The Importance of Our Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex: Our Body’s Primary Torque Central Point

hiit exercise

The role that the Lumbo-Pelvic –Hip Complex plays in the functionality of movement cannot be undervalued.  As mentioned by Clark and Lucett, (2011), there are between 29 and 35 muscles that attach to our lumbar spine or pelvis, which has a dramatic effect on the movement of the body above and below the LPHC region.  If there is a dysfunction in the muscles superior and/or inferior to the LPHC, it will have an effect on the movement and stability of the LPHC.  As well, vice versa, if there is a dysfunction in the LPHC, it will have an effect on the movement superior and/or inferior to that area of the body.

The area of the LPHC as stated by Behm in a study in 2010, acts a foundation for torque to transfer between the superior and inferior regions of the body.  One being weakened or under-utilized can lead to overuse injuries over time to help compensate the weaker section.  His example of a baseball pitcher who derives force from the lower body, which is transferred to the upper extremities through the pelvic girdle, the trunk and into the shoulder.  A weak core of the pitcher could interfere with the transfer of torque thus limiting the velocity of the pitchers throw.  To compensate, additional stress can be placed on the upper extremity causing an overuse injury down the road (Behm et al, 2010).


A study conducted by Perrot et al, 2013, studied the research on lumbo-pelvic exercises and their effects on lower limb muscle strain injuries.  Their studies were based on static stretching exercises, balance exercises, stabilization and agility exercises, and multiple styles of resistance and performance.  Their conclusions provided insight into the benefits of stabilization and agility of the LPHC as a most effective method for limiting lower limb muscle injuries.   Their findings helped provide support for the benefits of trunk stabilization methods such as the drawing in maneuver to help improve intervertebral stability.

Some common methods of strengthening our “core” muscles to help improve LPHC stability as described by Behm, are isolated versus multijoint:  such as flexion and extension versus ground based power movements.  Stable versus unstable surfaces, such as squats being performed on stability discs versus the ground.  Behm reported that unstable surfaces required more spinal stabilizing muscles to perform a given  exercise compared to performing it on a solid surface;  Bilateral versus unilateral exercises, for example, performing a shoulder press with one arm, which increased spinal stability muscles but showed to diminish overall force output.   Behm concluded that this method of training may not be beneficial for a well-conditioned athlete, but would be helpful to a rehabilitation client or deconditioned person.

Below are a few exercises that can help strengthen the LPHC using the TRX Suspension Trainer, and in my opinion, the best piece of fitness equipment for stabilization and intrinsic core muscles.  

Ryan from The Elite Training Center, demonstrates a few exercises that can be performed for 5-10 reps( with proper and controlled form) for 1-2 sets.

Perrott, M., Pizzari, T., & Cook, J. (2013). Lumbopelvic exercise reduces lower limb muscle strain injury in recreational athletes.Physical Therapy Reviews18(1), 24-33. doi:10.1179/1743288X12Y.0000000055

Behm, D. G., Drinkwater, E. J., Willardson, J. M., & Cowley, P. M. (2010). The use of instability to train the core musculature. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism35(1), 91-108

Clark, Micheal, and Scott Lucett. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Pr

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