Preventing Hip Injury

author : Team BT
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Hip Health for Triathletes

Hip Health: The Triathlete's Secret Weapon

It’s incredibly important to maintain the health of your joints before, during, and after training for a triathlon. The strain of training can cause new injuries, or exacerbate old ones, especially if joints haven’t been properly cared for in the past. The hips and hip flexors undergo strain whether they’re being exercised or are at rest, so it’s vital for triathletes to stretch and care for the joints in the hips. Hip injuries are not always acute, and can develop over time from strain or misalignment during training. Regularly stretching and caring for your hip flexors can not only help prevent and treat damage, it can help you learn to identify whether hip pain is just normal soreness or indicative of a more serious injury.

Identifying Injury

For triathletes, the steps to identifying and healing a hip flexor injury are simple but require patience and commitment. For someone used to training frequently, taking time off to rest an injury can be frustrating and lead to restlessness. Hip injuries are often the result of inflammation, so rest and ice are a crucial first step. Once the acute inflammation resides, stretching and flexibility are the next stage of healing, and yoga and pilates can help an athlete regain the range of motion that was compromised during the injury, and identify which action the injury was likely caused by.

Strengthening and Stretching

Once the cause of the injury has been identified, building strength in that area to prevent future injury is the next step. If you are lucky enough not to have an injury, here's an area where you can be proactive and build strength and flexibility to avoid future problems. Careful, targeted training is the key here, and triathletes shouldn’t aim to train quickly or intensely. Focusing on alignment and isolation of specific muscles, through weight training and stabilisation are the best way to build strength in injured hip flexors. It’s also critically important during this stage to stretch before and after any exercise, as well as at the beginning and end of every day. All the progress can be reversed if an unstretched muscle is pushed too far and tears again.

Getting Back on the Horse

Regular training can begin again once the strength in the hip flexor has been restored. It can be easy to focus only on an injured area when recovering, but maintaining strength in the core and limbs throughout the process can help an athlete resume training at the level they were at when an injury occurred. It’s also important to note that exercising and stretching the hip flexors isn’t just something to be done after an injury occurs. Taking time out of intense training to focus on the hips might seem like something that will slow momentum, but realistically, strengthening the hips will allow training to continue at the rate an athlete wants.

When the hips are inadequately stretched and strengthened, it can cause the core muscles to pull the pelvis forward, throwing the whole upper body out of alignment. This can lead to weight being distributed to the lower body unevenly, which can strain the legs and ankles. Any or all of these things can cause discomfort and injury which are not only dangerous, but can slow progress when training. Keeping the hip flexors well maintained is a key part of physical health and success for triathletes.


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date: November 30, 2017

Team BT