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Listen to Your Hip Flexors

By on May 1, 2017
siphwe

THESE MUSCLES ARE KEY TO DAILY FUNCTIONING

By: Siphiwe Baleka, Founder, Fitness Trucking

For professional drivers, hip flexor muscles are very important because they play a major role in your daily mobility. Examples of simple activities include walking, climbing into and out of your cab, squatting to check tires, climbing to check inside the engine compartment, securing a load, and other tasks. With a muscle group that is so involved with your day-to-day activity, it is very crucial that you take care of it. The better your overall hip mobility, the better your general health and wellness will be.

So, just what are the hip flexors? They’re a group of muscles that flex the thighbone onto the pelvic girdle. In plain terms, the hip flexors help control pulling the knee upward. The same function is responsible for the movement of the abdomen towards the thigh (think sit-up). Technically speaking, the three major muscles of the hip flexor are the Psoas major, Psoas minor, and the lliacus muscle. Together they are better known as a group called the iliopsoas or inner thigh muscles.

Tightness or Weakness

Most people, drivers included, don’t really care until they have one of two main problems: really tight and inflexible or not very strong or durable. Typically, tight hip flexors are the most common. When drivers sit for long periods behind the wheel, as you do almost every day, the hip flexors begin to shorten over time. This eventually leads to range of motion deficiencies and tightness in the hip flexors. Several additional problems, such as the glutes not functioning properly, hamstring tightness and pulls, lower back problems, pelvic tilting, and several knee problems can result.

Weak hip flexors don’t seem to be as common as tight hip flexors, or possibly weak hip flexors are simply the result of people not knowing they are weak. Hip flexor strains and pulls are becoming more common, even in people who regularly stretch their hip flexors. Muscle strains and pulls also usually indicate a muscle or group of muscles that do not have the endurance they should.

The 2% Solution

In almost every field of endeavor, there is “specialized knowledge” that is extremely useful and valuable. Often, knowing and applying this specialized knowledge can make the difference between success and failure.

As an example, suppose you wanted to learn the Spanish language, and it included 100,000 words. If a dictionary were your only reference, you most likely would start at the beginning and try to memorize every word. If you proceeded in that manner, it would take a long, long time before you could engage in a meaningful conversation. In fact, most people, experiencing the lack of progress, would become frustrated and probably quit within a few weeks.

Consider, however, an analysis showing that just 2,000 words of the 100,000 total would cover almost 80% of all the conversations you’re ever likely to have. With that special knowledge, you would focus your study on just those 2,000 words, and very quickly, you would be able to have basic conversations. This new level of competency would result in more and more conversations, further increasing your learning and ability to speak Spanish.

This is an example of what I call “The 2% Solution.” When it comes to any situation, problem, task or goal, ask yourself, “What is the 2% that I need to know that will enable me to achieve 80% of the results I need?”

Now Back to Your Hip Flexors

So let’s apply the 2% Solution to, let’s say, back pain and various back issues that drivers suffer. Consider that it only takes two to four weeks of sitting in a passive position for the internal hip flexor muscles to shorten. When that happens, and you stand up, the hip flexors feel “tight.” This causes the hip flexor muscles to pull the pelvic girdle forward and down, or what is called an “anterior pelvic tilt.” Back muscles begin to elongate and start to weaken.

At this point, especially if you are carrying extra weight in the gut, it often is just a matter of time before you bend over to tie your shoes or pick up something, and you strain or pull a muscle in your back or, even worse, slip a disk. The root cause of many back injuries common among truck drivers is tight hip flexors.

The 2% Solution that can prevent 80% of potential back problems starts with a very simple hip flexor stretch. It’s easy to do and only takes 15 seconds for each leg. Just stand up straight, take a big step forward, square your hips (face forward) and bend the front leg. You’ll feel the stretch in the back leg in the hip flexors. If you make it a habit to do this every single time you get out of the truck, you can do a lot to prevent the shortening of the hip flexors. This is a no-cost, simple action that you and every truck driver should be doing.

When it comes to driver health and fitness, I’ve been teaching drivers the 2% solution they need to achieve 80% of the weight loss results they want. That’s why my Driver Health and Fitness 13 Week Program is the #1 weight loss program in the country.

To see an example of the hip flexor stretch and other 2% driver health and fitness exercise solutions, go to https://truckerterritory.progressivecommercial.com/truck-fit/fit-w-siphiwe-1-hip-flexor-stretch. You can also learn more by reading my new book, 4 Minute Fit, that’s available online. You can view demonstration videos online as well by visiting TruckerTerritory.com, and just click on “Truck Fit.”

About Mimaro S. Abasacovabu

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