Yoga Blog

NOVEMBER 28, 2013

Force Coupling Of The Hips

Posted by Dorothy under Community Interests, Interesting Reads, Wellnessno responses

 

 

A force couple relationship in simple term is where muscle groups around a joint move together to produce force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. This in turn ensures muscle balance with proper lenght and strength of each muscle around a joint. However, for various reasons in life, some of us go through changes in structural alignment, neuromuscular control and movement patterns, contributing to bad posture due to overactive and underactive muscles.

One of the most common scenario of muscular imbalance is around the lumbo-pelvic-hip region, aka  the “core”.  It is important to acknowledge that what goes on at the  pelvis affects the entire body. Imbalances around the pelvic region can easily be noticed with the pelvis being anteriorly (images 3 and 4) or posteriorly tilted (images 1 and 2).

A neutral pelvis can be seen in image 5. The muscles of the posterior region:  the erector spinae, gluteus and hamstrings and anterior region: rectus abdominis and hip flexors in a neutral scenario produces equal force and hence works efficiently and will not be prone to injuries. When these muscles are imbalanced, some will shorten and some lengthen. Shortened muscles will need to be stretched,whereby lengthened muscles need to be strengthened.

An anteriorly tilted pelvis in images 3 and 4 can in simple terms be described as ‘chest and butt sticking out’, resulting in an overarching of the lower back. In such a position, the rectus abdominis, gluteus and hamstrings are lengthened and therefore needs to be strengthened. Whereas the hip flexors and erector spinae are shortened therefore requires stretching.

When the pelvis is posteriorly tilted as shown in images 1 and 2, resulting in a flat back, the rectus abdominis, gluteus and hamstrings are shortened and requires stretching. On the other hand, the hip flexors and erector spine which are lengthened will need strengthening.

Yoga poses which can be of help to neutralise an anteriorly tilted pelvis are:
a) To strengthen rectus abdominis, gluteus or hamstrings
1)  Utthita hasta padangusthanasana
2) Utkatasana and Garudasana

b) To stretch hip flexors or erector spinae
1) Virabadhrasana  1
2) Setu bandha sarvangasana
3) Urdhva Dhanurasana

Yoga poses which can benefit a posteriorly tilted pelvis are:
a) To strengthen hip flexors or erector spinae
1) Bhujangasana
2) Matsyasana with arms and legs lifted off the ground

b) To stretch rectus abdominis, gluteus or hamstrings
1) Karnapidasana
2) Supta Virasana
3) Natarajasana

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