Workout Mistakes That Can Cause Hip Pain

people doing plank exercise in group fitness class
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Exercising regularly is a great way to prevent hip pain. It keeps the joints strong, flexible, and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by keeping weight in check. When problems occur in the hips it can lead to a domino effect that affects your legs, knees, ankles, and other parts of the body. These are some common workout mistakes that could be counteracting the benefits of exercise and causing stress on the hip joints:

Skipping Lateral Exercises

Most people do not think to regularly engage in lateral movements. Walking, driving, and sitting are all linear movements in which you are moving in a straight line. When you hit the gym you use the bike or the elliptical, yet again failing to perform side to side movement. Because of this, your hips are missing out on 50 percent of the range of motion they are capable of, and this results in muscular imbalance and weakness. This puts you at risk for pulling muscles around the hip area when a lateral movement you are not prepared for occurs. To fix this, try incorporating rollerblading into your exercise regimen to strengthen the lesser used muscles.

Allowing the Knee to Move Inward During Lunges

Improper form during lunges can cause problems in the hip joints. If your knee looks like it is collapsing towards your big toe, you are adding stress to your outer quadriceps muscle, IT band, and lower hamstring.

This leads to internal rotation of the hips and causes inflammation and pinching inside the hip joint. Proper lunge form entails lining the knee up directly over the ankle and centered in the middle of the foot to ensure the leg muscles are being used efficiently and to prevent injury.

Leaning Your Core Forward During Squats

It’s easy to lose form when lowering the body into a squat, but your hips and your lower back will appreciate it if you keep your torso as upright as possible.

You may not be able to squat down as far when you are implementing the correct technique, but you’ll decrease the stress placed on your lower back and hips and prevent injury and ensuing pain. Retrain your muscle in this exercise by doing wall squats with your back, shoulders, and head against flat against the wall as you lower your body into a proper squat with the knees over the ankles. Lean back on your heels and pull your belly button into your spine to engage the core.

Sticking Your Butt Up During a Plank

It is a common mistake, and the results are painful. Holding your butt up above your hips causes your back to arch and overworks your hip flexors and over time this causes the muscles to tighten. When you do not hold your body in an even, horizontal position you are not engaging the abdominal muscles to their full capacity, since all the hips are doing all the work. The stress on your joints can cause bones in the hip rub together and cause damage, known as a hip impingement. Check your body position when you come up to the plank position and extend your chin forward from your chest.

Lower your butt and draw your belly button towards your rib cage to reduce the arch from your back.

Squeezing Your Glute Muscles During Yoga

Clenching your butt during exercises can compromise hip health. Squeezing these muscles causes the thigh bones to rotate forward, and this creates stress on the front of the hips. This area only has a thin layer or muscle above the bone and prolonged squeezing can strain the hips and lower back. Try keeping your butt relaxed when performing the exercises. Your glutes naturally engage when needed, and they will be worked out without forcing the muscles to work.

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