When it comes to lumbopelvic stabilization you need to be thinking about how the pelvis moves about the spine. Through your spine, your hips can flex and extend. When thinking about a well-developed and strong lumbopelvic complex, you need to be able to have a balanced amount of strength and control between your hip flexors and back extensors.
Right now, I want you to do the single leg raise test. Lie flat on your back with both legs straight. Try and drive your left knee and heel into the ground as you keep your right leg straight and slowly raise it as far back as you can without bending at the knee. Relative to the ground can you get to 90 degrees of flexion? Probably not. Why is that? Too many people will say “well my hamstrings are tight” which could certainly be why. I would disagree and say that your anterior core is weak.
This answers our “what”, the core works as a hip flexor in providing hip stability. Now let’s take a look at the “how” and see exactly how we can use the core to develop better stabilization through the hips. Your core contracts to pull you out of excessive hip anterior tilt. Right now, stand up, hold still and take a deep breath in through your nose into your belly. What’d you notice? You should’ve noticed that your core became tense and the front of your hip slightly pulled forward.
Contracting your core takes your hips out of extension and into slight flexion. So, we’re going to focus on anti-extension exercises when it comes to core strengthening and hip stability. My “go-to” exercise for this is the dead bug
This exercise focuses solely on the core, and takes the low back out of play, if done correctly. Here in the dead bug we’re focusing on pulling your belly button up and in and maintaining your low back flat on to the ground. This exercise is so valuable because it can be progressed into more difficult variations by adding resistance with bands and weights.
Now, complete a whole set of 20 total dead bugs and repeat the single leg raise test. Do you notice a difference in how far back you were able to get your leg? You should, because you are now understanding how to contract and use your core to stabilize and flex the hips into an advantageous position to performance.
To wrap things up. To stabilize your hips in any rotational movement, you need to be training your core. The core works as a hip flexor in providing stability anteriorly and takes your hips out of excessive extension. How do you do this? Lots of dead bugs. Exercises like the dead bug will build strength through your core and allow you to be able to hold your hips in a stable position throughout rotational movement.