Pelvic stability plays a big role in control of the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton, the position and control of the pelvis will influence the thorax above which will influence the arms, also influence the position of the femurs below which will influence the fibula and tibia and foot and ankle. So to stress that gaining stability is the most important when controlling the mobility and stability of the structures above and below. As talked about in the hip mobility blog post the human body has a right side dominant asymmetrical pull that pulls us into certain muscle patterns, we talked about how hamstrings help influence pelvis position and can reposition us. Now we will look at facilitating the muscles of the pelvic floor and pelvis to gain control over the hips in gait, gait activities and bilateral movements to ensure proper movement sequencing and no injuries.
When walking (gait) we should alternate the center of mass and weight from the left pelvis to the right and right to left continuously, in our right side dominant patterns we have tendencies to stay more oriented to the right while standing on the left foot this puts us in non optimal positions for the correct muscles to activate and perform their actions moving the leg and hip during gait cycle. To correct this we need to inhibit muscles on the left side and the right side of the hip to ensure a new pattern of muscle firing can take place. The muscles we want to target are the right glute max, left adductor and hamstring. In our pattern the left glute max ends up being strong in external rotation so we want the right glute max to be able to do the same thing, same goes with the hamstrings; the right hamstring is better positioned than the left.
The big thing targeting these muscles is making sense of the muscles activating. Yes you read that correctly, you need to sense the muscles turning on and how it feels and sense the position those muscles put you in as they engage. Sense will be a very big theme throughout the blogs and with us at ThinkFitnessLife. But for now sense will be your ability to feel where you are in space, feel how you move and what turns on when you move. If we do not have a good “sense of sense” then we tend to be all over the place with position and in our lives.
For the overall hip stability we want to be sensing the glutes, hamstrings, abdominals, adductors, these muscles will lead to pelvic floor muscles contracting and deep muscles like the psoas and iliacus. When performing exercises such as a squat we want to create a position where the rib cage and hips are stacked on top of each other locked in position and then the muscles mentioned are holding position as we move through space. The same applies for the muscles engaging to pull the hips vertically down into the squat position and to push us out of them. If at any moment the muscles disengage that can cause the hips to rotate posterior or anterior or shift laterally together or move independent of each other, when this happens it can lead to injuries, overuse and wear and tear, and poor development of muscles which can limit progress in the gym, on the field or any competition.