I’ve written at length about how important it is for those of us who hit the gym, play sports or do any other fitness activity regularly to balance what we do with exercises that work the muscles and movements that aren’t often hit, the hip internal rotators and internal hip rotation being the most common, respectively.
This is especially important for the hips, because working the gluteus maximus is all the rage and external hip rotation is a popular cue for squats, deadlifts and even lunges (“push your knees out”).
So muscles like the piriformis, tensor fascia latae and gluteus minimus and medius are much weaker than their counterparts and overtime, muscular imbalances can arise.
The Importance of the Hip Internal Rotators
When this happens, the hip joint’s ability to maintain centration – which is keeping the head of the femur in the centre of the socket as the hip moves about – is diminished.
When centration is diminished, hip impingmement, pain and tightness aren’t far behind, especially in hip flexion.
So it’s in our best interests to work to restore muscular balance to avoid these problems so we can keep doing what we do.
Our hip internal rotators are never going to be as strong as the external rotators, nor do we need them to be.
But we do need to work them and the technique I’m going to share with you will do just that.
I call it the 90/90 Scissor Switch and what it does is train the hip internal rotators isometrically in their shortened range of motion, through a full hip flexion-extension cycle.
This way, we’re building strength through an important range of motion, which is akin to squatting in that your hips go through the same full hip flexion-extension cycle.
That being said, you’re also working the hip flexors and extensors simultaneously with the hip internal rotators, so a new movement/activation pattern (M/AP) is built, building new neuronal connections in our brain and keeping the gray matter healthy and adapting.
All good things I’d say.
90/90 Scissor Switch for Hip Internal Rotators, Flexors and Extensors
Do anywhere from 3 to 6 reps per, holding the end ranges for 5-30 seconds.
Stay as tall as you can and get your legs as close to each other as possible, touching your knees and feet if you can when the scissor is closed. Rotate slooowly to scour the joint when you transition. Oh and don’t forget to breathe. That’s kinda important.
And if you have trouble with this technique, you might want to check this course out as it’ll progress you from super stiff to mobile and FREE.