The Hip Rock


The "Hip Rock" involves the hips alternatively lifting and dropping while standing with both feet flat on the floor, knees slightly bent, and the pelvis in neutral. There should be no forward, backwards, or sideways shifts of the pelvis. Nor should there be any twisting. The knees remain flexed at all times with the knee on the side of the dropped hip being slightly more bent.

The underlying movement should be loose and relaxed. Texture is added over the basic movement usually by tensing the buttocks.

There should also be a degree of isolation of the torso. In a strict oriental style there should be no movement at all above the waist. In beledi forms there can be some movement.

a & b - hips go straight up & down
c - hip stays in same plane; knees move back & forward

The Hip Rock


Using figure (a) with the right hip lifting and the left hip dropping. The following analysis was done with reference to the Safe Dance Practice Study Guide (with particular reference to Fitt (1996), Howley & Franks (1997), and Tortora & Grabowski (1996)), Calais-Germain (1993), and discussion with Greg Knight DipPhys MNZSP of Gloucester Sports Clinic on 28 March 2002.


Joint position or action

Action of gravity

Muscle group and type of action

& lumbar vertebrae

Individual vertebra are rotating causing lateral flexion to the right


Concentric contraction of lateral flexors. Particularly the quadratus lumborum with the internal and external obliques (which balance ipsilateral and contralateral rotation)

Right hip

Adduction to maintain strict vertical movement


Concentric contraction of adductors. (adductor brevis, adductor longus, gracilis)

Left hip

Abduction to maintain strict vertical movement


Concentric contraction of abductors (gluteus medius)

Right knee



Concentric contraction of extensors

Left knee



Eccentric contraction of extensors


Maintain neutral pelvis and extension in thoracic spine

Pelvic rotation and flexion of trunk

Isometric contraction of rectus abdominis, transversus abdominus, and erector spinae.

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