Hate Your Hips? Try These Moves

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:59

Everybody's always hating on their hips. Okay, they're a trouble spot for zillions of women around the world, but let's talk for a second about their GOOD qualities — yes, there are some. Your hips are one of the more complex joint and muscle groups in your body. Besides just being something to rest your hands on, your hips are immensely important for, well, motion in general! Their primary function is to support the weight of the body in both static and dynamic postures — that means standing and running. Your hip region is made up of three main muscle groups, each with a different role to play.

The gluteal muscles, or buttocks, are located on the back of the hips and are the largest and strongest muscle set in the body. Their function is hip extension, or driving the upper legs backward. Activities requiring this muscle group include walking, running, jumping, and climbing.

The adductors are the muscles located along the inner thigh; they are used during hip adduction, or bringing the legs together.

The iliopsoas, or hip flexors, are the primary group of muscles on the front of the hips. Their main function is hip flexion, or bringing the upper legs forward — for example, the motion of bringing the knees to the chest. The iliopsoas are sometimes considered to belong to the abdominal muscle group.