Hip extension is kind of an important range of motion to have… Especially if you walk. Or run. And we’re pretty sure the majority of you do both!

It’s one of the most common ranges of motion we find that people have, but can’t control.

What do we mean by that?! Most people have normal passive range of motion in hip extension (if we move their hip into extension for them), but can’t actively extend their hip on their own. And that’s no good!

If you can’t extend your hip using your glutes, guess what? Your lower back and SI joints are probably going to compensate for your glutes. And if your lower back and SI joints start moving too much and compensating during simple things like walking and running, imagine what may be happening during exercise. And people wonder why they have low back pain…


Give the assessment (and exercise) a try! Get into the lumbar-locked hip extension position (similar to the pigeon pose, but sitting on top of your foot). Collapse your butt onto your heel and your chest onto your thigh. The opposite leg is straight behind you. Finally, collapse your forehead and forearms to the ground and try to lift that back leg (the straight leg) off of the ground.

Unable to do it? Give one of the regressed exercises a shot!

Think it’s easy? Try it before you talk…

Dr. Ryan just had a patient on Saturday who runs ~60 miles/week and couldn’t even start to move her leg off of the ground… And guess what? She had lower back and SI joint pain. Are we saying this is the cause of YOUR pain? No. But if this is hard, it can’t hurt to improve it.

As always, if you’re in pain, get assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.


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