Limitations in hip flexion and internal rotation range of motion have been implicated as characteristics of hip pathology (Burnett 2014, Clohisy 2009, Sutlive 2008). Any activities that require squatting, pivoting, planting and cutting, and/or rotating your body will likely be hindered by limited hip flexion and internal rotation range.
Here is a drill that helps to improve both hip internal and external rotation simultaneously:
•Keep both feet and knees touching the floor throughout this exercise. If you don’t have adequate hip mobility in this position, you can sit on a yoga block to decrease the amount of hip mobility required to perform this exercise.
•Stretch the leg to your side into an abducted and internally rotated position and the leg in front of you into a flexed and externally rotated position.
To further the stretch you have two options:
1. Increase the load by leaning forward toward your front leg.
2. Rotate away from the leg on your side.
I particularly like this exercise because it focuses on flexion and external rotation AND abduction and internal rotation, two motions that are typically overlooked.
-A Systematic review by Dallinga et al in 2012 showed that limited hip abduction ROM has been suggested as a predictor of future lower extremity injuries.
-Limited hip internal rotation ROM is a strong predictor for presence of hip OA (Altman 1991, Birrell 2001)
Note: This is an advanced drill that requires a lot of hip mobility!! Make sure you are not reproducing any hip symptoms with this exercise.