3 Exercises to Improve Internal Rotation

Hip internal rotation has many important implications for athletic performance.

➡️ Loading through the stance phase to maximize the efficiency of push-off.
➡️ Creating power in cross-over patterns as the drive leg pushes under the body.
➡️ Improving single-leg stability by allowing the body to center over the foot/base of support.
➡️ Minimizing risk of developing and suffering symptoms of hip impingement.

In short, internal rotation is important, and will impact both performance and injury risk in sport.

I recently connected with @fittywithschmiddy, who has done an outstanding job of using the concepts taught by @drandreospina in his Functional Range Conditioning course to share exercises that help improve joint health and function by unlocking range of motion and increasing end-range strength.

In these videos, Emma shares a quick warm-up exercise and 3 exercises to improve hip IR, along with coaching cues/explanations below.

Coaching Cues/Explanations from Emma…

“We don’t always need to open up more space. Sometimes we have available ranges of motion but do not own those positions with control. Here are my favorite top 3 ways to improve hip internal rotation.

1️⃣ Always start with Controlled Articular Rotations as an assessment and warmup up for joint care. This involves taking the hip joint through the full arc of motion, while maintaining some tension through your core. This is talking with your Nervous System at the deepest level.

✅Start with 3 reps per direction preside.

2️⃣ Half Kneeling PAILS/RAILS: Here we can do 1 of 2 things:

➡️ Open up capsular space if there is limited availability
➡️ Use positional Isometrics to OWN different degrees of Internal Rotation

Protocol: Find stretch, then hold for 2 minutes. After 2-mins, use isometric efforts to push into block gradually with foot for 10-seconds, building up to max tension (Progressive Angular Isometric Loading; PAILs). Then, using the opposing muscle group, pull yourself into further Internal Rotation (Regressive Angular Isometric Loading; RAILS) by rotating over the down leg for 5s.

✅ Start with 2 sets of 2 cycles of PAILs/RAILs on each side.

3️⃣ 90/90 Passive Range Holds: This is where we identify and fill in the gaps between active and passive range of motion. We use the band to pull ourselves into a passive ROM, try to hold and actively fail (eccentrically loading this tissue).

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6 reps/side.

4️⃣ Hovers: This is all active effort. Squeezing out and using as much workspace we may have created

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps of 5-second holds per side.

Always finish up with your CARs to upload all the new info to your nervous system!”

Give these a shot, and as always, feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. For more information on how to assess movement and integrate specific strategies to improve mobility and movement quality in training, check out Optimizing Movement. Don’t have a DVD player? Send me a note through the contact page after you checkout here Optimizing Movement and I’ll get you a digital copy of the videos!

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