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HIP STABILITY, for the long run By KYLE KIBLER


xercise is medicine. Staying active provides physiological changes within the body that include, but are not limited to improving cardiovascular health, impacting bone density, and obviously increasing muscular strength, allowing people to keep doing what they love to do for as long as humanly possible.

Creating muscular balance within your core and pelvic stabilizing muscles can help prevent or reduce low back pain. By strengthening your gluteus medius you reduce the strain placed through other muscles that could otherwise be compensating for the weakness or imbalance. This could take the pressure off of tight, sore hip flexors or piriformis muscles. Simple exercises, such as “clams” (laying on your side, while lifting your top leg) or even just practicing standing on one leg works the glute medius. When exercising these muscles, focus should be put on body alignment and feeling the muscles fire that are supposed to be working. Your body finds ways to compensate for weak muscles.

The “core” is a hot topic area that is emphasized within the fitness and rehabilitation industries, however the “core” is a poorly defined area, which leads to inefficient training and a lack of consistent results. A person’s core, for the purposes of our discussion, encompasses all of the structures and muscles within the trunk, and that provide stability so the extremities (arms and legs) can perform movement efficiently. Efficiency will be a key point throughout our conversation, as I believe we can all agree that we would like to do as little as possible to produce the best results possible. Muscles that provide hip stability, are included in the “core”. Training these muscles efficiently can save time, prevent aches, pain, and injury, and allow people to continue to do the things they love. The body works in a pattern of regional interdependence, which means that body regions alternate responsibilities between stability and mobility, allowing for that efficient movement we discussed. Developing hip muscles can directly affect the areas above them (the low back) and below them (the knees). One important muscle that provides hip stability is the gluteus medius. This muscle helps to abduct and internally rotate the hip. So strengthening this muscle helps stabilize the pelvis and can benefit walking, running, and activities that require single leg stance or balance. This is an important muscle to train!


Balance is important throughout all phases of life. Balance is utilized in everyday activities as well as sports. And as people get older, balance is essential to prevent falls and maintain independence. Strengthening your gluteus medius aids in pelvic stability and helps improve balance, helping to ensure you stay upright. Strengthening your glutes also can help prevent or reduce knee pain! The knee is an inherently stable joint, and most knee dysfunction is a product of weakness or mobility restrictions through the hips or ankles (which translates back to that theory of regional interdependence). Weak glutes lead to increased stress and inefficient loads transferred through your knees.

Long story short, it is very important to keep your gluteus medius strong. If any of this content resonates with you or if you would just like more information about healthy and efficient strengthening strategies, then contact a physical therapist today and discuss how you could be able to improve the way you move or perform on a daily basis. Physical therapists are movement and biomechanical experts that can help you do the things you would like to do without pain! Through new legislation in the State of Illinois, you can go directly to a physical therapist for treatment without a script from a physician. Kyle Kibler, PT, DPT, CSCS; Doctor of Physical Therapy at TheraCORE


SLM Mag Sept 2018.indd 14

8/29/18 10:56 AM