Strong hip muscles should be an essential part of your injury recovery program. Especially for runners and athletes it’s essential to have good core stability and hip strength for optimal performance. Hip stability is important for all activities requiring walking, running, squatting and athletic activities. Without proper hip stability you are setting yourself up for knee injuries, low back pain and other pelvic instability problems.
This is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So this is another video in our continuation of our series with knee-related problems and injuries, and in this video I’m going to discuss another important component of when you’re designing your rehab or an injury prevention program specifically having to do with strengthening exercises.
So in the last video we talked about core stability, what is the core, what’s the importance of core stability, and why it’s important to work on core stability at first before working on a lot of the other muscle groups. So in this video I’m going to talk about hip stability or hip strength and we’re going to talk about a few of the muscle groups which are important in providing good stability and strength for the hip and why that is important for the knee. So it’s extremely important to work on hip strengthening exercises if you have knee issues, but for that matter even down the chain, knee issues, foot problems or low back issues.
So the hip muscles play a vital role in providing good stability and strength to your pelvis and your leg, and so the muscle groups we’re going to talk about are your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, even your TFL, tensor fasciae latae, even your IT band, a lot of these structures, and of course some of the minor muscle groups. These muscles are essential for providing stability to your pelvis and they’re very important for balance and also for single-leg activities, even double-leg activities, but single-leg activities like walking, running, any of these things, going up and down stairs, any of these things you need to have good hip and pelvic stability. If those muscles are weak, it’s going to change the alignment of your leg, your thigh all the way down to your foot. They’re going to increase the amount of work that’s being done by other muscle groups. They can increase the risk of problems like IT band issues, patellofemoral problems, inside knee pain as well as compromising your performance when you’re running, when you’re walking, all those types of things, and for that matter resulting in low back injuries or other problems.
So, very, very important to work on your pelvic and hip strength and stability when you’re working on recovering from injuries, even if it’s knee injuries, or if you’re looking to prevent a lot of these problems. And very often I’ll find a lot of people are quite weak through those muscles. Remember, running, it’s pretty much a forward movement, so your body’s moving forward, your working a lot of your quadriceps, hamstring, calf, a lot of these other movers, these muscles, but in rotational planes you’re not getting enough work for your other muscle groups. Work on improving the strength and stability of your hip muscles. This is very important for providing good stability to your pelvis and also preventing problems, imbalance and biomechanical problems down the chain which put more stress on your knee or ankle or anywhere along the chain.
And you can design your program so that when you do have a problem, for example if I have knee pain in weight bearing activities where you load the knee like squatting, lunges, those kind of things will aggravate my knee and I can’t tolerate loading yet, I can work on non-weight bearing strengthening of my hip muscles. So work on your hip abduction, extension, various exercises, bridging, single-leg bridging, all these things to strengthen your pelvic and hip muscles in a non-weight bearing position first. So I strengthen them there, and then once I can start tolerating more loading in my injured tissues, once they have healed a bit more, then I start loading the joints more. So then I can do the same things and squatting, single leg or both legs, and many other exercises too.
So work your way up in terms of focusing on your core and then working on your hip muscles so that you’re designing your rehab program to cover everything above and below the injured area and not just strengthening things immediately around the injured area. So if it’s my knee, yes, I’m going to strengthen my quads and my hamstrings and the calf, but I’m also going to focus on really strengthening and figuring out what’s happening with my foot, get my foot muscles stronger, get a better stability, more control of those muscles. And up the chain, I’m going to really focus on building a good strength in my hip muscles, too, as well as my core.
So I hope you found that helpful and when you’re designing and thinking about your rehab or for preventing injuries. Now, I discuss a lot of this information in our upcoming program. Go to the website and sign up for it, especially if you want to hear about it early. It’s going to have a lot of information. We’re really combining a lot of physical therapy, exercise science techniques. There’s a lot of mobility/strengthening exercises, motor control exercises, balance exercises in addition to a lot of holistic stuff that I’m including in there too, which is more of the herbal formulas, dietary solutions as well as yoga. So there’s a lot of information in this program.
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