Why is it important to improve Hip extension strength and how do I do it?

Why is it important to improve Hip extension strength and how do I do it?

Hip extension is one of the most important and overlooked human movements. Why? Because it plays a multitude of important roles in both functional performance and injury prevention. These range from power and speed production in sports to simply walking and standing. This article discusses the mechanics of hip extension, why we need it and how we can improve it.

What is hip extension?

Hip extension occurs when you extend or open your hip joint so that the angle between your pelvis and thigh bone increases. This movement utilises 3 main muscle groups:

  • Gluteal Muscles
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductor Magnus

These muscles work in conjunction with your hip joint to open up and lengthen your hip while stabilising your pelvis. This allows you to do things like walk, jog and stand upright.

Why we need it:

As discussed above, not only does hip extension help with mobility but also stability and balance too. Unfortunately as our lives become increasingly sedentary in nature, our hip extensors become underused. This can lead to our hip extensors weakening or even becoming damaged over longer periods of time. And where do we compensate when we can’t use our hip extensors properly? In our back and our knees. That’s right, poor hip extension can put excessive pressure on our joints above and below our hips, which can eventually lead to injury. In fact, research shows that there is a very strong correlation between poor hip extension and lower back pain.

How we can improve it:

There are a range of exercises and that can target your hip muscles to improve your hip extension and help reduce injury in the long term.

Furthermore, be sure to discuss management advice around sitting and standing with your Osteopath. We are here to help!


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