Long before I acutely injured myself this past fall I knew that hip stability is very, very important for athletic (and general!) health… and I also had recognized that a number of nagging problems I dealt with probably had their root somewhere in my hips. I even started a regimen of post-run hip strengthening exercises… for about 3 weeks. It helped, but it was boring, and inconvenient, and I lost interest.
Until last October! Now that I have been through the process of not being able to do the things I love to do, following the exercises prescribed to me, and not only being able to return to activity but being able to FEEL how much more stable I am – I’m kinda a fangirl. Of course, choosing exercises that maybe might possibly help off the internet is NO substitute for seeing a professional if something is wrong – but neither can a little extra strength and stability in our most central and vulnerable areas hurt!
In addition to the single-leg hip thrusts and glue bridges that I think I have mentioned before, here’s some resources on how and why to keep those hips in line.
Hip Stability Exercises to prevent ITBS and Runner’s Knee
This is focused on running, and some specific problems – but those problems are definitely NOT things that only happen to “runners.” When my hips where all crooked this fall, it definitely made me more aware of the tightness in my IT band. And whether you’ve ever had to even think about what an IT band might be or not – I really like that this article illustrates the issue, and gives you a way to check yourself.
Exercises For Hips And Knees
This is a nice, easy to digest list of helpful exercises for stabilizing your hips – and by extension your knees. Our favorite, the squat (done properly!) even makes an appearance. Several of these (the band walking, for instance) are ones that were prescribed to me, and they work.
Speaking of the band walking: one of my favorite things that the physical therapist prescribed for me was to place a length of resistance tape (tied in a loop) around my ankles, squat very slightly, and shuffle sideways. She called it “monster walking,” and my cat certainly thinks it is monstrous. (In addition to basically everything that isn’t food or his toys, he’s afraid of people walking funny). The reason I like it so much is that I can put the band on, get in position, and shuffle about like that while I unpack my gym bag, put away groceries, fold laundry… whatever I need to do, so I have NO excuse not to do it because I’m not even taking time out to get it done. See below for an explanation and demo that I found on YouTube.