Battle ropes can be a fantastic workout challenging explosive power and strength.  The possible movements are only limited by the trainers imagination.  Interval sessions of even 30 seconds can seem like an eternity with ropes and you'll immediately know why they can be so helpful on your way to athletic performance.  The EP4Kids athletes got busy with ropes this week and showed us exactly what we expected.  We didn't need to teach basic movements like the hip hinge to the kids, they just do it because it is the most efficient way to pick up a rope and slam it on the ground.  

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The hip hinge

The hip hinge is a simple movement seen in lifts like the deadlift and kettle bell swing.  During a hip hinge the hips are loaded and mobile while the spine is stabile.  This stability in the spine allows force transfer from the lower body and hips to the upper body.  This is the most efficient and injury resistant way to simply pick something up.  In order to achieve a proper hip hinge however you must have proper mobility in the hips to create the proper stability in the spine.  Without one you will not have the other.  If the hips are not mobile you will get the mobility from the spine and instantly compromise your position and strength.  We all know how mobile kids are so step one is already taken care of but can they maintain a stable spine while under load and stress?  Turns out many of them don't need any coaching at all.  When asked to pick up the rope, lift it high, and slam it on the ground so it makes a wave, they did just that, and demonstrated innate and impressive movement skill in the process.  Check out one of our youngest athletes destroying this exercise...

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And how could we have a 50 foot rope without playing a little tug-of-war.  Everyone versus coach Joey was fun, and according to Chase, I'm very lucky his dad wasn't there because "he lifts ALL the weights!"

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