At first glance, Elev8d Fitness, the 8-minute home workout program developed by the experts of Sonima, may seem like any other exercise routine, just in shorter sessions than the typical 30-minute sweat fest. And sure, other programs will probably stretch tight muscles and get your heart pumping. But what they’re missing is alignment—functional posture that will stay with you once you move off the mat and on with your day.
Elev8d Fitness exercises are designed with one very specific purpose: To wake up your hips and put your main muscle, the psoas, in the driver’s seat to power every step you take. This way you teach your body to become hip-driven again.
Why? Because your hips are the power source for everything you do.
Your Hips Are King
“Every moment you make requires pulling power from your hips,” says Brian Bradley, fitness director of Elev8d Fitness. Sometimes, this is obvious—when you walk, every stride comes from your hips; when you lift something off the ground, you’ve probably heard you’re supposed to lift with your legs and not your back, and that’s so your hips will be involved for more power.
But your hips also anchor movements that seemingly have nothing to do with this part of your body: When you throw a ball or swing a golf club, rotating your hips generates more force into your arm, allowing the ball to fly further, Bradley explains. Even pulling open a really heavy door is a heck of a lot easier if you anchor your feet and pull power from your hips.
The thing is, movement is all about muscle memory. And since we spend 90 percent of our time sitting—on the couch, at a desk, in a car—we signal our lower half that it’s not needed and our upper-body muscles take over, Bradley explains. “Elev8d Fitness’s sole focus is on re-establishing this hip drive,” he adds.
What Exactly Does It Mean to Be Driven By the Hips?
Becoming hip-driven is about reminding the main muscle, the psoas, that it’s supposed to be in the driver’s seat—and teaching your other muscles to take a backseat until they’re called on.
Quick anatomy lesson: Your psoas is the largest and strongest of a muscle group called hip flexors, and it wraps from your lower spine in the back around to the front of your pelvis and attaches at the top of your legs. Picture that for a minute. Because of its unique position, combined with its size and strength, the psoas is a southern meeting point for all the muscles of your upper body and the northern meeting point for all those of your lower body—it controls everything. But when your shoulders are out of alignment from being hunched over all day or your glutes are under-firing from sitting, it changes the power dynamics of your body and your main driver becomes inactive. And the less you use the psoas (or any muscle for that matter), the less it’s ready to jump into action when you need it, which is where injuries and dysfunction come from.
That’s Where Elev8d Fitness Comes In
Elev8d Fitness is designed to put your psoas in the driver’s seat with each and every routine. Each workout is sequenced in a specific order that will reposition Muscle A so that Muscle B has to wake up and activate, letting Muscle C off the hook, and, eventually, letting your psoas drive the car.
The first few times you do the 8- or 16-minute routines, your psoas will stay in the driver’s seat for 10, maybe 15 minutes after you get off the mat and go about your day. But over time, as your muscles are taught again and again who should be in charge, that window of proper alignment stays open longer and longer until you’re getting up from your desk eight hours after the workout and your body is still being driven by the king, Bradley explains.
And that’s how Elev8d Fitness is changing the fitness conversation. In as little as 8 minutes, four times a week, you can return to being functional, return to being hip-driven.
Get started on your journey to a fully functional body now! Try the at-home Elev8d Fitness 16-Minute Challenge Series to push yourself physically and mentally to the next level.