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Unlocking Hip Extension (Pt 2)

In our first post on hip extension we attempted to tease out what it truly means to extend the hip. Sufficed to say, there is a lot of ambiguity around the words hip extension and even more ways to get a false extension of the hip. In this post we will try to unlock what it actually means to get hip extension.

First, a couple definitions to make things as clear as possible. We divided the hip into is skeletal components. From the inside out we broke down the sacrum, the two iliums and finally the femurs as being what we collectively call the "hip", but what we failed to do was to fully describe extending.

We found (in the first blog post) that these isolated pieces of the hip can themselves be in a state of extension, which makes further extension almost impossible and in turn places the soft tissues and nervous system into a state of "hyper-extension".

The act of extending though requires that those components are NOT in a state of extension, but rather they would first ideally be in some form of flexion to then be able to then extend. Seems simple, right?

This classic paradox rears its ugly head often when clinicians or trainers notice that their client cannot extend, are limited in extending or have pain when trying to extend. So interventions made in trying to gain extension are logical, but as we said previously, only if they are not already in a state of extension.


The key difference to note here is the distinction between being in extension and the act of extending. Distinguishing the dysfunction of being stuck in a state of extension versus the functional act of extending.


So these patients who cannot extend, are limited in extending or have pain when extending need extension, yes, BUT being in a state of extension they will first require getting into a state of flexion to THEN be able to do the act of extending.

This is a crucial understanding for understanding the fix... which we will discuss in our next post.

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