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Your Hips A.K.A. Your Engine

A while ago several blogs were published on the importance of your core. The core of a human being was equated to the transmission of a car. This comparison was made because your core allows power to be transferred to the extremities of your body. Now the question is where does that power come from? The answer is the power comes from your hips. Your hips include the quads, the hamstrings, the gluteus and many others.

These are some of the biggest muscles in your body and are therefore capable of producing the most force. There is a reason that unless you are a seriously upside down individual you will never be able to press more than you can squat. The muscles in your upper body simply do not have the size that those in your lower body do. In CrossFit we are all about efficiency. This begs the questions why would we try and use some of the smallest muscles in our bodies to do the most work, like pull-ups and muscle-ups? As efficiency seekers we wouldn’t. This is why we incorporate kipping into our movements (CrossFit did not invent kipping that was probably some gymnast I do not know the name of). In kipping you use your hips to help propel you upwards and take some of the stress off of your shoulders. You’re probably thinking, ‘I get it, your hips are important. This currently has not changed my fitness level at all. Besides encouraging you to let your hips do more of the work, this is going to be another P.E.B. so here are some tips for using your hips more efficiently-

1) Stretch- tight hips are bad hips

2) Jump – box jumps, broad jumps, any sort of jumps help teach and warm your hips up for explosive movements.

3) Olympic lifting- helps teach you to use your hips more efficiently

4) Snatch balance- I separate this from the over arcing category of olympic lifting, because I think that when teaching hip speed the snatch balance is one of the most important movements.

I hope that these tips help you to become more efficient overall and help you use your engine better.

Do you feel like you use your hips well? Do you like box jumps? Post comments below!

– T.I.

Jennifer demonstrating an awesomely flat back on her deadlift! Click here to check out more pics on Flickr!