The alignment of your hips, good or bad, will have a big impact on your health. To some of you that statement may not make much sense but, to those of you who have had hip alignment issues, you know all to well what I mean.
When you first begin with a Personal Trainer, a thorough postural assessment should be performed. The reason this is so important is to find any muscle imbalances that may be present as well as identify any risks to weight training because of structural issues you may not be aware. What it involves is having you stand in different positions to see how you respond. For example standing relaxed with your arms by your side what is your normal posture like? Are your shoulders rounded forward or is one higher than the other? Do you have scoliosis of the spine? Are your hips the same height? How do they respond to movement; do they move freely or is there restriction? Generally speaking, if there is an alignment issue, it will affect everything else with the rest of your body.
What are the alignment issues related to the hips and how does it affect your body?
Posterior Pelvic Tilt. This occurs when the top of the pelvis is tipped back. The cause of this is usually short/tight hamstrings, long/weak hip flexors and weak external obliques. Over time and with the proper corrective exercises, you can strengthen the weak areas to get your hips better balanced. To begin with try seated knee raises to strengthen your hip flexors, supine knee fall to the side to strengthen your obliques as well as stretching your hamstrings daily.
If you have a Posterior Pelvic tilt, you may notice other postural issues as well. Because your hamstrings are tight and pulling your pelvis down, this may force your upper body posture more forward. Because of this it is not uncommon to have a bit of a sway back, or rounded shoulders or a slight forward poke of the neck. These added postural issues can be identified and addressed through a postural assessment by your trainer who will no doubt get you on a program to strengthen the weak points as well as stretching out the tight areas.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt. This occurs when the top of the pelvis is tipped forward. For most the possible causes are tight/short hip flexors and weak abdominals/glutes. To try to correct these issues, begin by stretching your hip flexors daily; a good stretch for that would be the runners stretch. Follow that with strengthening of the abdominals and glutes; this can be achieved with exercises such as heels slides and front plank.
Those with an Anterior Pelvic tilt may notice that because their pelvis is being tipped forward, it seems as though their upper body is being pulled down. This may result in a forward neck posture, or rounded shoulders, or kyphosis of the thoracic spine, scapulae that are abducted and lordosis of the lower back. Once again, through a proper assessment by your Personal Trainer, these issues can be identified and addressed to get you moving and feeling better.
We live in a society where we sit a lot, usually in front of a computer. Therefore it is not uncommon to find upper body musculature that is rounded forward. If you have any misalignment in your hips, you have probably been like that for a while and it is not something that can be fixed over night. But getting on a regular fitness plan with the supervision of a Personal Trainer, you may be able to find relief in the aches and pains you feel from day to day.