T Nation

Help: lateral hip movement


When I do heavy Good Mornings, Stiff-leg dead-lifts, DL (and squats with forward lean) my hips move about an inch or two to the right. This concerns me as I had a lower-back injury many years ago and I suspect that it may have been related to this. Other than the involuntary lateral shifting of the hips, I use proper form when performing my exercises.

I had tried doing unilateral exercises such as step-ups, leg-curls, etc suspecting it may be the result of a strength imbalance in the Hams or Quads (my left leg is slightly stronger + bigger than the right) but the problem persisted.

One solution I have found is using a wide-stance when performing the above mentioned movements. This tends to minimize any lateral movement in the hips. However, if a strength or flexibility imbalance exists this solution would only mask the problem IMO. I suspect that even when using a wide stance, although there would be no or minimal shifting of the hips, that there would be an uneven strain on the lower back (which is what I believe caused my lower-back injury).

BTW, my left erector (lower-back) muscle is much more developed than the right one validating the idea that it is being stressed more in training.

My strength is increasing and I am worried that I may injure myself again. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


If you have a Glute Ham Machine in your gym, check out your strength and flexibility in Lateral Flexion.

Perform Lateral crunches and I'm sure you'll find that your left side is much weaker and more felxible. You may also be lacking obliques on your left side, pulling your pelvis forward and to the right. Rotation on a machine that isolates range of motion, like a Cybex Torso Rotation, from left to right will also help.

This is a common muscle imbalance in Golfers, Baseball players and Hockey players because they generally rotate only to the one side. This creates imbalances. I'm not sure you'll ever be able to fully correct it with a sport movement, but you can do so for weight room exercises.

Make sure you stretch out the tight right side. Do so by holding a 10 pound plate in your hand and stretch down to the floor. Doing so before GM's will help you learn the new motor pattern. One legged back/hip Extensions will also help.

There's probably more going on than just that, but the above will halp address the issue you're asking about. ART for the QL, Lats and lateral glutes along with some fascial work for the ITB will also help.