Hip mobility is often overlooked or never even considered until an athlete runs into pain or time on the sideline. Why is hip mobility important?
We’re essentially in a no win situation in a fight for hip mobility. The majority of our time is spent sitting and not moving but when we are moving and training, we’re typically tightening up the muscles that act on our hip joint.
Plus we ask more out of our hips than we ever have. Pain free and high performing hips actually require daily discipline and work to maintain and improve. What do we define as our “hips”?
All of the muscles that attach and act on our pelvis and femur (the big leg bone) including but not limited to our hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, three glute muscles and all the little muscles that we don’t frequently discuss.
You can have a great leg workout. The most structurally and scientific sound program and you will still lock up your hips. Certain movements that many athletes want to perform, such as the overhead squat, require a large degree of hip mobility and flexibility. Attempting those movements without the proper range of motion is going to limit your performance, regardless of how sore we get.
What are we actually trying to accomplish with these hip mobility exercise and drills? Generally we want to increase hip external range of motion flexibility and internal range of motion. Since we sit down all day, we lack internal range of motion. As a result, we experience more knee and low back pain as our body will always find compensatory patterns to achieve range of motion and put us in certain positions that we can’t get into with our limited hip internal rotation.
Getting more efficient at different ranges of motion is one of the overlooked aspects of increasing performance.
Here’s the 4 best hip mobility drills and exercises that I love to do.
Supine 90/90 Switches
Basically you’re taking your hips through internal and external rotation. This is a great warm up for your hips
Also known as a hip external rotation stretch, this is fantastic for opening up those hard to reach outer areas.
You can use the shinbone exercises for a variety of positions from internal rotation to rocking up to a lunge. Here’s an external rotation movement.
And here’s internal rotation shinbox internal rotation exercise with movement.
I wanted to see this list short. After all, if you want to increase your hip mobility, these exercises should be performed daily.