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The hip muscles  

The hip muscles

EXTERNAL ROTATORS: piriformis, GOGOs, quadratus femoris
FLEXORS:
psoas, iliacus, rectus femoris
ADDUCTORS:
adductor magnus, adductor longus & brevis, pectineus, gracilis
INTERNAL ROTATORS:
gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fascia latae
EXTENSORS:
semitendinosus & semimembranosus, biceps femoris, gluteus maximus
ABDUCTORS:
gluteus medius, gluteus minimus

COMMENTS: The hips are the foundation of our lower bodies. They are the bowl that carries our deepest selves, our organs. The hips are balanced upon each femur, and then support the spine where the lumbar vertebrae meet the sacrum. The shape of the hip bones create an arch, with the top being the sacrum, and the sides coming down onto the femurs. This arched structure allows the hips to transfer the weight of the body to the femur bones.

There are 4 groups of muscles around the hips. These are the adductors (on the inside), the abductors (on the lateral hip), the flexors (on the anterior side) and the extensors (on the posterior aspect). These muscles control the movements of the hips. When we think about movement of the hips, there are two possibilities. The first possibility is that someone is placing their weight on one leg, and so the opposite hip joint is able to move between the femur and ilium. This happens when someone takes a step. The other possibility is that both feet are planted on the ground, becoming the foundation, and the hips move in relation to both femurs but affect the curve of the lumbar vertebrae. There are two major hip/back movements that we can evaluate- anterior rotation (tilting forward and an increase in lordosis) and posterior rotation (tilting back and an increase in kyphosis, or flat back).

With each distortion, there will be a diagonal pattern of tension through the body. For example, with posterior rotation the hamstrings and rectus abdominis will be tight. In an anterior rotation the rectus femoris and ilio-psoas on the front and the back erectors on the back will be tight. When the movement of the hips is exaggerated one way or another, it can result in lower back pain.