NPR recently ran a piece about how bending from the hips, rather than the waist can help people avoid straining their backs. If you google ‘hip-hinge,’ you’ll see that a lot of people in the fitness world have been writing about it as well.
This a fundamental skill in tai chi and qigong. We call it 'folding from the kwa,’ and we teach it with an emphasis on relaxation and healthy postural alignment.
Kwa is a Chinese term that refers to an area of the body that extends from the inguinal groove (the crease in the front of your body where each leg meets your torso) through the inside of the body to the crest of the pelvis. It includes the hip joint, the iliopsoas and adductor muscle groups, and other structures in and around this area, including the largest collection of lymph nodes in the body.
When the kwa is supple and well integrated into the movements of your body, it facilitates the smooth transfer of power from the legs through the spine and upper body. When the kwa is tight or not being used well, a multitude of problems can arise, including undue pressure on the knees and spine.Read More