The Rectus Abdominis aka.. the abs, is the most well-known muscle of the core. It’s the muscle that gets a lot of attention when training for core stability. But it’s the Rectus Femoris .. a quadricep muscle and hip flexer that can make or break your ability to stabilize your core.
Before you do another plank or curl, consider this…. tight hip flexors pull the pelvis into an anterior tilt. When the pelvis is pulled out of neutral alignment… core stability in movement is compromised. A six-pack does you no good here.
An anterior pelvic tilt limits internal rotation of the leg and sets off a chain reaction of movement dysfunction and instability. Research confirms …when the foot strikes the ground, the ability to use ground force is altered, there is less ability to extend the leg back and compensation in stride length occurs… both in walking and in running.
Tight hip flexors that create force production problems also create core stability problems.
Fixing the pelvis so that the hips bones are level will get you out of an anterior pelvic tilt… this is a postural fault that many of us have because of all the sitting we do. The key to leveling the pelvis is unlocking the tight muscles to the front… thereby balancing the front to back musculature.
If you fix the pelvis …. level the hip bones… everything will start to work as designed. Core stability will be at it’s greatest potential. THIS SHOULD BE DONE BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE IN THE GYM….. it’s that important.
Rotate the whole leg toward your midline (middle of your body) and in the opposite direction away from midline (away from your body). Each direction should be about equal.
HINT: 45 degrees in each direction is ideal.
Work the Problem.
Lack of internal rotation is common… the hip muscle responsible for internal rotation in hip flexion is the rectus femoris. Standing Firm uses resisted rotation to unlock the rectus femoris but it can also be done with correct body positioning and isometric force. Position the leg in front of your body… the diagonal isometric you need to apply is internal rotation (toward midline). Feel the quadricep muscle engage, hold for 6 seconds, release and do it again, repeat for a 3rd set. Retest.
When you unlock the restriction of internal rotation, the leg will rotate like a hot knife through butter. The pelvis will level out… you will have more power and core stability.