Milo Bryant is a performance coach as well as an experienced journalist. He’s also in his 50s—and his book Unstoppable After 40 gives you the roadmap to do more than merely remain active as you “mature.” Milo trains hard and recovers even better so he can do what he wants, when he wants. Get ready to use his methods to become unstoppable. This isn’t your dad’s middle age.
THE HIP JOINT is supposed to be strong enough to support the weight of the body throughout all types of activities, from running and jumping to standing and sitting for long periods. The hip joint should also be mobile enough to allow you to make all kinds of moves, from the dance floor and garden to the hiking trail and surfboard.
But joint strength and mobility can’t be taken for granted. Without consistent use and maintenance, guys will lose strength and mobility in the muscles that make the joint function with efficiency. This becomes especially true as you get older and into middle age. The hip is a ball-in-socket joint where the head of the femur (upper leg bone) sits in the acetabulum, a socket in the pelvic bone. The joint should move smoothly in all directions. If it doesn’t, you have work to do.
Too often men over 40 pay more attention to the preservation and protection of their toys—think cars, boats, motorcycles, golf clubs—than to the maintenance of their bodies. This maintenance doesn’t take much, barring injury; two sets of 10 reps each set, done twice a week will go a long way toward keeping your hips moving efficiently and without pain.
How to Do the Quadruped Hip Rotation
- Start on all fours, hands directly below shoulders, knees directly below hips.
- Keeping your hips stable and your knees bent at 90 degrees, raise your right leg until your thigh is nearly in line with your body. Rotate your knee out so it flares to the side, then bring it forward so that it’s slightly in front of the left leg.
- Repeat the movement for 10 reps.
- Reverse the movement, bringing your right knee forward, then rotating it out to the side, before returning to the starting position for another 10 reps.
- Repeat the movements with your left leg.
Best Coaching Cues for the Quadruped Hip Rotation
● Make sure the knees and hands are directly under the hips and shoulders respectively – at a 90-degree angle to the torso.
● Rotate the knee, not the torso.
● Make sure there is no hip pain before doing this exercise. Tightness is fine. Pain is not. Visit a physical therapist or some other movement specialist if you’re feeling hip pain.
Helpful Tip for the Quadruped Hip Rotation
Engage the abdominal core by doing a slight posterior tilt (flattening of the lower back) before starting the first move. Engaging the abdominal core will help you minimize the amount of compensation that comes with supporting your body on one side.
Milo Bryant, CSCS, is a California-based trainer and an award-winning journalist.