Hip Impingement (Part 2) – The exercises

If you missed part 1 or want a refresher on all the fabulous information we imparted on you click HERE.

For those of you wanting to know our personal go to exercises for hip impingement sufferers READ ON!!!

As mentioned last last week the effectiveness of these exercises will depend on the underlying cause of your hip impingement. With this in mind it may be best it may be best to consult a professional to ensure your Dr google, or self diagnosis is spot on before starting the general exercises listed below.

  1. Hip Capsule Stretching
    1. Figure Four Stretch: Lying on your stomach, separate your knees to a wide but comfortable distance.  Bend the knee of the affected hip and drop the foot towards the back of the opposite leg, placing in underneath the knee/thigh. (see photo) Contracting your backside to push the front of your hip down towards the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Do 3-4 efforts.
    2. Hip Capsule Mobilisation: In a four point kneeling position straighten the unaffected leg and turn shin of the affected leg under the straightened leg. Then push your affected hip back at a 45 degree angle as if your trying to push you hip out your backside. Oscillate in this position for 2 minutes. You can also add a band pulling your hip further to the side for a greater capsule stretch.

 

  1. Glute Stretches/Triggers
    1. Glute Stretch: Lie on your with your knees bent & feet on the ground. Place the foot of the affected hip just above the thigh of the opposite leg. (You kind of look like a figure 4 here) Grab the thigh of your non-affected leg and pull towards your chest. Again accumulate 2 minutes in this position.
    2. Active Glute Triggers: Lie or sit on the ground. Get a trigger ball and place it on underneath your glute. Go tension hunting, searching for tight & tender sports. When you find a good spot, pause, take a few deep breaths and try to sink your weight into the ball. You can also add in movements of your leg from side to side if you want an active release.

 

  1. Glute activation exercises
    1. Clams: We’ve touched on this one in previous blogs. Lie on your side, knees bent on top of one another. Keeping the feet together and the top hip pointing towards the sky lift your top knee off the bottom (you should see immediately why its called a clam!). Go for high reps of this one towards 30 per side. Once this becomes easy you can grab an elastic band and place it around the knees for extra resistance.
    2. Lateral Step Up: Start standing on the step. Affected leg on the edge of the step whilst the other leg is dangling to the side of the step (not the front). From this position you are going to slowly lower the free leg towards the ground. Remember this is a glute exercise so the movement shoulder start with pushing your hips back similar to the first part of a squat. Touch your heel on the ground, then return to the starting position. Try to squeeze your glute the whole way and keep the hips relatively even and pointing forward. To start work on sets of 10 but again build up towards 30 repetitions.

 

  1. Technique – as discussed in part 1 the squat can be an aggravating activity for many people who suffer from impingement. In some cases working on squat technique can help to alleviate this. 
    1. Squat: This definitely needs more than a short blurb to get across the technical detail of squatting correctly but here’s a couple of pointers that can make a huge difference. It all starts at the feet.
      • Imagine you are gently screwing your feet down into the ground throughout the movement. That means keeping your big toe, little toe and heal on the ground the whole time.
      • Move your hips backwards first, this activated the glutes to ensure they are loaded up and doing most of the work!
      • Keep your knees tracking over your toes – the biggest fault we see is knees collapsing inwards. This places heaps of undue stress on the knee joints!
      • Take a big breath in before initiating your squat. Brace your stomach, and ‘get stiff’ – imagine someone is about to punch you in the stomach.

These four pointers are simple yet effective cues but if pain remains always see a professional about your technique.

Please keep in mind the exercises discussed are very general. If you have hip pain that you think may be impingement make sure you get a proper diagnosis. Not all hip pain is the same so talk to someone who can guide you with what strength or mobility may be the most relevant for you!