August 04, 2021 9 min read
Are your hips in as good of shape as you think they are? For your sake, we hope they are because the hip muscles are one of the most important muscle groups in your entire body!
Put your hip biomechanics to the test by trying to internally rotate them. Turn your thigh bones in towards the midline of your body and see what happens. If you can't turn your thighs without hip pain, then your hips could probably use some strengthening and stretching. More specifically, your hip internal rotator muscles could use some help!
To get your hip internal rotators in the best shape, we're sharing our top 7 exercises and stretches to improve mobility. If you stick to these seven movements, your internal rotators will be able to reach their full range of motion in no time!
The hips are one of the most important muscle groups in the body. However, few people know much about them or even know their primary mover muscles. Therefore, before getting started on the stretches and exercises, here is a short synopsis of your hip muscles!
There are more than twenty primary mover muscles in the hips. The muscles are grouped based on the type of movement they initiate from the hip joint. Internal rotation is one type of movement, and the other five include:
The muscles that help initiate internal rotation from the hip joint include the tensor fasciae latae, gluteus minimus, and piriformis. Also, the adductor longus, brevis, and magnus in the inner thigh as well as the pectineus in the upper thigh assist the hip muscles with rotation.
Each of our top seven exercises and stretches improves the strength and flexibility in these internal rotator muscles. As a result, your hips will have greater internal rotation mobility!
As we mentioned above, the hip muscles don't get quite as much hype as other muscle groups. However, that doesn't change the fact that internal rotation of the hip is extremely important. There are several consequences of not being able to properly internally rotate your hips. Here are a couple of the most common ones:
These are just a few of the consequences of not being able to rotate the hips. But, the good news is that the most common causes of not being able to rotate the hips are avoidable!
Weak and tight hips are not uncommon. In fact, hip immobility, including in the internal rotators, is one of the most common causes of visiting a physical therapist today.
Because it is so common, you would think that more people would be aware of the causes of poor hip internal rotation. With that said, here are some of the most common causes weak and tight hips that leads to poor hip internal rotation:
Most of the above hip problems don't happen on their own. With the exception of a hip impingement, all of the other conditions occur most often as the result of lifestyle choices. More specifically, lifestyle choices pertaining to our overly sedentary culture.
America's sedentary culture is found in almost every aspect of our lives. Most people drive or take transit to work and school, rather than walking or biking. Most people spend between seven and nine hours per day sitting behind a desk for work. And, the average person in America spends about four hours per day sitting down while watching TV.
If you add all of those hours together on top of the time spent eating and scrolling through social media while sitting down, you would be shocked at how much time we spend immobile.All of this time spent sitting down is extremely harmful to your hips. Even if you are a religious gym-goer, your hips could still be suffering as a result of spending too much time sitting down.
Therefore, if you want to reduce the odds that your hip internal rotators become tight or weak in the first place, the simple answer is to spend more time standing up! On top of that, become aware of your posture while you are standing. Things like a standing desk or walking to the grocery store could be the difference between healthy and unhealthy hip rotators.
Standing will take unnecessary pressure off of your hips, and good posture will allow your lumbar spine and hips to breathe. As a result, your hip internal rotators, and your hips in general, will thrive!
On top of spending more time standing, be sure to add these 7 hip internal rotator stretches and exercises to your routine! The combo of standing up more, increasing flexibility, and improving strength, will dramatically improve your hip health.
The great thing about stretching is that it requires little to no effort. In fact, most of the time you do them while laying down! Therefore, we suggest practicing these stretches during times that you would normally be sitting or laying down. Instead of sitting on the couch and crushing your hips to watch TV, drop to the floor and do these stretches.
To stay healthy, your hip rotators need consistent activation! Activating them will improve not only the strength of the rotators, but your hip muscles in general. With that said, here are our four favorite exercises for the hip internal rotators, no physical therapy required!
While the hip internal rotators don't get as much of the hype as your other large muscle groups, they are not to be neglected! Muscular and flexible rotators are a sign of good hip health, and hip health is a sign of an overall healthy body.
Get to work on our top physical therapy-free rotator stretches and exercises to start firing up your internal rotator muscles today! As a result, your hips will have overall greater rotational mobility.
Bonus tip: As we already talked about, the health of your hips is a good indicator of the health of the rest of your body. With that said, be sure to regularly fire up all of your hip muscles, including the all-important abductors.
To help you get started, here are our top ten exercises for the hip abductor muscles!