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If your squat and deadlift numbers have flat-lined, weak hip flexors could be the culprit. Here’s how to combat the weakness.
Foam rolling to quads and hips
Improving the tissue quality is the first step to making muscles more malleable and responsive. Invest in a dense foam roller and get cracking!
A1) Tennis Ball Glute Bridge - 15 reps/leg
The point of this exercise is to keep the psoas and iliacus firing through the entire range of motion of the hip extension. The hip muscles on the tennis ball side will have to work very hard to keep the ball from slipping out as the range of motion increases. A good bridge will create a straight line from shoulder to knee.
A2) Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat - 12 reps/leg
Doing this exercise will help lengthen the hip flexors of the trailing leg under tension, while doubling as an awesome leg developer. Perform 3 to 4 rounds of this superset.
B) Overhead Squat - 4x6-8 reps
This exercise really exploits the instability of hip muscles. If your hips are too tight, you’ll have depth issues. If they’re weak, you’ll have a hard time holding your bottom position. Start with a broomstick, dowel, or very light fixed bar and work to progress your ROM first. Progress your way to the empty bar once you’ve achieved full ROM with minimal back arch. Remember to always keep the bar positioned over your mid-foot when doing this exercise.