I seem to be obsessing about hip strength this week, so here you go: for everyone who has been told to do hip rotations, here they are!

This series helps to stabilise your leg bones in the centre of the hip sockets thereby reducing friction in the hip joints and decreasing uneven pressure on the knees. Avoiding/ reducing the effects of arthritis, osteoporosis and knee pain? Check. Also, and let’s focus on the important part here, strong hip muscles help to support your pelvis in the optimal position for a lovely round booty! Good for a healthy pelvic floor and well-fitting pants. So there… aim for 1 minute of action for each position on each side every day. Go for it!

Lie on your side, knees bent and feet lined up with your sit bones.
Lift your feet, keeping your knees on the mat
Keep your torso and pelvis stable and relaxed
Rotate your leg bone in the hip socket so that your knee lifts.

 

THIS IS IMPORTANT! **Turn your leg bone in the hip socket** – Imagine an old fashioned radio knob on the side of the hip and turn that to lift your thigh bone

     

It’s easy to just lift your knee, but that makes this a quad exercise (the muscles that run along the front of your thigh) rather than what we need: an exercise that targets the rarely used muscles deep in the hip structure.
There are a few tricks to use if you don’t feel the work in the back/ side of your hip:
  • put your hand the side of your hip and give a good scratch to wake up the muscles
  • hold your hand in the same place and see if you can feel the muscle moving with your hand, even if you can’t “feel” it with your brain
  • only lift the leg as high as you can go feeling the work in the side of the hip, even if that means a very small range.
There are six small, deep muscles in a row being targeted in this series. The first position gives you the most surface ones and the biggest range of motion. The second position, where you keep your feet on the mat, targets the middle layer and results in a smaller range but possibly more sensation. The third position, where you bend your hips and knees into approximately 90 degree angles (think tabletop on your side) reaches the deepest layer. It is, therefore, the smallest range with the biggest ouch potential!
This is a tricky group to find, but so rewarding (this means satisfyingly painful) when you get it!

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