Hips are essentially the lowest parts of the hip joint, so it is no surprise that movement of the hips is important for many movement patterns. The position of the hip can affect how much weight is felt from the bottom of a lift to the top of the lift. As with all joints, there are compensations that must occur in order to maintain a good level of mobility. If the hips are too forward or too backward while lifting, weight that otherwise would not otherwise go to the glutes will instead go toward the hamstrings. It is also important to note that a shoulder that has a tight chest will also hold back some of the weight you lift, although this can be compensated for by moving the chest forward (i.e., lowering the bar).
How is the hip joint different than the biceps?
Biceps tend to be more of a “turtle” joint, meaning they move from side to side and rotate around. However, the hip joint is a more “flexible” joint, which gives it greater leverage and strength, especially with a heavier weight. As with the biceps, it can be beneficial to allow the hip joint to “feel” your weight when you lift at a heavy weight (i.e., by holding in place), although it is important to remember that the muscles used for this function are also very important to keep the hip joint in a good position.
One final note in regard to hip movement: it is important to remember that, like most muscles, the hip joints cannot be stretched too many times and will “give” once it has been stretched. When this occurs, the muscle can “feel” the tension because the muscle is forced to shorten. It cannot stretch and “feel” any longer, so the person will simply try to hold it in place, which only further aggravates their condition and wastes energy.
In relation to hip strength, one might ask how one could have an efficient training program for the hip joint. How can someone train their hips in such a fashion so as to allow for maximal mobility? The answer to this question is quite simple – take care of your overall mobility to enhance mobility for your hip joints.
“The Hip Joint: Understanding and Improving Its Mobility” in Exercise Medicine
“Kinesio Kinematic Theory” by Mark Dyck, MS, Ph.D., D.Sc.
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