A hip drop is a very common issue in all humans, active and inactive, and one that eventually can create injuries. Simply watching people walk on a daily basis, I frequently observe a hip drop, and this includes when at my gym and in people I know have been training for years.
Why is a hip drop a big deal?
First off, a slight hip drop (which is technically the pelvis) is completely normal when we walk and run, but most people that I observe have more than a slight drop, which is when it can be problematic.
Here is the waterfall of issues that can occur with a pelvic and hip drop:
- Going up the chain first, a side bending of the lower back occurs, which can translate up and also cause issues in the shoulder and neck.
- Going down the chain, there is an increased pulling in the muscles and tendons in the entire leg, abnormal forces and pressure occur in the knee joint, and increased rotational forces occur in the lower leg and ankle.
So basically, lacking control in the pelvis can contribute to injuries in almost any location.
Why does it not go away with strengthening?
Regardless of how much you strengthen your glutes, you continue to display a hip drop. There are a couple key reasons for this: 1) not doing exercises on a single leg, and 2) compensating when you are doing single leg exercises.
First off, if all you are doing are double leg tasks, you are never teaching the pelvis and hip muscles how to control itself when on a single leg. The body can only learn how to control itself on a single leg if you teach it to do so. If you do not train it, it will not learn. Simple as that! Oh, and the single leg tasks I am talking about are standing tasks, not those lying down exercises you were likely given by your therapist.
Now, the bigger problem I often see is people doing single leg tasks, but continuing to compensate for their weaknesses when doing them. Now I get it, no one has told you that you are compensating so you do not know any better. Well, time to fix that!
Here are some common issues I see:
- Allowing the hips and pelvis to rotate and “open up” rather than maintaining the neutral position when doing a single leg RDL.
- Letting the hip drop occur while doing any single leg movement, including lunges, lower downs from a box, etc.
- Maintaining a quad dominant pattern so you are not working the glutes anyway.
- Not activating your foot so your glutes cannot optimally fire.
I highly encourage you to start filming yourself to see what compensations or faults might be present. Until you have the awareness of what you are doing and can work to correct it, you will never resolve whatever issues are going on with your body.
Not sure where to go from here? No problem! Schedule a FREE Discovery Call with Brianne Showman to figure out your next steps.
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