3 Drills To Correct Muted Hip and Reduce Extension Based Lower Back Pain

Since we just went over extension low back pain earlier this week I felt like this would be a good topic for today because a muted hip can occur for the same reasons extension based low back pain occurs.

A “Muted Hip” is when athletes prematurely drop under a weight during the clean and snatch before reaching full hip extension.  The hip never fully extends (or opens up) and the bar path gets screwed up as a result of this.  Over reliance of lumbar extension (and not hip extension) can some times lead to lower back pain as well.

When trying to correct this issue, 3 things must be taken into consideration:

  1. Mobility Restrictions
  2. Strength and Motor Control Issues
  3. Skill Specificity

1: If someone has a stiff anterior hip, they won’t be able to achieve full hip extension.  This must be accomplished prior to anything else.

2: Once you’ve ensured no more hip stiffness we’ll want to reinforce and strengthen this new range of motion for the athlete.  Some athletes won’t have hip extension stiffness issues and skip straight to this step.

3: This new motion needs to be applied to our sport specific skill, which is in this case olympic lifting.  I’ll often use a lower level drill as shown below when introducing full hip extension.  These lower level drills (slower, less complex) allow the athlete to learn how to utilize full hip extension with a barbell without having to worry about the other complexities of a full olympic lift.

3 Drills to Reduce a Muted Hip During Olympic Lifts. 1) Having adequate mobility through the anterior hip is a pre-requisite for fully opening the hips during Olympic lifting. 2) Next, low level strength and motor control drills are needed to teach how to move through the hip fully. Notice in the single leg bridge I start slowly, reach full range and then work on speed, all of which you'll need for the Olympic lifts. 3) Lastly we need to make sure this new motion carries over to the Olympic lifts. This last drill is skill specific. I would follow these drills up with some more barbell drills and then get started with my Olympic lifting for the day. This is part of a continuum concept that @shift_movementscience came up with and we speak about @powermonkeyfitness camp. We progress along a spectrum to maximize the likelihood that your new movement will carry over to your skills. If you know anyone who could benefit from these drills then please share! #olympiclifting @mikecerbus @olychad @chadvaughnswife @v_real_mccoy @jessicalucero9 @reebok #teamreebok #reebok #powermonkeycamp

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Lastly, I would immediately go into my olympic lifting for the day.  This way your body is primed to learn how to introduce full hip extension into the olympic lifts.  Just keep in mind that if the load or complexity of the lift becomes too great there is a chance you’ll revert back to old habits.  Give these a shot and let me know how they go.

Want to learn more about how to assess the hip and learn other great exercises to improve your olympic lifts?  Check out Dr. Dave Tilley and my product:

MM-Movement-Essentials-Cover

Monkey Method – Movement Essentials

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts

Battle The Dreaded Muted Hip…

Daniel Pope, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF-L1

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