The One Hip Flexibility Test Every Runner and Triathlete Should Do (but most don’t know about)
For this week’s blog, we’re going to talk about the one hip flexibility test that every runner and triathlete in Wichita, KS should do but probably doesn’t know about. I’m going to show you one quick little test that you can do to see if you have tightness in your hip joint and then what you can do about it if you find it.
So, here’s what we’re going to do. Lay down on the floor on your back. With one leg extended, take the other leg, bring it up and pull towards your chest. Instead of pulling it straight towards your chest, pull it at a bit of an angle towards the opposite shoulder. What you should normally feel with this is a little tightness through your rear end and maybe a mild pulling through the front of the hip and the groin. If you feel a sharp pain and it’s very obviously painful, and movement is limited, then that’s a sign of something a little more serious. It can be caused by something as simple as a little bit of tightness in the front of the hip joint or it can be something that’s a little bit more ominous. But this is a simple test to check it out.
Typically, people that have difficulty with that movement have tightness in the hip joint and it’s important to differentiate tightness within the joint compared to tightness within the muscles that surround the joint. And those are two completely different things that need to be treated completely differently.
If you did that flexibility test and found that it is just tight or uncomfortable, then one simple exercise you can do to help loosen it is to lay down, once again on your back with your knees bent and feet wide apart. Let your knees fall over to one side, flip, and rotate. You’ll feel a little stretch through the hip and groin, then let your knees fall to the other side once again, feeling a stretch through the hip and groin. Flip, rotate, and flip, and rotate. We call this the windshield wiper exercise. If this isn’t quite making sense, you can watch it on this video.
If, on the other hand, you did that test and it was extremely tight, tender, or painful, then it is something that typically might bear a little bit more investigation, and we’d be happy to look at that for you, to see if there is something that needs more attention or follow up.
Lastly, if you are thinking of starting a running or walking program, check out our 8 tips to get started.
If you have any other questions, feel free to call us here at 316-558-8808. And, as always, we want to keep people mobile, active, and off pain pills. If there’s anything else we can help you with, feel free to give us a call or contact us here if you would like to speak with a therapist on the phone about your unique situation.
Until next time,
Cody Barnett PT
Orthopedic Physical Therapist, Concussion Rehab Specialist