Disclaimer: Please be aware that information in this article is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano BA-Kin, CAT(C), ISSA-CPT
Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer
If you are new to the healthy lifestyle articles, you are in for a treat. We are certified athletic therapist, your exercise and rehab tips experts. In this article, we will give you 6 tips on keeping your hip healthy and prevent the development of overuse injuries. These exercises and stretches can be completed in this particular order.
Exercise: Quad T’s
Why it is important: This exercise is important in maintaining the quadriceps and hip flexor muscle strength. The best part of this exercise is the isometric contraction which is described as muscle contraction without muscle lengthening or shortening. It’s like a core hold.
Tip: This exercise is best to perform lying down. Concentrate on contracting your quads first before lifting up and abduct and adduct (side to side like a T). Complete this exercise 10 times on each leg focusing on that isometric contraction.
Why it is important: This exercise targets your glutes, lower back and hamstrings. It is very important to keep the posterior (back) of the hip, lower back muscles strong to endure daily activities.
Tip: Lying down with knee bent is the position for this exercise. Start with engaging your core first, then lifting your torso up while contracting your glutes. Hold this position for 30 seconds then release slowly back to start. Complete 3 sets of 30 seconds.
Why it is important: Clam exercise focus on the side of the hip and posterior hip (glute medius, maximus and periformis). These muscle groups are very important to maintain strength and endurance because these are the muscles that help stabilize our hip so we can walk properly. They are called hip stabilizers.
Tip: This exercise is performed side-lying to keep the spine neutral. Also, your knees would be bent at 90 degrees stacked (one leg on top of the other). The goal is to rotate the hip without rotating the lower back. You will feel the burn on the specific muscle if done correctly. 3 sets of 10 is good to begin with.
Exercise: Butterfly stretch
Why it is important: Popular stretch for the inner thigh is butterfly and it is so important because this is not something everyone targets unless you’re purposely working on your inner thighs. Much more important for sedentary workers to make time for the adductor muscles.
Tips: Seated is the best position for this stretch with the sole of the feet facing each other. Lower the knees to the side as comfortably as you can without slouching your back. With a good posture, hold the stretch for 30 seconds, relax and repeat 2 more times.
Exercise: Hamstring/Glute stretch
Why it is important: After performing glutes and hamstring exercises, it is good to also keep these muscles flexible so that when performing daily task like walking, running, lifting squatting, the extensor muscles (hamstrings and glute max) can take you to the full range of motion without pain.
Tip: Best stretch when done lying down. Straight leg raise using a judo belt or bent knee bringing the leg to the outer part of the shoulder. Bent knee targets the glutes while straight knee targets the lower portion of the hamstring (behind the knee). 30 seconds hold for 3 sets.
Exercise: Hip flexor stretch
Why it is important: So important to everyone who spends time sitting and even driving. When you are sitting, the hip flexor muscles are in a shorten position. When they are, it contributes to lower back pain. One of the muscle group (psoas major) is attached to the front of the hip and the lumbar vertebrae. Often when there is chief of complaint for lower back pain, we check the hip flexor flexibility because tightness in this area maybe causing that lower back pain.
Tip: Kneeling with one leg and leaning forward with the hip is the stretch for the hip flexors. Be very careful with arching your lower back, keep that core engage and keep the neutral spine to get a deeper stretch. 30 seconds 3 times is good to begin with.
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