Five years ago I wrote a blog post titled The Curse of the Bendy Lower Back that laid out many of the difficulties facing people with a naturally bendy lumbar spine. One of the most unpleasant consequences is shortened, weak, painful hip flexor muscles. This phenomenon has been well documented. In 1979 Dr Vladimir Janda coined the term “Lower Crossed Syndrome” to describe the postural condition where the back arches and the pelvis tilts forward. This results from and further contributes to tight muscles in the lower back and the front

Middle splits can be beastly. Often we push too far too fast, going past our body’s limits without the proper strength and control. Sometimes this means that we just hate middle splits, but it can also lead to pain and injury if we push too hard. One of the most common places to feel pain from middle splits is in the knee joint. There are a few common reasons why this position can have a profound effect on the knees: 1. A lot of folks do not have strong knees when they are

The straddle split and the middle split are similar, and there can be some confusion between the two. However the relationship with gravity makes these two splits feel very different, especially for newer benders. Knowing the difference is very important for ensuring proper form and developing the strength, flexibility, and control in your lower body. The primary difference is in the position of the pelvic bones. Pay attention to the alignment of those bones and you will know whether you are in a straddle or a middle split. The Straddle Split In a

  I’ve often said that if I were stuck on a desert island and I could only bring one exercise, the humble clamshell would be a strong contender. This exercise is gold for targeting one of the most important and under-utilized muscle groups in our lower body: the deep butt. The deep butt are six little muscles that run horizontally under the gluteus maximus, connecting the head of the femur to the pelvis at various points and angles. These muscles (the obdurator internus and externus, the gemellus superior and inferior, the quadratus

WTFL???? What is the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) The Tensor Fasciae Latae, or TFL to its friends, is a small muscle in the outside front of the hips that works very, very hard. The TFL is a multi-tasker. It does hip flexion, hip abduction, internal rotation, and it even internally rotates the lower leg through its attachment to the IT band.       Because the TFL has so many abilities, it is often overworked. It’s just so easy for other muscles to lay back and let the TFL take over. The TFL is also