Hip mobility and strength play a huge part in how our low backs and pelvic floors function. One of our favorite ways to address hip mobility is Box Sitting. It is arguably one of our favorite exercises of all time. We love box sitting because it encourages you to work in a deep range of motion of your hips that we rarely spend time in during a day to day life. Not only does it help us find our end range of motion but gives us ways we can strengthen and practice muscle control. This is where we feel people often miss the mark, we spend so much time trying to stretch our hips but we don’t then reinforce it with strengthening and muscle control. Stretching is a passive process for your muscles which is great when the goal is to elongate muscle tissue. Muscle activation and control are an active process and teaches your body what to do with this end range once we have achieved it with stretching. This becomes very important for tasks as simple as getting up off the floor or finally mastering that pistol squat. With this blog we are going to teach you how to find your end range with box sitting, how to build strength at the end range and how to find muscle control so that your body becomes very familiar with that end range of motion.
When setting up in this position, the first steps is to find out if you can hold the position while sitting on the floor. If that seems too difficult you can also sit up on something like a yoga block to relieve some of the strain. This is a great way to improve your mobility by taking the time to stretch in this position as well. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds 3 times on each side.
Now that you have found your limit we want to activate your muscles in this position. Stretching does some good for the muscles; they also need to be an active participant in the process. Practicing strengthening drills in this position helps train muscles how to behave in the deeper ranges.
Try performing 10 lifts on each side.
So you have found end range, activated the muscles and now we want to establish the control in and out of the range. One easy way to do that is called windshield wipers where you are moving in and out of that range from side to side establishing muscle control to that new range that your body has found.
Try performing 10 windshield wipers.
As you can see there is so much we can do with such a simple exercise. We recommend practicing this skill at night while watching TV or in the morning to loosen your hips for the day. You will also find that the more you practice the more nature it will feel. So practice it everyday if you can, your hips will thank you.