The Hip Joint Mobility Assessment
In the first part of this article we will talk about the hip joint mobility assessment. This is a very important step in assessing your squat depth.
If you have low hip flexion then it means that you are not able to achieve full extension at the hips when performing squats. You may think that you can do some exercises to improve your hip mobility but these exercises won’t make any difference if you don’t have enough flexibility at the hips!
It is very important to understand that there are two types of hip mobility: passive and active. Passive hip mobility refers to the ability of the body to maintain a neutral spine during movement.
Active hip mobility refers to the ability of the body to actively extend or move through joints in order to accomplish movement tasks such as standing up from a chair, walking, running etc.
There are several tests which can be used for measuring both kinds of hip mobility. One of them is the hip hinge test.
The other one is the hip external rotation test. Both of these tests are commonly used for evaluating hip mobility.
Hip Hinge Test
The hip hinge test measures your ability to perform a horizontal pivot with your legs while keeping your torso upright and maintaining proper alignment between your head and shoulders. This test assesses whether you can keep yourself stable even when bending forward at the waist (kneeling).
The hip hinge test begins with you standing up straight with your feet together. Bend forward at the waist and try to touch your toes.
Make sure that you don’t bend your knees excessively, but keep your legs straight while performing this action.
It is not necessary for you to actually touch your toes, but you should come as close as possible to doing so without bending your knees. After touching your toes reach forward and then try to stand back up again.
Hip External Rotation Test
The hip external rotation test measures the ability of your hip to turn outwards. This is required so that you can walk, run and move naturally.
This is a movement which most people take for granted, but in fact it is very complex and requires the coordinated effort of many muscles.
Hip external rotation movements are involved in various tasks such as squatting down, climbing stairs, running and even just standing up from a chair.
The hip external rotation test can be performed with or without assistance.
For this assessment you should choose the option which is more suitable for you. If you have severe limitations when performing the test, then ask someone to assist you while performing this movement.
If you do not require assistance, then perform this movement standing up. Your back should be pushed firmly against the wall.
Your feet should be together and your arms should be pressed against your side.
If you require assistance then have someone press against your knees while you try to rotate as far as possible.
You should be able to turn outwards 45 degrees at a minimum. A wider turn is better as it indicates that you have more hip mobility.
It is important to perform these three tests so that we can find out your ability to correctly execute various daily tasks, the knee extension test, and the deep squat test
The assessment of your hip flexibility and movement pattern can be difficult. However, the results from this test will give us important information about your limitations and restrictions.
This in turn will help us design a suitable training routine to improve your overall strength, mobility and flexibility.
These tests will also give us a clear understanding of which muscles are contributing to poor mobility and weakness, as well as a better understanding of your daily activity limitations.
The three-part assessment can be found here:
Knee Extension Test: bit.ly/KneeExtension
Deep Squat Test: bit.ly/SquatTest
Hip Hinge Test: bit.ly/HipHingeTest
Once you have completed all three tests, visit the link below to learn more about your results and what they mean.
Sources & references used in this article:
Measuring sports performance with mobile applications during the COVID-19 pandemic by J Lim – SPSR, 2020 – researchgate.net
Functional movement screen test: A reliable screening test for young elite ice hockey players by E Parenteau-G, N Gaudreault, S Chambers… – Physical Therapy in …, 2014 – Elsevier
Functional movement screening: the use of fundamental movements as an assessment of function-part 1. by G Cook, L Burton, BJ Hoogenboom… – International journal of …, 2014 – search.ebscohost.com
Lower extremity strength and the range of motion in relation to squat depth by SH Kim, OY Kwon, KN Park, IC Jeon… – Journal of human …, 2015 – content.sciendo.com