Your Hips need two things:
mobility & stability.
Mobility meaning the ability of our joint to go from point A to point B and stability meaning how well we control ourselves from A to B.
If you don't have enough mobility in your hips you will make up for it in other places. Usually we will find problems in the areas above and below the site of dysfunction like your knee or your low back. For example, when we turn our body to the left whether it's swinging a golf club, running or throwing your dog a tennis ball a couple things have to happen in the hips;
-Your left hip has to be able to internally rotate.
-Your right hip has to be able to externally rotate.
If we are lacking in either of those we begin to get some excessive motion in other parts of our body which could lead us to be more succeptible to injury.
To test out your hip mobility, try performing this "Hip Mobility Exercise". If it's easy on both sides, you can probably move on to the exercise below. If not, it may be something you need to practice!
Once we have that good base of mobility, we need to add some stability to those hips! When we do things like squat, lunge or go upstairs our hip musculature acts as important stabilizers by keeping everything lined up the way it needs to be. No matter how flexible you are, if you cannot keep your lower body in proper positioning during various activities you may be setting yourself up for failure.
To test this out, try performing the "Diagonal Sit Hip Exercise". It's important to compare both sides. If this is easy on the left and difficult on the right, work the right side more!
There are always various ways of assessing the hips and these 2 exercises are a good start for self-assessing and being able to differentiate if you have a stability or a mobilty issue.
Dr. Henry is a chiropractor in Camas Washington. He practices chiropractic by combining modern chiropractic techniques with various rehab and mobility exercises in his clinic in Camas Washington.