Do you have Hip Pain During Abs Exercises?
Read this Article on Abs Exercises and Hip Pain

First off let me say that if you have significant hip pain you should seek consultation from a licensed health professional.

Okay now that that’s out of the way let’s talk a little about why you might feel pain in the front of your hip during abs exercises.

If you’ve read my page on the hip flexors role during abs exercises, you might remember that the muscles that bend the hip (hip flexors) attach to the pelvis and lower back. In addition to playing a role in lower back pain during abs exercises they also play a role in hip problems.

Anytime you perform an abs exercises in which your legs are moving, your hip flexors will work and more pressure will be placed on the hip. In my experience I have met quite a few people who feel a popping or clicking in the front of their hip when doing abs exercises like leg raises, scissors, flutter kicks, sit ups, or even bicycle crunches. In my opinion there are 3 main things that can contribute to pain or clicking in the front of the hip during abs exercises.

Tight Hip Flexors and Hip Discomfort

First, tight (overactive) hip flexor muscles can potentially cause pain or clicking in the hip. Generally speaking people are sedentary and sitting around all day or at a desk tends to decrease the flexibility in the hip flexors. When the hip flexors are tight and inflexible, they may click when you extend your leg.

Runners also tend to have tight hip flexors, and I have met many runners that have clicking and hip pain when they do certain abs exercises.

A simple solution to this problem is to stretch the hip flexor muscles. Stretching the hip flexors is great for everyone, especially people with hip pain or lower back pain during ab workouts.

Weak Core Muscles and Hip Discomfort

The second reason people might experience pain in the hips during ab workouts is weak abdominal muscles. This may be difficult to understand, but I’ll do my best to make it straight forward. When your abs are weak, your pelvis is less stable. When your pelvis is less stable, your hip is less stable.

Sometimes, clicking is a sign of instability. When your pelvis is unstable, your hip may pop or click when you move it during exercises like leg raises. A simple solution to this problem is to continually work on improving your overall core stability with exercises like the drawing in maneuver, bridges, and the plank.

Poor Posture and Hip Discomfort

The third reason that you may have hip pain during ab exercises is bad posture. Posture affects stability and control. When you have bad posture you’ll have less stability and less control over your hips and lower back. Sometimes, our posture is just a result of genetics, and other times flexibility plays a role in posture. By stretching all the muscles of your hips and spine, you may be able to improve your posture.

If you have felt hip pain or clicking in the front of your hips during your ab workouts, try stretching your hip flexors before your workout. Also focus on overall core stability and overall flexibility. In addition to focusing on overall flexibility, try avoiding the exercises that cause the most discomfort until you build up your body to be able to perform them correctly with no problems.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

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