Our hips are super important for the right functioning of the whole spine. Poor working on our hips can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the body.
The hips are like a bowl that unites the upper body with the lower limbs.
There are a few joints to bear in mind when talking about the hips. One is the sacroiliac joint, this important joint doesn’t have a lot of mobility and it’s located at the base of the spine in the middle posterior side of the hip and it links the right and left hip bone. On the anterior part of the hip, the two sides unite on the Pubic symphysis, which is a joint is made of fibrocartilage like your intervertebral disks.
The other two joints are the ones linking with the right and left legs. The latter, being a ball and socket type of joint, we have a wide range of motion on our legs, and if we don’t use it we lose it. Hips can perform abduction, adduction, rotation, and circumduction.
Sitting down in a chair for long periods of time is allegedly one of the worst things we can do for our hips.
Top tip 1: put a reminder to stand up and walk every 25 to 30 minutes.
Top tip 2: use a wobble cushion
The hip muscles help us to stay erect and stabilise us on movement and stillness. The Gluteus are a strong set of muscles. We have Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus. There are also the Hip flexors or iliopsoas and the piriformis – which if it gets trapped can bring excruciating sciatica pain.
The range of motion of each person’s hips can vary depending on their anatomy and circumstances. Men have narrower hips than women and often they also have less flexibility in this area. Pregnant women will find a significant loosening of the hips owing to the hormones released in preparation for childbirth. People that suffer from arthritis will have a restricted range of motion. However, motion is lotion, so there will always be the right exercises for each person.
If your hip stability is challenged, make sure you hold onto a chair if you do standing hip exercises.
Alternatively, the safest option is to start exercising on the floor.