Why is hip internal rotation important?
Mobility Monday is TE3’s weekly info corner about mobility. Each week we publish articles to share our knowledge about mobility and the importance of it.
Hip internal rotation (HIR) is the twisting movement of the thigh inward from the hip joint and foot away from the midline.
HIR becomes highly important in sport and performance training, such as running and deadlifts, but is important for everyone in eg. walking and squatting in daily life.
Hip internal rotation activates multiple lower body muscles
Hip internal rotation activates muscles in the hip, buttocks and thighs. The muscles that work together to create the rotation are:
– the tensor fasciae latae (TFL)
– gluteus medius and gluteus minimus (upper buttocks)
– the adductor longus, brevis and mangus (inner thigh)
– the pectineus (upper frontal thigh)
Problems caused by limited hip internal rotation
The reference value for hip internal rotation is 45°.
Without hip internal rotation, the body is forced to compensate for daily activities, such as bending over to pick something up or sitting down on a chair. This can then create multiple issues around the body.
Restrictions in the hip’s total (internal and external) rotational range of motion (ROM) has been studied to increase the risk for adductor strain  and increase lower back pain with professional athletes . It may also increase the risk of back and abdominal muscle injuries .
Healthier hips by exercising
The good news is, like with other parts of your body, you can exercise to improve the hip internal rotation. TE3’s Mobility Analysis provides great tools for this and you can also find many exercise instructions from the Internet.
1. Ibrahim, A & Murrell, George & Knapman, P. (2007). Adductor Strain and Hip Range of Movement in Male Professional Soccer Players. Journal of orthopaedic surgery (Hong Kong). 15. 46-9. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/230949900701500111.
2. V.B. Vad, A Gebeh, D Dines, D Altchek, B Norris. (2003). Hip and shoulder internal rotation range of motion deficits in professional tennis players, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 6. 1. 71-75. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12801212.
3. Camp, Christopher & M. Spiker, Andrea & M. Zajac, John & Pearson, Dave & Sinatro, Alec & Dines, Joshua & S. Ranawat, Anil & H. Coleman, Struan. (2018). Decreased Hip Internal Rotation Increases the Risk of Back and Abdominal Muscle Injuries in Professional Baseball Players: Analysis of 258 Player-seasons. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 26. 1. Retrieved from: https://journals.lww.com/jaaos/Citation/2018/05010/Decreased_Hip_Internal_Rotation_Increases_the_Risk.7.aspx.