Going along with my theme here I’ll talk about hip internal rotation. (point left toes toward right foot, you’ve internally rotated the left hip)
Hip internal rotation is done by a combination of muscles, so there is no primary mover in this movement. Therefore it is a tough issue to address, but an extremely important one. It’s important for anyone, but particularly important for rotational athletes. (Read: golfers and baseball players) We see a lot of golfers and baseball players here at CP, so we tend to see a lot of issues with restricted internal rotation. This is a big deal because if you look at these sports we need to be able to rotate about the hips in order to get the best range of motion possible. If we have a restriction, we then have a compensation. A golfer or baseball player is going to find a way to get it done regardless of if their hip can rotate properly or not. This is a major contributor to a lot of knee pain you will see and also low back pain due to dysfunction at the hips. So do yourself and favor and make sure you can internally rotate adequately.
A healthy adult should be able to get 35 degrees of hip internal rotation. That number goes up to 45 degrees for those looking to participate in rotation sports to achieve optimal performance.
This number is not permanent though and can be changed. For the better by the stretches and mobilizations I’m about to give you, but also for the worse. Through a baseball season pitchers are shown to get want is called G.I.R.D. (Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit) in their throwing shoulder as a season goes on. This impairs their ability to throw naturally and leads to compensation. The same thing happens in their lead leg hip. Here it is called H.I.R.D and can cause compensation and flawed movement patterns if nothing is done about it.
It’s just an important movement to have even though there is no direct muscle responsible for it. To paraphrase noted physical therapist Charlie Weingroff,”the body just likes to know it can internally rotate at the hips.” So here are a few things we can do to maintain and/or restore this important movement.
Since there is no direct muscle responsible for hip internal rotation here is a video of a foam rolling routine similar to what we use here at Coastal Performance (not to be confused with CP, Cressey Performance, in the video)
So try those out to help restore and maintain hip internal rotation and keep those knees and backs a little healthier.