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J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May;26(5):1265-73. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31824f2351.

Hip joint range of motion improvements using three different interventions.

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School of Physiotherapy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of 3 different exercise interventions plus a control group on passive hip range of motion (ROM). Previous research studies into the methods of improving passive hip mobility have focused on stretching protocols aimed specifically at the hip joint. The effect of core stabilization, motor training, and myofascial stretching techniques on hip mobility in a selected asymptomatic group with limited hip mobility is unclear. In this study, 24 young men with limited hip mobility (<50th percentile) were randomly assigned to 4 groups: stretching, stretching with motor control exercises for the hip and trunk, core endurance with motor control exercises, and the control group. Six-week home exercise programs were individually prescribed based on the assigned group, hip ROM, movement patterns, and timed core endurance. Two-way analyses of variances were conducted to analyze the effect of group assignment on hip ROM improvements. Both stretching groups demonstrated significant improvements in hip ROM (p < 0.05), attaining hip mobility levels at or above the 75th percentile, with rotation improving as much as 56%. The group receiving core endurance and motor control exercises with no stretching also demonstrated a moderate increase in ROM but only significantly so in rotation. Average core endurance holding times improved 38-53%. These results indicate that stretches aimed at the myofascial components of the upper body, in addition to the hip joint, resulted in dramatic increases in hip ROM in a group of young men with limited hip mobility. Hip ROM also improved in the group that did no active stretching, highlighting the potential role of including stabilization or "proximal stiffening training" when rehabilitating the extremities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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