Strengthen Those Hip Muscles!

Due the sedentary lifestyle many of us live today, our hip muscles often become weak and under-used. Many common exercise habits (such as running on a treadmill), do little to engage the correct hip muscles.

Good functioning hip and gluteal muscles are essential in supporting the back, and effectively transferring load in all weight-bearing activities. Below are some studies that highlight the importance of good-functioning hip muscles:

Up to 35% of people with low back pain have degeneration of the gluteal tendons (Collee et al. 1991, tortolani et al. 2002).

Pure hip muscle strengthening (abduction) directly reduces pain and improves function with some knee conditions  such as Patellofemoral Pain (Ferber et al 2011).

Any exercises aimed at recruiting the right gluteal muscles are going to have a positive effect on reducing strain through the lower limb and spine. There’s also a good chance it will help improve performance!

Below are some exercises that I find really get the hip muscles working:

Bridging two legs1) Bridging – A great, simple starting exercise that still involves weight-bearing and loading through the heels.

Squat picture2) Squat – Nothing beats a good quality squat.

Single leg squat

3) Single leg balance – leaning forward with buttocks out, holding a slight single leg squat – hold for 20 seconds.  Ensure the kneecap is in-line with the 2nd toe.

Single leg squat balance

4) Single leg squat slide out – One of the main functions of the gluteal muscles is to stabilise the pelvis – so changing your centre of gravity while keeping a nice neutral spine will work a charm for activating the gluteals. This exercise is quite advanced and recommended to be performed under supervision initially.

Come and get your hip assessed today by the team at Bend + Mend Physiotherapy in Sydney’s CBD!

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