Improving Hip Internal Rotation
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 require hip flexion and internal rotation.
Here is a drill shown to work on both hip internal rotation while hinging into hip flexion. This exercise should NOT be painful. Progressions are done by increasing the amount of hip hinge or by rotating more toward that leg that you are stretching.
What does an individual’s hip internal rotation tell us?
1. One’s bony morphology or the way the angle the head of the femur fits in the acetabulum. This is known as femoral anteversion or retroversion, depending on the angle of the fit.
2. Any rotation restriction from soft tissue or capsule of the hip.
Normal hip internal rotation is about 40 degrees, however the range actually needed is very activity-specific. For example, the butterfly drop for hockey goalies is an example of an activity that requires a much larger range of hip internal rotation. As for the rest of us non-goalies, we don’t often put ourselves through this range of motion and it is often restricted. You can regain this motion if it not due to bony morphology.