Kathy Dooley: Hip Compression in the Lunge

If you sit all day, you’ll eventually deal with hip compression. Kathy Dooley takes you to her working position—the lunge—for decompression and full hip extension.

This position is my work position. Anyone who sees me as a patient sees me work in this position all day. Why would I do that?

I’m decompressing my hips. Because I know if I sit on a chair, it’s going to compress the hell out of my hips all day. Although hip compression is good in certain phases, it’s not so great in others. You want to be able to make sure you can do both. You’ll see me switch all day long and make sure I maintain this position.

Also, for your clients and patients who have skipped this phase of development, which is the 11th month position of the baby, can you see how that develops hip problems for the person?

How many of you started walking before 11 months?

Me, too. It sucks, right? This is why I spend all day in this position. I started walking at nine months. My parents were like, “Oh how great is she. She’s so advanced.”

No, I’m not. Don’t let them get out of this position too early. They need to develop that hip decompression and compression relative to each femur.

Dr. Anna was talking about the connection of iliacus with the internal abdominal oblique and transversus abdominis. Dr. Jake, take a deep breath in this position. He fills up like balloon.

If he’s filling up like a balloon, what’s happening to his left hip? It’s decompressing. Iliacus is not being asked to hold tension for him. I’m not going to ask iliacus to be tied to that pole and then walk away. I want to let it move freely within its range.

If I wanted to really maximize Dr. Jake’s iliacus opening into a stretched position right now, what can I do on his left femur? I can slightly internally rotate, keeping him in a full hip extended position.

I’m going to take his arm up just because I know there are those thoracolumbar attachments to the iliacus. I’m going to keep his neck long, chin tucked, chest wide and ribs down to make sure he can maintain his gut pressure.

Now I’m going to have him exhale as he projects forward. He’s not going into his low back. This is not, “How far can I extend my back today?” This is keeping his abdomen in good pressure so he can release the tension here.

How many degrees of hip extension do you get?

10 to 30 . . . 30 if you’re lucky.

Dr. Jake, I’m really sorry about this—If I push him into back extension, is he getting more? No. His back is moving more than his hip. His hip is now going to tighten more to try to stabilize his lumbar spine.

I’m going to move him out of that position and pull his ribs down. I’m going to ask him to move his hip forward—10 to 30 degrees is all we get. There’s not much motion there. I want him to maximize the 30 that he’s offered to eccentric load this.

Wouldn’t this be a wonderful way to work?

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