Master RKC Dr. Chris Holder’s Cal Poly Hip Flow
Back in what feels like a different world in a different solar system in a “galaxy far far away” … AKA early March 2020, I had the wonderful privilege to assist at the San Jose / Los Gatos RKC Workshop led by Master RKC, Dr. Chris Holder (link is to an interview I conducted for Dragon Door with him some years ago, but it’s VERY interesting!) As mentioned in previous blog posts, I’ve wanted to learn from Chris for a long time because he has taught kettlebell technique AT SCALE for YEARS. He’s taught thousands of college athletes to correctly use kettlebells. Along with kettlebell training (and effective athletics) comes the necessity for mobility training. Specifically HIP mobility training. Of course, this doesn’t just benefit athletes, just about every adult human being in the developed world needs help in this regard. And if you’ve been stuck at your desk for hours of video conferencing, writing, programming, creating, or you work on your feet etc. Give this a try.Along with kettlebell training (and effective athletics) comes the necessity for mobility training. Specifically HIP mobility training. Click To Tweet
If you’ve been training with me at all (online training, online live class, or the hyper-elite client who I’m training in their front yard…) over the past 6 months or so, you’ll recognize bits and pieces as I’ve been adding them in to warm-ups all along. You will likely enjoy working with these moves in their intended full context. Sunday challenge participants have been practicing this flow for weeks… which is why I finally have a video of this sequence that gives it justice.
Cal Poly Hip Flow Follow Along Video
Below the video I have a written form of the cues and there’s also an MP3 of the verbal cues I gave myself while recording the video. Hope all of these things help you to try and practice this powerful sequence.
VERBAL CUES Audio MP3:
The Cal Poly Hip Flow is written out in other places on the web, including this article. Likewise there are videos here and there. But – it evolves, it moves, it adapts (to you, your situation, your clients, your students, etc.) What I have written below is how it was presented to us at the San Jose / Los Gatos RKC earlier this month which frankly now feels like it took place in an alternate universe. I’m extremely grateful to have made it safely out and back with a bursting notebook, videos, and ideas to share. Proud to have made the most of the trip while I was there. It felt like soaking up as much of a place as possible in a short amount of time. No regrets.
The Cal Poly Hip Flow Step by Step Instructions as of March 7th 2020:
- Begin with 6x collapsing and expanding the chest while gently focusing your fingertips on the sternum
- With arms held straight out at the sides (shoulder height) reach left and right 6x times, allowing the torso to move.
- Chicken neck the head forward and back 6x
- Slide the head side to side 6x (this is tough to do correctly – think of your head being “on a shelf”)
- Get on your toes and reach upwards (arms, hands, fingers extended above) then…
- Get down for a downward dog. Push back into the downward dog 3x
- Kick your left leg back then bring your left leg/foot forward and outside your left hand.
- With your left hand, gently press the left knee out for 6x
- Take your left elbow and try to place it on the ground then reach above 6x
- Transition to the Cossack squat/stretch (left leg is straight, right leg is “squatting”) before shifting to a lunge/sun salutation leading with the left leg. Repeat the Cossack stretch to lunge/sun salutation pose 6x.
- Get back to the original lunge, then rotate the right hip towards the floor for 6x
- Step back into the down dog, press back into the down dog for 3x
- stretch/kick the right leg back then bring it forward outside your right hand.
- With your right hand, gently press the right knee out for 6x
- Take your right elbow and try to place it on the ground then reach above 6x
- Transition to the Cossack squat/stretch (right leg is straight, left leg is “squatting”) before shifting to a lunge/sun salutation leading with the right leg. Repeat the Cossack stretch to lunge/sun salutation pose 6x.
- Get back to the original low lunge, then rotate the left hip towards the floor for 6x
- Step back into a down dog, and push into it 3x
- Pass the right leg through to transition to crab. With the right hand still on the floor reach and point with the left hand to the wall across from you, while raising the hips into a table top from crab for 6x
- Switch sides by passing the left leg through to transition back to crab. With the left hand still on the floor reach and point with the right hand to the wall across from you while raising the hips into a table top from crap for 6x
- Switch back to crawl position then widen your stance to a straddle with the weight in your heels and carefully press back 3x.
- Plant the right hand on the ground, then reach with the left hand towards the ceiling, then plant the left hand on the ground and reach the right hand towards the ceiling – complete for 6x
- Press back into the straddle downward dog for 3x then walk then
- Slide the left leg through to a seated hurdler stretch. Point the toe of the left leg to your face then do “push-ups” to the side for 6x
- Transition the left leg into pigeon, hand on knee and foot, then bring the chest down and up 6x
- Bring the feet together into butterfly and press the knees down for 6x
- Get into a left leg (left leg is forward) lunge with the hands on the hips. Fire the right glute to push forward while exhaling. Pull back and inhale. Repeat for 6x.
- Step back and bring the right leg through for the seated hurdler stretch. Point the toe of the right leg to your face then do “push=ups” to the right side for 6x
- Transition the right leg into pigeon, hand on knee and foot, then bring the chest down and up 6x
- Toes together for butterfly, and press the knees down for 6x
- Right leg (forward) lunge, hands-on the hips. Fire the left glute to push forward while exhaling. Pull back on the inhale, repeat for 6x
- Back to downward dog 3x pushes
- Flip over to crab and lift into tabletop bridge for 6x
- Flip back over to downward dog for 3x
- Walk or hop into a squat with elbows on the inside of the knees
- For 6x press in and out with gentle resistance the left knee, then the right for 6x
- Staying in the squat reach the hands forward then bring them overhead for 6x
- Bring the feet together, then carefully come forward onto the knees into “suffering pose” and hold for a little bit.
- Crawl forward then “tap” the tops of the feet on the ground before sitting back with the tops of the feet facing the ground and hold. Don’t let the heels flop to the outside, make sure they’re straight up so that you feel a stretch in the shins
- Crawl forward, tap the tops of the feet, then stand up in a lunge and enjoy the rest of your day!
YES, this is a lot, but it accomplishes a lot and we’ll be practicing it today at noon – then you’ll have a visual reference. This was one of the many things I learned on that RKC weekend which made the trip 100% worth it. So grateful!
Have you tried the Cal Poly Hip Flow in some form? If so, please leave a comment! What’s your favorite move?