This article originally appeared on Triathlete
I've rarely seen an athlete with exactly even hips. There are so many different variables that act on the hips that it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint when, and where the issue begins. The hips move in three different planes--flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, and internal and external rotation. Many athletes are quite familiar with the flexion and extension of the hips. The injuries that arise from hangups in this motion are quite easy to trace back to the hips. For example, you may be familiar with a certain tightness in your hip flexors. But, when the abduction and adduction are not working together in the frontal plane, you might feel pain elsewhere--far far away from where it begins. It can be harder to trace pain back to the hips, and you might experience pain in your knee or your lower back during your runs.
The hips are designed to both stabilize and mobilize your lower body, so if you are imbalanced, your foot can land too far from your center of mass, and your gait won't be as efficient as it could be. That means performance losses and a higher risk of injury. We have two really helpful movement patterns for engaging these rotator muscles, one for the internal rotation and one for the external rotation. And even though both movements aren't "hard," doing them properly could conceivably be more difficult than lifting traditional weights heavy.
Both of these movements are a part of this week's Multisport Mobility Bootcamp sessions--check out the first week of the four-week plan here and join in at any time!
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