I recently attended the Highland Games at Inveraray, Scotland. A fantastic day full of tradition bringing together the local community celebrating their culture. Originally believed to have started back in the 16th century it died off only to be brought back and formalised in the 19th Century. It has become an event attended by international strength athletes. The title of world Caber Tossing Champion is highly coveted.
There are other sports in the program including running and cycling! Watching cycles race on a wet grass running track with fixed gears was interesting to say the least, no mean feat. The races are handicapped so all sexes ages and abilities compete in the same race this further adds to the community spirit. The strength athletes compete in not only the Caber, but the Hammer and the Weight among others. It was when watching these I noticed how necessary it was to have a violent opening of the hips. It soon became very apparent those not achieving an aggressive full extension were soon left behind.
Crossfit continually works our core but the hip extension and mastering it is incredibly vital to improving our Olympic lifts and cycle rates for movements such as box jumps, burpees, broad jumps and wall balls, to name but a few.
Some examples of closed and open hips:
So next time you see box jumps or the hang cleans in a WOD give it some thought that mastering a controlled violent opening of your hips can only add to your quest to continually achieve PB’s.