We all tend to have a set routine that we use as a warmup for our training. There are articles galore on the RKC Blog about those, even some that I have written. What do you do after you are through with your training session? Many people throw in a few random stretches and are done. I like to have a plan and a process in most of my sessions.
This particular series is one that I use quite often. It helps deal with the position of daily living that the majority of people in modern society participate in: sitting. Our bodies tend to want to be lazy and expend as little energy as it can get away with. As we sit all day, the body figures out that it can contract and shorten the hip flexors as a way to save energy and be lazy. But, what do we need to be strong, prevent back injury and get the most out of our training? Healthy, flexible and fully functioning hip flexors. Your movement prep should be used to prep the trouble areas for movement. On top of that, kettlebells and Convict Conditioning training helps strengthen and correct the muscular imbalance/tightness that we are working to improve.
But how do you get our increased flexibility and lengthening to stick? In the video below is a series that I use after kettlebell training to maintain the improvements gained in the training session. It also helps prevent the muscles from returning to the contracted position.
The series is pretty basic and easy, but it stretches the hip flexors effectively. It starts with the basic RKC Hip Flexor stretch. The stretch is much shorter in movement than a typical hip stretch, as we are really focusing on the hip flexor and rectus femoris. Do not over extend this stretch, as you can damage the hip capsule and associated ligaments. The next stretch is similar except that you rotate the rear hip and rotate the front leg, but maintain the squared off posture in the upper body. This is a little different stretch in that you feel it through the obliques and possibly as far up as the anterior serratus muscles. The last stretch is the extended hip stretch. I utilize breath to sink deeper into it. At the end of the stretch, you let the back leg rest on the floor and pull yourself forward slightly as you feel the stretch on the back thigh.
As with any stretching, if there is pain, back off and do not push through it. Do not hurry, and use your breath to allow the stretch to happen easily.
Senior RKC Paul Britt has been an RKC kettlebell instructor since 2006. Paul trains people at workshops and privately. Paul is currently attending Parker University working on his Doctor of Chiropractic degree Paul has served as an assistant instructor at many RKC and HKC Courses, is a Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS) and works with some of the top Chiropractors in North Texas. Please visit his website for more information or to contact him