The Med Gym
Hip Strength & Stability Week 1 - Introduction
By David Drinks
We’re coming right off of our hip mobility series in which we spent about three months taking a deep dive into both the importance and the how-to of hip mobility. Last week, we did the conclusion of that series (which you can check out here), and we’re ready and excited to jump into our next exercise series!
Hopefully, you haven’t been getting tired of learning how to train your hips, because we’re not moving away from your hips just yet!
While we covered a lot of ground with regard to hip mobility, we didn’t want to stop there. What we didn’t tell you in the hip mobility series is that, even if you have super mobile hips, you still may be at risk for injury, and you still may not have the most well-functioning hips!
“What?? Your hip mobility series made it sound like hip mobility training was going to solve all of my problems! Now you’re telling me there’s more??”
While I wish we could just mobilize all of our hip problems away with lots of stretching and mobility drills, the fact of the matter is, the body and human movement are far too complex for such a simple solution.
I view mobility as the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to good hip function, as you first need to have access to a full range of motion with each hip joint.
However, once you have enough hip mobility, you must then layer stability and strength training on top of that to ensure that you are optimizing your hip function, staving off injury, and keeping yourself moving well for life.
Why You Need Hip Strength & Stability
Adding hip stability and strength throughout your full hip range of motion allows you to utilize the range of motion that you have, and it also prevents you from losing the mobility that you have gained.
What happens when you don’t have strength and stability? Your nervous system puts on the brakes and doesn’t allow you to access that mobility that you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
Your body does this because it’s smart, and it doesn’t want you to get injured. If it allows you to access a range of motion in which you don’t have enough stability and control, there’s a good chance you’ll injure something.
Once you add strength and stability on top of your hip mobility, though, your body says, “Alright, you can own that position, so I’m going to let you use it whenever you want!”
So, we need to get to the point that you can both access and control a full range of motion through both of your hips. The only way to do that is to integrate our hip mobility training with some quality strength and stability training at the hips.
So, that’s what we’re moving onto in our next series – Hip Strength & Stability.
This should put the finishing touches on your mobile, functional, and pain-free hips!
For the Hypermobile Among Us
The other reason why we wanted to move to hip strength and stability training is that there is a certain percentage of the population who already has more than enough mobility. We all know people who are super-flexible and hypermobile.
Often, it’s the females among us that have this outstanding mobility simply because that’s how their bodies were made. They inherently have looser joints, more pliable tissues throughout the body, and access to greater ranges of motion.
However, many guys also have a certain level of hypermobility and can access great ranges of motion.
For all of you flexible and hypermobile people out there, you probably don’t need a ton of hip mobility training, but you do need a ton of hip strength and stability training.
This is for the same reason I spoke about earlier – the more mobility you have, the more stability and control you need for your body to continue to allow you to access that mobility without injury.
So, for all of you mobile people out there, and for all of you who have been gaining greater mobility from following along with our hip mobility series, this is for you!
Stay tuned each week to learn some of the best exercises that you can do to both strengthen all of the muscles around your hips, and to stabilize in each plane of motion.
We are starting this week with an introduction to the series, and each week we’ll be giving you the exact exercises that we use with our clients at the Med Gym to train greater hip strength and stability.
Strength vs. Stability
One key concept that I allude to in the video below and that I’ll continue to bring up throughout the series is that there is a difference between strength and stability.
Strength refers to the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to develop contractile force against an external force in a single contraction. It’s your ability to move (or not be moved by) an outside force on the body.
Stability refers to the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to contract with the proper timing and force to control joint position and balance against an outside force. Stability is more about tuning your muscles to contract at the proper rate and intensity to ensure that you maintain control of your joints against outside forces.
Both strength and stability are crucial!
First of all, you’ll never stabilize if you don’t have enough strength in the first place. So, you need to develop at least a baseline level of strength in all of the muscles so you can both control your body during movement, and so that you can do all of the movements that you want to do.
Strength is both the foundation for stability as well as the foundation for allowing you to do what you want to do with your body. Having enough strength is relative to what you want and need to do, but here are some examples of things you can’t do without enough strength:
Perform at a high level in your sport
Pick up heavy boxes or furniture to help a friend move
Lift and carry kids or grandkids
Climb stuff (mountains, hills, stairs, etc.)
Get up off the floor
Stand up out of a chair
You see, depending on your age and what you need to be able to do, strength plays a role in all of these activities. Simply put, if you don’t have enough hip strength for the activity you want or need to be able to do, you won’t be able to do it well.
Stability is equally as important as strength but in a different way.
Without adequate timing and coordination of your muscle contractions, you won’t be able to maintain balance and control of your joints. Without stability, you tend to get into less than optimal joint positions which can lead to greater wear and tear on the joints, or even acute injuries like ligament, tendon, or muscle tears.
However, with proper strength and stability around your hips, you can both do all the things you want to do in life, and you can maintain joint health along the way!
What more could you want?
So, with all that in mind, we’re excited to bring you this series, and we hope you’ll follow along each week and work to gain more hip strength and stability. After all, at the Med Gym we want to help you Move Better, Feel Better, and Live Better!
Check out the intro video below, and I’ll see you next week for part two:
Want to learn more about training your body to Move Better, Feel Better, and Live Better? Our exercise programs at the Med Gym are custom made to get you exactly what you need.
Whether you come into the gym or work with us via Med Gym Online, we can help you get on the right track with your movement and fitness.
Contact us here to talk about how we can help you develop an exercise routine that improves your hip strength & stability and so much more!