One thing I see a lot of in clinic is peoples inability to bend from their hips. The ability to do this may clear up a lot of the lower back and knee niggles that people get. This is something in the trade we call lumbopelvic disassociation. Sounds fancy, but really all it means is keep your back still, in neutral, while you bend over from your hip joints. It works even better with the knees slightly soft/bent.
Everyone needs to bend
Bending is a movement we simply can’t avoid in day to day life, therefore we need to ensure we’re doing it in the most biomechanically effective way to avoid injury. And when it comes to training and exercise, when weights may be added it’s even more important that we get the movement pattern right. Of course, any movement that is very repetitive will more likely push our bodies tissues to the limits and risk injury.
From a purely muscle size perspective, bending from the spinal segments, (see below) utilises very small muscles that sit either side of the spine and they won’t be happy if you keep asking them to do all the work. And we haven’t even considered the discs which certainly won’t thank you for this type of movement either.
When we bend using the hips as the pivot point we can utilise the good old glutes (by far the physio’s favourite muscle). Look at the size of those muscles combined (see below) compared to the poor little multifidus above.
Ok, so it’s another glute rant over from me. But if you’re keen to work on your lumbopelvic disassociation capabilities (which I can’t recommend enough) and prevent lower back and knee issues then take a look at this short clip for one of my top exercises.