Cueing people out of hip extension while standing

Posted on December 9, 2013

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I’ve written about excessive hip extension and hip issues quite a bit:

Along with others.

It’s just so common you see people, especially those with hip issues, stand with their hips in extension.

Swayback posture side hip extension line

One of the first priorities here is getting the person’s hips out of extension / into some flexion. Suffice to say, telling the person to “Flex your hips” doesn’t get the job done. For most people this doesn’t mean anything. In some of my comment replies I’ve referenced how cueing is an art in itself. Certain cues work for certain people. I’ve primarily referenced this when it comes to how a person processes information. When it comes to getting a person’s hips out of extension though, there’s more to it. How they stand dictates how you cue.

Cues to get back into flexion

I typically use one of three cues:

  • “Push your butt back”
  • “Bend your knees a little”
  • “Lean your whole body back”

Let’s look at three different people all standing in hip extension:

Forward body lean hip extension

Angus Right Side

Tony Hip Extension

Three types of hip extension side by side

The idea here is to look at one big principle, “Are their knees behind their hips? / Are their hips in front of their knees?” If so, their hips are probably in extension.

Three types of hip extension side by side with hip extension lines

Next, you try to figure out why are their knees behind their hips? Are their hips getting pushed forward, such as in something like a swayback posture? Are their knees getting pushed backwards, such as in hyperextended knees? Or perhaps their entire body is leaning forward.

In order, swayback, knees hyperextended, leaning forward:

Tony Hip Extension with swayback lines

Angus Right Side with knee hyperextension lines

Forward body lean hip extension with full line

You can see how different cues will work for different people. There’s no point in telling this person to lean their whole body back,

Angus Right Side

a great deal of their body is already perfectly upright:

Angus Right Side Plumb Line

Nor is there any point in telling this person to bend their knees a little,

Tony Hip Extension

as their knees aren’t hyperextended:

Tony Hip Extension knee lines

You could tell this person to stick their butt out more, but the rest of their upper body will still be tilting forward:

Forward body lean hip extension

Of course, I picked specific postures to make this simpler. You could very well get someone who has more of a swayback and hyperextended knees at the same time. For someone like that they may need multiple cues. However, the less cues a person can get away with, the better.

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Posted in: Hip Pain, Pain