A few weeks back I posted on the rib anchor technique for keeping your mid-line stability should you feel your ribcage “flying” or popping out performing various lifts or even in your baseline posture. Another way to work on keeping your mid-line stable is by creating torque through your hips. The idea of “creating torque” has been popularized by Kelly Starrett on his MWOD website. Creating torque at your hips is simply externally rotating one’s hips causing the gluteals and other hip external rotators to activate. A great summary of the “Hip Torque” concept and how it applies to squatting can be found in this 70sBig post. Coaches often cue athletes to externally rotate their hips by telling them to “push your knees out” or “screw your feet into the ground”. External rotation at the hips creates a more stability in the hip socket allowing one to hold better back, shoulder, and head positions. In the MWOD video below Kelly Starrett features CrossFit athlete Jenny LaBaw and highlights the low-back issues she was having because of a lack of gluteal activation via hip torque. You’ll see that although once made aware of the fault and the fix, it requires a great deal of focus for her to maintain the fix as she increases speed, weight, or both. Take heed from Jenny’s lessons learned and pay attention to Kelly’s advice to practice partial range of motion movement, and use lighter weights if necessary, but maintain the hip torque throughout the entire range of motion.
Back Squat 3×5 or Wendler