The hip is amongst the most important parts of a person’s physical anatomy. Weak and/or damaged hips can potentially lead to numerous problems. Maintaining strong hips through exercise is crucial to avoid such difficulties. The following short piece discusses the role an individual’s hips play, the dangers associated with failing to maintain hip strength, as well as several hip strengthening exercises people can engage in.
The Role Of The Hips
The hip is a collection of bones, joints and muscles located in between the thigh and buttocks that enable people to perform everyday activities such as walking, standing, moving and engaging in many types of exercise.
What Can Maladies Impact The Hips?
Though the hip and its surrounding areas are naturally strong and quite flexible, failure to properly exercise the region can potentially provoke and/or exacerbate a variety of injuries and conditions. In addition, as individuals grow older, their bones and joints garner the normal wear and tear of the ageing process. Common problems that may arise include tendonitis, arthritis and hip fractures. In their mildest manifestations, hip problems typically precipitate pain and mobility problems. In their most severe forms, such as is the case with a fracture, they could lead to permanent disability and provoke numerous other health concerns. Unfortunately, elderly individuals who sustain a hip fracture are at a greater risk of needing nursing home care.
Hip Strengthening Exercises
Fortunately, there are several hip strengthening exercises doctors and fitness experts recommend engaging in to increase hip strength and avoid these potential dangers. They include:
Hip Abduction Exercises
Hip abductions are exercises designed to help strengthen the hip abductor muscles. These bodily structures enable a person’s legs to move and help the hip joint rotate. Injuries and/or weakened hip abductors could cause pain and interfere with someone’s ability to walk and could also result in stabilization and balance issues. Two of the more common hip abduction manoeuvres include leg lifts and squats. A leg lift is performed by lifting one leg up, stretching it sideways, maintaining that position for several seconds, gradually lowering the leg down and repeating the process. Squats are executed by keeping the knees part, slowly lowering the hips toward the ground until entering a squatting position, maintaining that posture for several seconds, gradually rising up and repeating the process.
Hip Flexor Exercises
Hip flexor exercises, or hip flexions, are movements geared towards strengthening the hip flexor muscles. These structures are located in the front of the hip and enable people to move their knees and thighs. One common hip flexor exercise can be performed while lying on one’s backside, lifting up and bending one leg up at the knee, slowly stretching the bent leg towards the chest, maintaining that position for a few seconds and then repeating the same process with the other leg.
Hip Extension Exercises
The hip extension muscles are used when someone opens his or her hip joint to stand, walk or run. Well-known extension muscles include the gluteus maximus (the buttocks muscle and the hamstrings. These muscles can be strengthened by stretching the legs out in order to prevent the hamstrings and glutes from becoming stiff.