The movement is actually a mobility movement we use every day. The banded hip distraction / stretching technique (video ref) is paramount to maintain and increase existing range of motion (ROM) which contributes to safe movement and allows for optimum performance. The inability to flex the hips back while maintaining a strong core or spine is a major issue, and one that needs to be addressed.  Creating mobility and flexibility is crucial and we achieve this by implementing exercises like good mornings, Romanian deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. Completing several iterations of hip bending (waiter’s bow) during the incoming assessment of a client or athlete provides an accurate snapshot of hip ROM. ROM limiters include tight hip flexors, weak glutes and downstream posterior chain (hamstrings, calves, Achilles, etc) which will hamper day-to-day movement and certainly reduce the hips ability to generate explosive motion. It is worth noting that mild to severe limitations in hip ROM typically found in middle-aged adults is now quite common in grade school children. Big thanks to lazy parents allowing unlimited use of X-box, cell phones, computers, and every other non-physical related activity.

Listed below are the movements of the hip joint, and the principle muscles responsible for those movements:

  • Flexion: Iliosoas, rectus femoris, sartorius
  • Extension: Gluteus maximus, semimembranous,semitendinosus and biceps femoris
  • AbductionGluteus medius, gluteus minimus and the deep gluteals (piriformis, gemelli etc)
  • Adduction: Adductors longus, brevis and magnus,pectineus and gracillis
  • Lateral rotation: Biceps femoris, gluteus maximus,  and the deep gluteals (piriformis, gemelli etc)
  • Medial rotation: Gluteus medius and minimus, semitendinosus and semimembranosus
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By Rick Burrell

Rick Burrell is a multi-skilled professional and operational manager with over 28 yrs of combined military and federal service in the US Navy Seal Teams (BUD/s Class #173).

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