Updated: Feb 2, 2022
One of the exercises that Physical Therapists recommend is the Hip Rotation exercises. This type of exercise is best for patients who need to strengthen this specific part of their body and manage conditions such as iliopsoas syndrome. This is a rehabilitation program to increase hip mobility and strengthen hip muscles. This is also a type of stretching exercise that aims to improve the pain and functioning of patients who suffer from hip-related problems.
The twisting movement of the thigh inward from the hip joint is called the hip internal rotation. If you will perform this while standing, make sure your foot is turned so that your toes are pointing toward the rest of your body. We use our hip rotators to walk, run, squat, crouch, and crawl. You also use it when you put your weight on one foot and rotate your pelvis. Imagine having no hip internal rotation, it would be hard to complete everyday activities like simply putting on your pants or stepping into a bathtub.
Hip internal rotation activates muscles in your hip, buttocks, and thighs. These include the tensor fasciae latae (outer hip), parts of the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus (upper buttocks), the adductor longus, brevis, and magnus (inner thigh), the pectineus (upper frontal thigh). It’s quite wordy but all these muscles work together to generate internal rotation.
Exercises and Stretches
The physical Therapists advise that insufficient hip rotation can lead to gait issues. When other parts of the lower body try to compensate for insufficient hip internal rotation, it might increase your risk for injury. And with this, exercise can help you develop strong hip internal rotators. and stretching exercises can help you improve your flexibility and range of motion in the muscles that rotate the hips inward. However, if some of the examples here cause pain, you should stop and inform your PT right away.
Here in Arise PT, we will show you how assessments can be done and the exercises that you can do even at home. Before doing anything, assess your hip rotation by sitting and rotating your hip out. Normally, we should have about 45 degrees on each side. But if you have asymmetries, you can try these movements:
Start with your foot in line with your knee
Rotate your foot outward and repeat on the other side to compare
Mobility band exercise
Tie thick mobility band on a sturdy surface, place the band with moderate tension up close to your groin
While keeping feet planted, internally rotate your hip and drive your knee inward and repeat it 10x
Foam roll exercise
While kneeling, make sure the foam roll is sitting right above your hip
Lay on the foam roller and find a tender spot in your glute.
A regular program of stretching and strengthening exercises can help people maintain flexibility and strength in the hip external rotators, which is vital for stability, movement, and injury prevention. However, there are still specific stretching exercises that are designed for specific conditions. You should perform all of the above exercises and stretches within your body’s range of motion and stop immediately if you feel any pain.