Sahrmann’s Quadruped Rocking Exercise, that I’ve mentioned a couple times in the last few weeks, can reveal a lot of valuable information about hip flexion range of motion. My interpretation of a conversation I had with Sahrmann is that 8-10 reps of quadruped rocking should loosen up any soft tissue restrictions. If it doesn’t, the range that they’ve consistently shown is likely all their anatomy will allow for.
While I’ve used this test and found it to be very helpful, it’s probably not as straight forward as “if that’s all they’ve got, that’s all they’ll ever have.” There’s one particular incidence that you should consider before you jump to conclusions.
Tightness of the posterior hip capsule (ligaments connecting the posterior femur to the sacrum and hip) can lead to similar range of motion restrictions as hip impingement. I was talking to Eric Cressey the other day, and he said that, in general, bone will move in the direction opposite of capsular tightness.
Applying that to our hip, that means tightness of the posterior hip capsule will likely result in a forward movement of the femoral head within the acetabulum (“hip socket”). When attempting to enter into hip flexion, this disadvantageous femoral head position, combined with a tightness of the posterior ligaments, can result in both a restricted range of motion with accompanying hip tuck, AND discomfort in the “groin” area.
Luckily, posterior hip capsule tightness IS a modifiable factor and one that should be explored. At the hands of a good manual therapist (I’d recommend an Active Release Techniques practitioner), long-standing posterior capsule tightness can be resolved in a few weeks (sometimes a few visits, and if the therapist is REALLY good, sometimes significant progress can be made in a few minutes).
Remember. Nothing in the human body is as simple as “if you have this, this is why.” Just some food for thought.
Speaking of food…Yesterday was my second ReFeed Day, since starting my calorie restricted diet. I weighed in yesterday morning at 163. After finishing a cottage cheese, ground flax seed, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, and deluxe mixed nuts concoction in the shower last night, I weighed out at 173. Yes, it was a great day. And yes, I eat in the shower. What do you mean that’s weird? If Kramer can make a salad in the shower, I can eat dessert in the shower…
Keep working hard.
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.