I’m usually not one for taking on 30-day challenges, but I trust the guys at Kinetic Revolution as they offer some really fantastic insights from a different perspective. Some of their ideals are really quite controversial and I may not fully agree with absolutely everything that they preach, but I give them much more credence than 99.99% of the stuff out there on the internet.
So far, phase 1 (days 1-6) have been all about hip mobility and proprioception– two things that are sorely lacking in me and most other runners. I’ve had to go through some stretches that I expected (e.g. hip extension stretches) and one pain-in-the-butt stretch that I never want to do again (hip adductor stretches). If you take on the 30-day challenge, be ready to reassess how tight your hips are. If you think you’re good, you’re probably not. If you think you’re tight, you’re probably impossibly tight. If you think you’re impossibly tight, you’ll probably conclude that you’re incurably tight and want to take up golf. But stick with it as the hips do loosen up their vise-grip within a few short days.
I can tell already that my hips have a bit more range of motion in them. I’ll definitely be continuing the hip extension stretch throughout the 30-day challenge, even if I’m not told to do it. Why? Because hip extension is probably the biggest ticket to glute engagement and free speed out there. Also, another trustworthy source in that .01% of the internet (Jay Dicharry) preaches that it is vitally important for runners. I’ve been doing my 30-day challenge exercises immediately before my runs so that I can apply any newfound strength or range of motion in the most specific way possible (i.e. running)– and I want to say that’s where I’m feeling my hips opening up a bit.
It’s still too early to tell if I’m faster or not. I like to think that I’m faster, but any improvements at this early stage could be just as much due to sleeping on the other side of the bed. It’s just too soon to tell if there are real positive gains yet.