Does your hip feel like it's stuck in a rut? Are you frustrated with limited mobility in this vital body joint? If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. Many people struggle to keep their hips flexible and mobile.
But don't despair — with time, effort, and dedication, you can improve your hip’s ability to rotate internally.
In this blog post, I will share my top 6 exercises and stretches for an internal hip rotation to help get those hips nice and loose. So what do you say — wanna get out of that rut together? Let's go!
What is Hip Internal Rotation?
Hip internal rotation is a movement that requires a lot of attention and consideration; it's an essential part of maintaining correct posture and reducing strain on your body. With increased hip rotation comes an increased range of motion, which means you can explore more difficult poses—something that might have seemed unimaginable before.
Your level of flexibility will surprise you. Many physical therapists suggest incorporating hip internal rotation exercises into your daily routine to help maintain optimal health and mobility. So don't be afraid to take things up a notch; step out of your comfort zone and explore what this popular movement offers.
It's an easy move while standing - just twist your thigh inward until your foot turns so your toes are pointing inwards.
Why is Hip Internal Rotation Important?
Internal rotation helps stave off back pain. If you have reduced internal range of motion in your hip you will compensate in your lumbar spine. It also improves your balance and helps you become more stable on your feet. Take control of the floor - master your hip internal rotation today.
That's why it's essential to maintain good hip mobility so you can move freely and stay active without constant aches and pains. Strong hip internal rotators mean stronger and more stable joints for greater performance and less risk of injury - sounds great, right? Make sure you're investing in hip internal rotation regularly; it is essential to maintaining pain-free movement.
What Muscles are in the Hip Complex?
Twenty-one different muscles are involved in the hip joint, and every muscle plays a significant role in the hip's movement, actions, or balance. The most important ones are,
These muscle include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae. The gluteus Maximus is the most powerful and largest muscle in the buttocks. It is the strongest external rotator muscle of the hip.
The Psoas major and the iliacus are two individual muscles that form the iliopsoas muscle. These muscles are separate in the abdomen but join each other in the thigh.
The psoas is located in the lower lumbar and passes through the pelvis to the thigh bone or femur. This muscle assists with the external rotation of the hip. Poas minor is its sister muscle, even though it is only present in 60-65% of people.
Lateral Rotator Muscles
It includes the following:
- Obturator internus and obturator externus
- Quadratus femoris
- Gemellus inferior and gemellus superior
The Adductor group is made of the following muscles:
- Adductor brevis
- Adductor longus
- Adductor magnus
Best Exercise for Internal Hip Rotation
Here are some of the best exercises you can perform for internal hip rotation.
1. Seated Hip Internal Rotation
They are one of the best-kept secrets in strengthening and stabilizing the hips, resulting in greater mobility and strength. Incorporating this simple exercise into your regular fitness routine is easy, and the benefits are endless.
You'll help increase balance and flexibility and reduce any existing pain or discomfort. Seated Hip Internal Rotation makes for a powerful addition to your fitness regimen. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Take one leg and bend your knee sending your foot behind you knee, putting your hip into internal rotation.
- Hold this position for as long as you can without too much pain or discomfort.
- Hold for 2 minutes per side ideally.
2. Squatting Internal Rotations
Isolating the lower body muscles to perform this exercise means you can maximize the strength and stability you have in your hips and legs. Squatting internal rotations help build more strength and increase your range of motion and balance while ensuring you stay in peak condition for the next training session.
To do it:
- Start with a deep squat with your hands gripped in front of you.
- Use your left leg to push yourself slightly upwards and towards the left side.
- Then, as your right leg falls towards the ground, your right thigh should rotate inward in your hip socket. Pause and then resume your squat.
- Push yourself up and to the right side using your right leg. Let your left leg fall towards the ground to form a left hip internal rotation this time. Pause and do the movement again on the right.
- Repeat and do 5 to 10 times.
3. 90-90 Foot Lift
The 90-90 foot lift is like a miracle exercise you have to try. Perfectly balancing a hard workout and relaxing stretch, this exercise targets your lower body's three major muscle groups – quads, hamstrings, and glutes – while also activating your core. It's like a mini-workout party in your gym.
And with every liftoff position, you can feel the tension and strength buildup in those internal rotators. Get ready to feel the burn. To do it:
- Start by sitting on the mat with your feet flat.
- Let both of your knees fall down and to the left, so the outside of your left leg is on the ground, and the inside of your right leg is on the ground. Your legs should be bent at the knee at 90 degrees.
- Then, try to leave your right foot while keeping your hips and upper body balanced. Lift your right foot and then release.
- Perform 20-30 reps and repeat on the left side.
4. Seated Banded Internal Rotation
Doing a seated banded internal rotation can greatly improve your ability to build more active range in your hip. By doing this you will also improve your passive range of motion too. Having more range means less room for injury.
It helps build strength, control, and mobility within the body’s core. To do this stretch:
- Start seated with a band around your ankle.
- Be sure the band is attached to a stable object on the opposite side of your working leg.
- Keeping your knee inline with your hip, internally rotate your hip, swinging your tibia and foot outwards, pulling against the tension of the band.
- Slowly control it back to the starting position.
- Do this for 12-15 reps before switching sides.
5. Side Lying Banded Internal Rotation
Side lying banded internal rotation is a unique form of exercise that provides a deep level of engagement both physically and mentally. It involves using a short band around your feet. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a band and put it around your feet.
- Lay on your side with your legs stacked overtop of one another.
- Press your top knee down into your other knee and internally rotate your hip raising your tibia and foot towards the sky.
- Do 15-20 reps before switching sides.
6. Lacrosse Ball on the Hip Internal Rotators
Myofascial release can be another way to unlock more range in your internal rotators. All you need is a lacrosse or tennis ball. To do it:
- Use a lacrosse ball or tennis ball.
- Lie down. Raise your right hip off the ground and then put the ball under the outer side of your hip.
- Massage your right tense fasciae latae muscle with light movements. Try tucking and untucking your pelvis or moving your torso from side to side or up and down over the ball.
- Train the gluteus medius and minimus muscles by rolling over onto your back so the ball is under the upper part of your buttocks near your right hip.
- Then try moving from side to side and up and down to release the tension.
- Switch to the left side and do it for a few minutes to work out the hip internal rotator muscles.
With regular rolling, you'll find increased flexibility in those muscles leading to better overall hip function.
1. How can I treat hip internal rotation pain?
The combination of corrective exercises, stretching, and sometimes rest gives you the best chance to move towards feeling better. It's important to note that before any treatment plan is made, you should discuss it with your doctor or physical therapist so they can assess your individual needs.
2. What causes hip internal rotation deficiency?
Things such as overly tight tissue, anatomical variations, and even improper load management during athletics or physical activity can lead to hip internal rotation.
3. Why is hip internal rotation important?
It’s important to promote proper posture and encourage muscular balance throughout the femur, hip, and lower extremities. With a decrease in hip internal rotation, compensations can occur at other joints or the low back.This can lead to chronic pain or joint dysfunction.
4. What are the causes of reduced hip internal rotation?
Sitting for extended periods (with poor posture) can decrease our ability to move through full motion, leading to further restriction as our bodies begin to adapt to that lack of movement.
Certain injuries and diseases, such as osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis, also have a large role in limiting our practical range of internal hip rotation.
The Bottom Line
Hip internal rotation is important to a healthy, balanced movement pattern. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when improving our range of motion. However, stretching and massage techniques can help increase mobility in this area and reduce associated pain. Be sure to talk with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any treatment plan, as they can assess you for individual needs. With regular exercises and stretches, you should start to feel better soon! Good luck!
- Li, Xinning, et al. ‘Evaluation of Hip Internal and External Rotation Range of Motion as an Injury Risk Factor for Hip, Abdominal and Groin Injuries in Professional Baseball Players’. Orthopedic Reviews, vol. 7, no. 4, Dec. 2015, p. 6142. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.4081/or.2015.6142.
- Souza, Richard B., and Christopher M. Powers. ‘Predictors of Hip Internal Rotation during Running: An Evaluation of Hip Strength and Femoral Structure in Women with and without Patellofemoral Pain’. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 37, no. 3, Mar. 2009, pp. 579–87. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546508326711.