Hip or Hip Joint

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The word hip is often used to refer to the hip joint area of the body. It can also be used to refer to the hip joint itself. On this page, we are using the word hip, or hip joint, to specifically refer to the bones forming the hip joint. Your hip plays a very important role in running, walking, and even standing. Read on to learn more about the hip, what it is, and how it works.

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Hip Joint

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Hip Joint - Anterior or Front View
Hip Joint - Anterior or Front View

The hip provides the main connection between the leg and the skeletal structure of the trunk and pelvis. The hip joint specifically connects the femur of the leg with the hip bone. The primary function of the hip is to support the weight of the body during standing, walking and running.

The hip joint is quite similar to the shoulder joint. The end of the femur, which is shaped like a ball, fits into a socket on the hip bone. Hip muscles connect the femur to the hip bone and provide for movement in three directions: forward and backward, left to right, and rotation around the femur.

Having a good range of motion is very important in athletic activities such as gymnastics. Here are a few experiments you can try to see this range of movement in your hip. Stand with your feet together. Hold on to a chair for support, if necessary. Swing your leg forward and then backward. You should have about 140 degrees of movement. Now raise your leg to the side, while still standing straight upward. You should be able to lift your leg to the side about 45 degrees. Lastly, with you leg hanging straight down, rotate your foot clockwise and counter clockwise. You should have about 90 degrees of hip rotation.


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