Some of us may have office jobs which mean we are sitting at a desk for six hours or more. Sitting puts our hips in a flexed position for a prolonged period of time. We are HUMAN so we should be upright and moving about like our ancestors. When we sit for that long we compromise our entire body including our knees and lower back.
In other scenarios, such as sports, whether it is due to trauma or simply repetitive overuse individuals can also cause hip pain. In either cases, what can we do to reset our bodies to pre-pain state? Reach out to a personal trainer in Richmond to ask them this question.
In this article we breakdown recommendations for mobility and strengthening movement to target hip pain. If you are unsure of your conditions, see a your doctor or a physiotherapist to get it thoroughly checked out.
Hip mobility: Fire hydrants
When treating patients with hip pain, I would almost always begin with hip mobility movements. There are countless hip mobility exercises out there and most of them can be applicable to most people. My go-to exercise would be fire hydrants. It’s great because you can work the hips in its full range of motion – forward and back. You can also abduct the hip laterally in order to activate the glute medius. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond for more hip mobility exercises.
Hip strength through glutes
Our bum, the gluteus maximus, is the biggest muscle in the body. It is responsible for extension at the hip as well as keeping the body upright. With majority of lower back pain cases, it often occurs because the glutes are either weak, inactive or both. In order to counter this, we simply need to strengthen the glutes. Again, this can be done in numerous ways from bird-dog to squats. Personally, my go-to exercise for glute strength is glute bridges. With this exercise, you are able to use the glutes to its full potential as well as activating the hamstrings. Remember for this specific exercise keep the hips at a “posterior pelvic tilt”, which simply mean tuck your hips upwards (do not sag your lower back down). You may begin this exercise on the floor on a mat then progress to putting your upper back on a bench.
Stretch/Strengthen hip flexors
Those with lower back pain from an injury will report tightness in the front area of their hip. They are referring to their hip flexors. With prolonged sitting and in constant hip flexor, the hip flexors will shorten. Thus when they stand erect they will feel the tightness as the hip joint.
However, when patients report “tightness” in the hip flexors, tightness may not always be the case. They could simply have weak hip flexors which causes an imbalance in the hip joint. With stretching the hip flexors, it is also highly recommended that we strengthen them as well. Stretching is great, but we can’t go wrong with strengthening something right?
My go-to hip flexor stretch is ‘the world’s greatest stretch’ and it is indeed the best stretch. Be sure to keep the back leg relatively straight as you push your hips towards the ground. It is optional to rotate your body in order to feel the stretch even more.
Stretch surrounding hip
The hip, similar to the shoulder, is a complex structure with multiple muscles that attach onto it. For healthy hips, other than strengthening it, various hip stretches are recommended to be done as well. Muscles such as the hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and quads are recommended to be stretched out. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond for more stretches around the hip.
There are numerous stretches for the hip I would recommend but the ‘pigeon’ is one that is great for stretching the hips. Be sure to keep your hips squared to the leg in front of you. If you need a greater stretch, you can lean forward with your body. If you need a further challenge, lodge your front leg on top of a yoga block for more stretch.
Until next time,