Hips – it’s all about glutes, right?
Wrong. This week two clients learned that the roots of their chronic hip dysfunction lay in where they habitually carry their rib cage.
One was a rider, trying to overcome both hip pain and performance issues on her horse.
One was a cyclist, battling with hip pinching and pain.
Both of them discovered that when they gently placed one hand on the side of their ribs and the other hand on the opposite side of the pelvis, they could slide them horizontally, like two building blocks, back and forth until they were stacked in balance over each other.
When that happened, the tightness in spines and hips started to change, and muscles that had resisted years of strength training flickered into action. The cyclist’s hip moved smoothly through his pedal revolution. The rider found the outside leg that usually loses contact. Abdominals work differently. Gluteus medius says hello. Muscles that are usually hanging on to help stabilise can power down. We can progress into functionally specific movement now that the tension has been lifted from the system.
Spines are meant to move, but we can become caught in one relationship. When the rib cage becomes over committed in one direction, the pelvis will offer a counter movement, which in itself will change the weight bearing between the legs, and the muscle recruitment possibilities. No matter how much you stretch and strengthen the hips, it won’t change this basic response from the body to balance and manage its forces.
Look further. See the ribs when you are considering the hips.