The Hips

The Hips

The Hips

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Many think of pain when they hear the word „hip“ or when the yoga teacher informs them that the following class is about hip-opening positions. Our pelvis is as individual as our personalities. Some have very open hips, others have less open hips. There is also a big difference between men and women because a woman’s pelvis is fundamentally wider – this is necessary for childbirth because the baby must ultimately fit through.

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The bone structure is decisive for how far the knees drop to the floor in a sitting position. Thus, the maximum hip opening is anatomically determined. But how is the pelvis structured anatomically? The pelvis is one of the lower extremities and represents the connection between the torso and the legs. The pelvis consists of two pelvic bones, which are composed of three bones: iliac, ischium, and pubic bone. The sacrum connects the two pelvic bones. The hip joint is the connection between the pelvic bone and the thigh bone. It’s a rotational joint – you can make circular movements from your hip. The ligaments that connect the pelvic bones to the femur are the strongest of our body.

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At the muscular level, a distinction is made primarily between inner and outer hip muscles. I anticipate that I won’t mention all the muscle structures that are involved in the hips. The iliopsoas is the most important hip flexor, which consists of the psoas major and musculus iliacus. The psoas major begins at the lumbar vertebrae and the psoas iliacus begins at the iliac bone, both merge, and end at the thigh bone. It determines the stride length as well as the external rotation and abduction of the thigh.

A shortened iliopsoas creates a hollow back and a weak iliopsoas can cause back pain.

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Too much and long sitting can shorten the iliopsoas. Constant stress can also affect our bodies negatively, this is no surprise. It’s interesting how stress causes our iliopsoas to contract continuously, which puts pressure on the vertebrae. This can trigger misalignments and back pain.

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The outer hip muscles primarily include the gluteal muscles and consist of three muscles (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus). The gluteal muscles help stretch the hip joint and support us when climbing stairs or getting up from a seat. They also prevent the pelvis from tilting forward.

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