Your hips are some of the most unique structures within your body. Not only do 17 muscles cause movement of the hip, but also the joint itself is very diverse in its movement capabilities. Unique groups of muscles that control these movements at the hip are able to move in all three planes of motion. These planes include frontal plane (or side-to-side), sagittal plane (or forward/backward), and transverse plane (twisting or rotational movements). Because of the diverse nature of the joint, maintaining strong muscles and flexibility are key in optimizing hip health as we age. The following will be a set of exercises that are good starting points to target hip strengthening and flexibility.
Hip and groin injuries are some of the most common injuries in hockey due to the mechanics of the skating stride and goalie positioning. They are frequently responsible for time lost from play or a decline in performance. In order to minimize the risk of hip and groin injuries, it is important to address hip and core muscle restrictions, imbalances, and stability impairments.
The squat is one of the most fundamental movements a human needs to be able to perform both in life and in sports. In life we use the squat to sit down and stand up from chairs or going down to the floor to reach for objects. In sport we use squat movements when preparing to jump and land, as well as when getting into an athletic position. The squat is also used in the strength training realm as it has tremendous carry over to all other aspects of sport.
For the second week of September we will be performing the Squat with Kitchen Sink Stretch. This stretch will give you some traction through your spine and the sides of your body. It will also stretch your low back and into the outsides of your hips.
The final week of July’s stretch is called Reclined Pigeon. This will stretch the outer hip, piriformis, gluteal, and low back musculature. You will get a bonus stretch through the front hip flexors as well!
We are in the midst of the holiday season, and this week’s stretch aims to help those who will be sitting and traveling for extended periods of time.
The last of April’s internal hip rotation stretches is one from the yoga world called 1/2 Lord of the Fishes. Fun name!
It is also a bonus stretch because it adds an upper body twist.
If you have or are experiencing any of these please refrain from doing the stretch: sacral problems, hip or knee pain, especially with rotating inward, or low back pain when twisting. In addition, if you have trouble getting up or down from the floor this stretch may not be for you. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, contact your physician, physical or occupational therapist to determine what is right for you.
You will not need any equipment for this stretch.