The muscles of the hip and pelvis provide support and mobility for the entire body. Without adequate hip agility, poor movement patterns tend to develop as the body compensates elsewhere in the kinetic chain - usually at the low back or knees. Hip mobility issues may even affect the shoulder due to the attachment of the latissimus to the pelvis. If you have read previous posts, you may then remember how shoulder health and mobility will in turn affect the upper back and neck - it's all connected! 👌
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, which means that it allows for a great range of motion (ROM). The movements of the hip are flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation. .
Decreased hip mobility may either be due to internal factors within the joint, the ligaments of the joint capsule and/or muscular tension. All of these can lead to back pain, piriformis syndrome, anterior hip pain/impingement, sciatica, SI-joint dysfunction and knee pain to name a few.
The following 90/90 hip stretches aim to release the muscles surrounding the hip joint, as well as the deep tissues of the capsule itself. They are also good indicators of overall hip health:
🔺90/90 hip external rotation stretch: Sit with the lead leg directly in front of you, externally-rotated and bent to 90 degrees. The trail leg is internally-rotated and bent to 90 degrees to the side. Both sitting bones into floor as much as possible, hips square to the front leg.
🔺Lengthen up through the spine; keeping back straight, lean straight forward, allowing the femur to drive back and deep into the socket - try to get your belly button to hover over your knee. Here you should feel a deep stretch in glutes and hip of the lead leg. Hold for 5-10 sec before returning. 🔺90/90 internal rotation: From the same position, place hands on chest. Turn body square to the trail leg. Keep lengthening up through the spine as you lean forward over the leg. If uncomfortable or unable to attain this position, place hands behind you and allow leg to rest in internal rotation. 🔺Begin with 2-3 reps and gradually increase.
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