Did you know the majority of people have one hip higher than the other and 90% of the time, the left hip is higher than the right? Uneven hips can stem from poor posture, dominant side leaning when standing/driving, muscle imbalances in the hips/core, scoliosis, running/walking on uneven ground, and these are just a few examples.
Having uneven hips can affect you both inside and outside of the gym. In the gym, your performance can be greatly diminished. In all movement, you want to be fluid with proper technique. If your hips are off, you will compensate with your “longer/stronger” side. Over time this can wear down the discs in your back causing pain and eventually leading to permanent injury or pain. Having even hips can get you that extra 5 pounds on your back squat PR without risking injury! Outside of the gym, uneven hips affect how you sit in your car on the way to work, how you play with your kids, how many house chores you can do before you experience some nagging pain that you brush off as muscle soreness.
If you’ve done CrossFit or some other form of exercise for very long, you’ve probably heard one of the following:
- “You need to strengthen your hips.”
- “Your hips are out of whack.”
- “You need to stretch or foam roll.”
- “Your (insert large muscle group here) aren’t activating.”
- “Go see a doctor or go to a physical therapist.”
If you answered yes to any of these questions and tried numerous corrective exercises with little to no results, maybe you’re focusing on the wrong things. For example, it’s important to stretch and loosen overly tight muscles before strengthening with accessory exercises. If you go straight to strengthening exercises, chances are you will further tighten yourself in the wrong areas.
As a Massage Therapist, I have learned the benefits of IRT (Integrated Restoration Technique). IRT seeks to bring balance to the body’s structure by over working specific muscle groups that forces them to relax and allowing greater quality of movement. IRT starts at the hips to allow the body to have structural balance. The hip is “the joint that determines symmetry.”
When properly administered, IRT can diminish pain, increase range of motion, and improve performance! When you have pain, you compromise range of motion. When range of motion is compromised, you can’t properly engage all the muscle fibers to reap the benefits you work so hard for in and out of the gym!
Having worked with golfers, CrossFit athletes, the average gym goer, and one particular Move owner ;), I have heard consistent reports of immediate relief while still on the table. Once in the standing position, it is common to feel a difference, without really knowing why. It just feels better! This a good and normal response.
If any of this rings true for you, and you’re tired of spinning your wheels, inquire with Coach Chelsea and set up an IRT appointment today.