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
Hip health is important to all active people of any ages. Our hip is the center of our body that assists in upper body and lower body movements. In all the activities we do from walking, running, squatting, lunging to jumping and twisting the hip play a big role in the success of each movements.
Particularly in sports, hip is the most overuse but under-trained area of the body. When the hips are under-trained, the muscles are not functioning correctly, therefore other muscle groups are over-compensating which may lead to injuries like low back pain, knee pain and hip pain in general.
There are two main activities that are significant in maintaining the health of your hips. They are stability and flexibility, both are equally important for your hip. Too many activities or lack of activity may lead to tight hip which flexibility is much needed whereas being too flexible may lead to poor stability that can also cause other types of injuries. It is important to understand the difference between stability and flexibility and how it plays a role in your active day-to-day activities.
Stability means the ability to maintain control of a joint movement. Very important for walking, standing, running to have the muscles keep the hip together to work synergistically.
Flexibility is the ability to move joints effectively through complete range of motion. Important so that we can squat, lunge, bend down without any pain or discomfort.
Muscles of the hips: These are the major hip muscles and its functions. There are deeper muscles and other muscle groups that crosses the hip joints which is not mentioned on the list.
Muscle groups > Functions
Iliacus, Sartorius, Psoas major > Hip flexors
Gluteus medius and minimus > Hip abductor, internal rotators
Gluteus maximus, Piriformis > Hip extensor, external rotators
Adductors (magnus, longus,brevis, gracilis, pectineus) > Hip adductors
Stability exercises for the hips
2. Hip abduction
3. Single leg bridge
For all the stability exercises, be sure to complete them on both sides.
Flexibility exercises for the hips
2. Butterfly stretch
3. Proposal stretch
There are other stability and flexibility exercises you can perform to maintain your hip health. For advance stability work, you can use mini-bands with challenging resistance to increase strength around the hip joints. Also, for flexibility there are other stretches that can be performed, particularly yoga hip openers to improve hip flexibility. Happy training….Hip, Health, Hooray!!!!!
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