How To Protect Your Hips From Injury
The hip is a ball and socket joint. The socket sits in the pelvic bone, and the ball is at the top of your femur, or thigh bone. Several muscles and tendons, including the joint, support the hip, and these can be injured during exercise.
How to prevent:
Hip Labral Tear
The labrum can be injured during activities which require twisting or rotation. It is commonplace in sports like football and tennis, and even badly performed squats can lead to this type of injury.
When doing squats or lunges, make sure your knee cap is level with your second toe to prevent twisting and damaging your hip. Doing a single-leg glute bridge can also help to increase hip stability.
Tendons around the hip joint are at risk when you use poor form or increase exercise intensity too fast. You’ll feel pain near the front of the hip as a result. It’s essential to progress slowly through your training program, as muscle adapts faster than tendon.
When starting a new exercise, such as squats, avoid too much knee bend or putting lots of weight on it. Just go from standing to a 45 degree angle and keep the bar under control. When you go deeper, you’ll decrease your risk of injury.
This is a common cause of hip pain, and is caused when abdominal contents penetrate the groin through a weak point in the lower abdominal muscle. It can happen when lifting heavy weights or straining.
Doing planks or mini-crunches can increase strength in your abdominal wall. However, you need to keep breathing as you lift weights. Holding your breath while exhaling against a closed airway increases pressure and the chances of getting a hernia. Inhale on the eccentric and exhale on the concentric part of each rep, and also throughout fixed exercises such as the plank.
Groin and Hip Flexor Strain
Pain inside or in front of the groin could be a symptom of hip flexor strain. It’s common in those with bad hip control when they undertake exercises like lunging or running. If you feel pain when squeezing your fist between your knees, this could be a sign you have an adductor or hip problem.
Take some time to focus on your hip control before a leg workout. Looking in a mirror while doing so, do 15 single-leg squats on each leg, ensuring your knee is straight and your waist is horizontal.
Bibliography:Tudor. C, ‘Injury-Proof Your Hip’, Men’s Fitness magazine, March 2015.
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