3 Ways to Relieve Hip Pain

Shakira's song "Hips Don't Lie" is true—especially when our hips are in pain. Without giving much thought to them, we use our hips every day—when we walk, stand, sit and workout. In fact, there are few times when we are not using our hips. Every time we rotate or move our trunk or feet in any way, our hips are involved.

For example, imagine standing and holding a baby or being at the gym ready to do a standing bicep curl. In these instances, the hips and legs play a crucial role in stabilizing the body, so we can hold the extra weight. As with any movement, the more our muscles are stabilized, the more efficient our body will become and the lower the risk of injury.

Hips play a greater role in exercises such as squats, lunges, running and while playing soccer, where the hips and legs need to coil and spring instantly when a player stops and sprints in the opposite direction. Many other sports—such as ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and tennis, to name a few—need stable hips in order to skate, jump or stop and start quickly.

Are You Putting Too Much Stress on Your Hips?

If your hips are not working properly, other movements and muscles will suffer. Your hips are able to withstand a great amount of stress, but if they are used improperly, an uneven amount of stress can be transferred elsewhere in the body where it is not meant to go. An athlete will still be able to stop and start, jump or skate, but will do so less efficiently and with less power, strength and agility. Over time, the muscle that is compensating for the weakened hip muscles will begin to feel tight, decreasing agility and speed, as well as taking longer to recover.

To properly balance and keep your hip muscles strong, try these exercises:

Hip Rotations

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs and feet together, hands at your sides. Keep your feet in a neutral position.
  • Move your right leg across the floor until it is approximately 30 degrees from your left leg.
  • Rotate your right leg and hip outward as much as possible, keeping both legs straight.
  • Hold the position for six seconds and repeat six times on each leg, resting for a few seconds in between sets. Try to increase your rotation each time.
  • You can also do this exercise rotating your leg and hip inward to strengthen a different muscle.

Hip Flex

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs and feet together, hands at your sides. Keep your feet in a neutral position.
  • Flex and push your hips up, keeping your hips level.
  • At the same time, lift your leg straight up in the air about 18 inches. (You should feel the muscles from your hip to your upper thigh contracting.)
  • Hold the position for six seconds and repeat six times on each leg, resting for a few seconds in between sets.
  • You can also rotate your leg inward as you lift it up, increasing rotation with each repetition.

 

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM