Lower-Body Posture & Mobility Warmups

Lower-Body Posture & Mobility Warmups
Written by Coach Slater

Ever feel like your coaches are watching how you stand around as you wait for class to begin, or after a WOD as you cool down, or as you’re walking into the gym? Always judging, watching… look at the baby, look at the baby.

Well, we’re looking because, sometimes, we see postural alignment faults that we know play an important role in your fitness and injury potential. These alignment faults cause deficits in your range of motion, which reduces your strength. And since strength is so important to our overall fitness, these small details are important. Because of that, I want to quickly talk about ways to self-assess your lower-body and then give you some drills to knock out when you walk in the gym. Look, you don’t have to do all of them, but doing even a few is certainly better than perusing Instagram for the latest meme. And these are easy, so you can socialize while you’re doing them!

Ideal
In a normal situation with a neutral pelvis alignment, your knees should face forward, legs appearing relatively straight, and feet pointing straight ahead to slightly outward about 15 degrees.
NeutralPelvis

Anterior Pelvic Tilt
In a case where your pelvis in tipped forward, internally rotated and adducted (turned in), your knee alignment will give off a “knock-kneed” appearance. In this situation, some muscles will be lengthened and therefore weakened, namely your abs, glutes, and biceps femoris portion of your hamstrings. Check below for fixes.
AnteriorPelvicTilt

Posterior Pelvic Tilt
In a case where your pelvis is tipped backwards, externally rotated and abducted (turned out), your knee alignment will give off a “bow-legged” appearance. When this happens, the adductors on the insides of your legs are lengthened and weakened. Check below for fixes.
PosteriorPelvicTilt

Anterior Pelvic Tilt Fixes
Seated 90/90 Mobilization
Use your right hand to slowly press down on your right knee, while using your left hand to pull up on the foot. Hold for a two count, and then relax.
Seated9090

Split-Stance Kneeling Adductor Mob
Set-up on all fours on the floor, and then put one leg directly out to the side with the knee straight. The chin should be tucked and the lower back arched. Rock back, maintaining neutral spine and stopping short of the point where your lower back rounds. As you rock back, shift the weight on your outside foot towards your heel so your toes come up slightly.
SplitStanceKneelingAdductor1SplitStanceKneelingAdductor2

Split-Stance Hip Swivels
Set-up on all fours on the floor, and then put one leg directly out to the side with the knee straight. The chin should be tucked and the lower back arched. Drive hip internal and external rotation by rolling back and forth between your heel and toes on the outside foot. Hold at the end range of each direction for a count of two.
SplitStanceHipSwivel1SplitStanceHipSwivel2

Reverse Lunge with Posterior-Lateral Reach
With a gently braced core to stabilize your lumbar spine, take an exaggerated step backward, keeping the majority of your weight on your front heel. Drop down into the lunge position, while simultaneously reaching up and back with the opposite arm over the lead leg. Push through the heel to reverse the momentum and return to the starting position. Make sure to rotate from your thoracic spine (upper back) and not your lumbar spine (lower back).
ReverseLungePosteriorLateralReach1ReverseLungePosteriorLateralReach2

Hip Airplanes
Split your legs from front to back and place all your weight on the front leg. Lean your upper body forward and extend the back leg so you develop a straight line between your upper body and back leg. Move your arms to 90 degrees for balance. Lift the back foot to balance on the front leg. Rotate the pelvis towards the front leg, and then away from the front leg. Rotate from the hips and not the lumbar spine.
HipAirplane1HipAirplane2

Bowler Squats
Stand on your left foot with a slight bend in your knee and your right foot held slightly off the ground. Your chest should be out and your back flat. From the starting position, sit back into your left hip while reaching across your body with your right hand. Sit back until you get a nice stretch in the glutes, or until you feel as though you’re going to lose your balance, then return to the starting position. Shorten the range of motion initially if need be. It will increase as your hip mobility and strength improves over time.
BowlerSquat1BowlerSquat2

Banded Clamshells
Brace your core, and slowly rotate your left leg away from the floor. Keep both feet together throughout the movement, and rotate your hip as far as you can without moving the lower back. Return to the starting position. Keep the core tight and rotate from the hips versus the lower back. Hip
range of motion may be limited at first, especially when adding resistance. It may help to think about swiveling through your heel, to help activate your glutes.
BandedClamshell1BandedClamshell2

Posterior Pelvic Tilt Fixes
KB Single-Leg RDL
Stand up tall; think about a rope pulling your head and body upwards to lengthen you. With a slight knee bend and good posture, push the hips back and lower the torso to tap the KB to the floor while the opposite leg swings back. Maintain good posture throughout. You should have your chest out and a
slight arch in the lower back. Don’t allow the chest to cave, or the lower back to round. Don’t rush through reps, and stand up completely in between each rep.
KBSingleLegRDL1KBSingleLegRDL2

Lying Knee-to-Knee Pull-Ins
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Exaggerate the width between your feet. From the starting position, think about trying to touch your knees together while keeping your feet on the floor. Hold for a two count, and then return to the starting position. Don’t worry if your feet aren’t totally flat on the ground; as long as you’re getting a stretch in the hip region, it’s not a big deal.
LyingKneeToKneePullIn1LyingKneeToKneePullIn2

Prone/Facedown Windshield Wipers
Lie on your stomach with your arms out to the sides. Your knees should be together and feet up in the air. Keeping the knees together, let the feet fall out to the sides. Hold for a two count, and then return to the starting position. Focus on keeping the knees together throughout the course of this exercise.
ProneWindshieldWiper1ProneWindshieldWiper2

Hip Airplanes
Split your legs from front to back and place all your weight on the front leg. Lean your upper body forward and extend the back leg so you develop a straight line between your upper body and back leg. Move your arms to 90 degrees for balance. Lift the back foot to balance on the front leg. Rotate the pelvis towards the front leg, and then away from the front leg. Rotate from the hips and not the lumbar spine.
HipAirplane1HipAirplane2

Bowler Squats
Stand on your left foot with a slight bend in your knee and your right foot held slightly off the ground. Your chest should be out and your back flat. From the starting position, sit back into your left hip while reaching across your body with your right hand. Sit back until you get a nice stretch in the glutes, or until you feel as though you’re going to lose your balance, then return to the starting position. Shorten the range of motion initially if need be. It will increase as your hip mobility and strength improves over time.
BowlerSquat1BowlerSquat2

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