This blog is part of a series about the hips.
So far, we have covered three out of the six movements of the hip joint. We began with flexion and extension. In the last blog we discussed external rotation. There are three more movements of the hips to cover in this series. They are: internal rotation, adduction and abduction.
Let's look at internal rotation. This is a very small movement that occurs when your femur (leg bone) rotates in toward the center of your body. It is far less common than the prior three movements. It is not a movement worth working on to any significant degree. Rather, it's just beneficial to be aware of.
Muscles of Internal Rotation
We do not have a muscle dedicated to internal rotation of the hip. That is why this movement is not particularly powerful or coordinated. Instead, we have a few muscles that aid in internal rotation. These are smaller muscles that do other jobs in the body. These muscles include the tensor fascia latae and two adductors. Depending on what position the body is in, they can work together to internally rotate the hip. Let's take a closer look.
It is not surprising that when we discuss about hip adduction, these will come up again! Their main job is to adduct the thigh, which means to pull the thigh toward the centerline of the body.
However, if the hip is externally rotated to begin with, the adductors can help bring the thigh back to a neutral position. To say this another way, from a neutral position the adductors will not internally rotate the hip to a significant degree. It is when the hip is already externally rotated that the adductors will help to internally rotate.
Remember, internal rotation of the hip occurs within a small range of motion. It isn't a movement that is particularly coordinated. Rather than develop it in your body, be aware of it and use it to inform and bring clarity to your understanding of the other movements of the hip joint.
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Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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