How Can I Improve My Hip Turn
Hip, hip, hooray!!! There's always lots of talk about hips in the sports arena. The greatest athletes in the world are strong and move well from their hips to their shoulders. They have lots of motion and they have lots of great body control in these areas. So if hip movement is so important, how do we maintain it or improve it?
A Brief Anatomy Lesson
Let's talk about the muscles surrounding the joint. We have the hip flexors, quadriceps (front of thigh), hip internal and external rotators, adductors or groin muscles (moves your leg towards the midline of your body). We also have gluteus maximus (my favorite!!), which is the great hip extensor, and glute medius which is an abductor (moves the leg away from the midline of the body). Extensibility or flexibility of each of these muscles has an impact on total joint motion. Research studies have indicated groin or adductors are the first group of muscles to tighten, leading to the loss of motion in the hip turn.....meaning that's an area we should pay attention to! Quads and hip flexors are in a shortened state when seated, which most of the population does a whooollee lot of today mainly due to an occupational hazard: the desk job!
Flexibility Comes From Joints Too
Surrounding each joint in the body is a sheath of connective tissue that makes up the joint capsule. This capsule keeps all the synovial fluid inside the joint, which is our bodies own lube (the natural and organic kind of WD-40). Joint capsules can become tighter and thicker and sometimes need to be mobilized. You can think of this tissue similarly to a thin sheet of leather. It can be stretched out if you put the right pressure on it. Joint capsules can be stretched much like leather has the capability to.
Marie's Favorite Hip Stretches
Since adductors, hip flexors, quads, and glute medius are common areas of tightness, we should keep them stretched. Below, you'll see pictures of each. Remember, stretches should be dynamic during pre-participation warm-ups, but they can be held any other time.
For more information on a flexibility or fitness program, contact Marie.