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Background—Limited hip extension flexibility due to tight hip flexor musculature or anterior hip capsular and ligamentous structures is a possible cause of increased anterior tilt of the pelvis during running. However, to date, research exploring this relation, as well as the kinematic relation between anterior tilt of the pelvis and peak hip extension range of motion during running, is not available.
Objective—To assess the relation of anterior pelvic tilt during running to peak hip extension range of motion measured during running and hip extension flexibility measured clinically.
Methods—Hip extension flexibility was assessed using the Thomas test, and the three dimensional kinematic motion of the pelvis and hips were recorded using a VICON motion analysis system with 14 elite athletes running on a treadmill at 20 km/h.
Results—Anterior pelvic tilt displayed a significant (p<0.01) correlation with peak hip extension range of motion during running. Anterior pelvic tilt tended to be increased in runners who displayed reduced absolute peak hip extension range of motion during terminal stance. No significant correlation was shown for hip extension flexibility with either anterior pelvic tilt or peak hip extension range of motion during running.
Conclusions—The outcomes of this study indicate that anterior pelvic tilt and hip extension are coordinated movements during running. Static hip extension flexibility measured using the modified Thomas test does not appear to be reflective of these dynamic movements.
Key Words: running; kinematics; pelvis; hip; flexibility