Lately I have been reading and researching a lot on the topic about hip pain. When I used to be a basketball player, I had absolutely zero knowledge about anatomy and the way your body and your muscles function. Back in the days I was struggling a lot with lower back and hip pain but I assumed it was something normal for a basketball player and nobody ever suggested the idea that with a proper strength and conditioning program, I could get done with all that terrible, constant pain!
Because I don’t want you to feel like I did back then, today I will give you a quick lesson, so you can get to know your body better, and get rid of that annoying pain!
First of all, let’s get something straight- what goes on at your pelvis, directly affects what goes on throughout the rest of your body! In order to be healthy and injury free, it is really important to have a good posture and good body alignment! Probably you don’t give it much of a thought, but next time when you go out, pay attention to people and their posture. When people stand up- they either stay like this(picture on the left) or …or like that(picture on the right)!
Nowadays you will rarely see somebody with a good posture!
What does that mean and why the first picture shows the wrong way to stand and why these postures are really hurting your body?
Some time ago I shared with you this article by Mike Robertson and I will use his examples to explain you how the anterior and posterior couples work.
“The anterior force couple consists of the hip flexors (psoas, iliacus, rectus femoris, and TFL), and the spinal erectors. From the front, the hip flexors pull the pelvis down into anterior tilt. On the back side, the spinal erectors are pulling up on the back side of the pelvis to produce anterior tilt as well.
In essence, these muscle groups are working synergistically (from the front and back of the body) to produce one movement — anterior pelvic tilt.
On the other hand, the posterior force couple consists of the rectus abdominus, external obliques, gluteals, and hamstrings. From the front, the rectus abdominus and external obliques pull up on the pelvis. On the back side, the gluteals and hamstrings pull down on the pelvis. Again, these muscle groups are working synergistically to produce one movement — posterior pelvic tilt.”
So what do we come down to? Muscles in your body work synergistically! Today I will concentrate on the anterior tilt, we will discuss why this happens, what are the consequences and how to fix it!
It all comes down to the imbalance between the posterior and the anterior chain. When you predominantly use your quadriceps( the front of your thighs ) and your glutes and hamstrings are weaker, that leads to a lot of stress on your hips! That is exactly what my problem was. I had stronger quadriceps and I had “The dead butt syndrome”, meaning my glutes were really weak!
That lead to the pain in the front part of my hips! You feel what I am talking about, right? Why that imbalance results in this terrible hip pain? Because your femur( leg bone) is pushing your hip socket!
How can that be? In order to understand it, you need to know how the hip, the hamstrings and the glutes work. The hips is a joint that consists of a ball and a socket. Between the two of them is placed the labrum, and it makes sure that the ball fits into the socket. When you perform a movement that involves your lower body, the hamstrings turn on and pull the femur up into the socket. On the other hand, as the glutes are responsible to provide the counteraction, if everything is ok, they turn on and help rotate the ball in the hip socket so the joint can move nicely. But what happens in our case when our glutes are weaker? The hamstrings activate, but the glutes are delayed. That means that the hamstrings, go up into your socket, but the glutes do not provide the rotation of the femur in the socket. That way you are constantly hurting the nurves, in your hips, and that is where that terrible pain comes from!
Now when you know, that you haven’t damaged yourself for a lifetime, and that everything could be “cured” if you take it seriously, let’s find out how to fix it!
Your glutes are weak? Then the solution is simple! Activate them, train them, make them stronger!
Include more exercises about your hamstrings and glutes- pistols, deadlift, one legged deadlift, hip thrusters, glute ham- raise, good mornings.
Before I shut up and let you digest the information and use it in your favor, I will add one more thing!
If you have weaker glutes and hip pain, you’ve probably noticed that your quadriceps feel stiff. When you stretch them, they are kind of too tight! Well that is again a consequence of the imbalance and their overload! Emphasize on strengthening the glutes and hamstrings and stretch more the quadriceps!
Get busy, fixing your body and your posture! Two months from now, I want you feeling better and stronger!