Athletes could miss as much as six weeks from their sport with a hip injury, one that is becoming increasingly prevalent for those who play sports. Hip injuries range from muscle and bone avulsions to changes in bone structure and labral tears, which happen when fatigue and overuse occurs, or when the body is adapting to the stresses of the sport.
Hip mobility is essential for athletes, and it’s even more important for them to complete workouts that include hip mobility exercises and stretches. Hip stretches help to offset tight muscles from sitting for too long, as many people sit at a desk for 8+ hour work days. Without hip flexibility and mobility, athletes are not able to become as powerful and perform athletic movements to the best of their ability.
How the Hips Become Weak
The hip is at the center of the body, so what happens above and below the hip joint will directly affect it. In order for the hip to have full range of motion, the 15 muscles within the joint must work together. When athletes have weak hip mobility, they can experience a variety of problems, which could cause them to lift or complete other exercises incorrectly. This, in turn, can cause athletes to strain their back and become prone to other injuries, such as IT band pain, runners knee and sciatica.
How to Improve Hip Mobility
Foam rolling is great for several reasons, and one of them is improving hip mobility. It also helps to relieve tension. Athletes should integrate yoga, dynamic and static stretching into their workout routine to help move and stabilize the hip. Squatting and lunging are also great strengthening exercises that help to improve mobility as well.
This article was adapted from Bridge Athletic and Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy. Read the full articles here and here.
If you have any questions about how to increase your hip strength and mobility, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.