Power comes from your hips. It doesn’t matter if you’re jumping, punching, running, or throwing. It can be seen in the “hip pop” of the kettle bell swing, and the “dip drive” of the push press. It is critical during the second pull of a clean. Unfortunately, many of us have some degree of hip dysfunction that reduces power and stability, limiting our overall athleticism. This is called Muted Hip Function.
MHF can be seen during a push press when the legs compensate for the hip’s failure. When this happens, there is no angle created at the hips during the dip. The knees will bend excessively and pass too far over the toes, compensating for the lack of hip angle. You can feel this happen when the weight is shifted from your heels to your toes during the dip, and your center of gravity goes backward. The stress is shifted from the glutes and hams to the quads, putting shear forces on the knees. You are limiting your power to what can be produced by your knees.
Photo courtesy of www.crossfit.com
So what can you do to mitigate MHF? Practice the push press with a PVC. Once you feel that good dip drive with equal angles at hips and knees, do it with the bar. Slowly work up with the weight and focus on driving through your heels and sticking your butt out slightly during the dip.