed chain exercise because your arms aren't moving in space, they stay on the ground the whole time and your body moves around your arms.
Open Chain Hip Circles
So that brings us to the drill I demonstrate in this video, Open Chain Hip Circles, helps you to train active control of your hip range of motion in an open chain environment.
I would do this drill as either:
a. part of my daily movement routine / practice
b. part of my warm up or cool down for training
Rep scheme: I'd do several sets of 5-10, but base it on feel, this can get hard quickly
Rules: You don't want there to be a ton of snapping and popping in your hips when you do this. If that happens, either shorten the range of motion or try contracting the muscles in your legs harder.
Next week we will look at this in a closed chain environment, because you should have the mobility and then open and closed chain control.
Want to learn more stuff like this to keep your back, hips, knees, and shoulders healthy?