If you missed Part 1 of this series, head back and find it under blog posts. Part 1 covers the hip joint from front to back. Now I want to talk about the hip from side-to-side.
The lateral muscle groups of the hip are often overlooked, but can cause some serious problems. Let’s start with the muscle group inside of the hip – the adductors. This group can be pretty tight, especially on runners. They’re main job is to move your leg towards the midline of the bottom, which happens a little bit each time you take a step, or stride. Allowing them to continue to tighten without showing them a little TLC can cause a loss of range of motion when you try to abduct the hip, or move it away from the midline. Like all other muscle groups in the hip, these attach to the pelvis, and can cause unnatural pulls and rotations which lead to imbalances in other places in the hip. Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose, and Parighasana, or Gate Pose, can be used to stretch these muscles out and relieve tension here.
Abductors of the hip can also be pretty tight. Their job is to move the hip away from the midline of the body, which also happens just a little as we walk, or run. They also act to stabilize the hip in any act of balance.
Ardha Chandrasana, or Half Moon Pose, is great for strengthening hip abductors. To stretch your abductors, Gomukhasana, or Cow Face Pose, is a great option (and highly suggested for anyone with IT band issues).
Add these postures to your practice, along with some mindfulness of how they feel in your body. Taking care of your hip can be complicated. But if you find the right balance of stretching and strengthening, you will soon develop happy, healthy hips.