A hip injury can have devastating effects on your mobility, independence, and confidence. Conversely, when your hips are functioning at optimal levels, all your movements are enhanced. Stretching plays a very important role in preventing hip injuries. If done correctly after a warm-up, hip stretches help to loosen your muscles, improve blood flow, and keep the joint supple in preparation for any vigorous activity or sport. Stretching after exercise will help prevent muscle soreness and stiffness. Here are a few stretches that can be made a part of your hip conditioning program:
- Ilitibial Band Stretch:While standing next to a wall, cross the leg nearest to the wall behind the other leg. Now lean you hip towards the wall. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel a stretch on the outside of the hip. Make sure you are not leaning forward or twisting at the waist. Relax for 30 seconds. Do the same for the opposite hip. Repeat sequence 4 times. This can also be done on the floor with a foam roller as shown.
- Seated Rotation Stretch: Sit on the floor with legs straight out. Cross your legs. Twist at the waist in the direction of the upper leg. Use one arm for support behind you. Place your other arm on the outside of your thigh and try to stretch further without straining. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the buttocks and sides. Relax for 30 seconds. Follow the same steps on the opposite side. Repeat sequence 4 times.
- Knee to Chest: Lie on your back with legs extended. Bring your knee to your chest. Use your hands to pull the knee as close as possible. Hold that positon for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the buttocks. Relax for 30 seconds. Do the same with the other leg. Repeat sequence 4 times.
- Supine Hamstring Stretch: Lie on your back. Lift one leg so that it is perpendicular to the floor. Keeping the leg straight, clasp your thigh with both hands and try to bring the leg towards your head. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the back of the thigh. Relax for 30 seconds. Do the same with the other leg. Repeat sequence 4 times.
Doing these stretches will significantly decrease the risk of hip injuries while performing activities that you enjoy.
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder, and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.