Hip Mobility

The hips are one of two major joints in the body; the other is the shoulder. I spoke briefly about mobility and how we can obtain more of it in our shoulders. You can check that out here.

The hip is the joint that is fully responsible for locomotion and allows us to support the weight of our bodies as we move.  And over our life span, we sit and run too much; we bang up our bodies causing our hips to lose their normal patterns. Many of us have overactive psoas muscles because of a weak core and the kabillions of sit-ups that we do; weak glutes from sitting down and not squatting or deadlifting; as well as adductors and IT bands that are as dense as wood because these stabilizer muscles are taking on loads way too big for them.

And as all the above happens we lose the ability to hip extend, and learn to live in flexion.

There are two ways our body compensates to meet these demands:

1.  Is an anterior pelvic tilt.

2.  Is a posterior pelvic tilt.

What the differences are between the two is topic for another blog, so I will leave it at that.

Here are six offers you can’t refuse to why you should have better hip mobility:

1.  You can deadlift, squat and bench big.

2.  By being able to do all the above you will have a nice ass.

3.  You will be badass.

4.  You will become faster, and therefore, have moreintense interval runs.

5.  You will be able to drop it like it’s hot on thedance floor.

6.  You will have less knee and back pain.

Kneeling Rock-Backs

  •  Begin in a quadrouped position (all fours).
  •  Spread your knees apart as far as you cancomfortably.
  •  The further you spread your feet apart, the more you will feel the stretch.
  • Make sure you keep a neutral spine throughout the entire range of motion.
  • Start with hips over the knees, and push the hips towards your heels.
  • Hold for one second, and return to starting position.

Half-Kneeling Adductor Lunge

  • The setup requires the kneeling leg to be under your hip.
  • The other leg is going to line up with the knee of the down leg and be perpendicular as well.
  • Squeeze your glutes as tight as possible.
  • Drive the knee of the bent leg as far forward,over the toes as possible.
  • You should feel the stretch on the kneeling leg predominately.  If not, make sure your glutes are truly locked.

Internal Rotation Stretch

This is the big bang drill for many of us.  A lot of people have internal rotation defecits, as we all like to stand and load ourselves in abduction.  This is the perfect cure.  This stretch does take some practice to get right, but once you do, you will reap the rewards of it.

  • Lie on your back, and spread your feet as wide as you can.
  • Squeeze your glutes together and pull your knees together and towards your toes.
  • While doing that, try to pull your feet in opposite directions (without actually moving your feet).
  • You should feel this stretch in the outside of your hips and not in your groin or knees.

Hip Flexor Stretch on Wall with Posterior Lateral Reach

This is a great stretch for just about everyone. With us all living in flexion all day, this is stretching what we shorten all day.  Just keep in mind that you can stretch this muscle for years and it could still be tight. The reason is due to a weak core.  If the core is weak, that psoas will lock up because it is doing too much work to compensate.

  • Set up in a lunge position facing away from a wall or bench.
  • Place the kneeling foot on a wall.
  • Squeeze both glutes as tight as possible, so that your hips are pushed into neutral position.
  • You should feel a stretch in your quads.
  • Hold this for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Then do a posterior lateral reach.
  • Take a deep breath into your stomach, raise your arm up and reach back and towards the leg that is bent.
  • You should now feel the stretch move up into your abdominal area.

Lateral Hamstring Stretch

For this stretch to be effective, you must have the setup perfect.  This means when we set up you must find an object that is the perfect height that will just barely give your hamstrings a stretch before you start the drill.  If the hamstrings get overstretched it will cause compensations in the start up and will make this drill useless.

  • Place the leg being stretched onto an object of the appropriate height (this will be different for everybody).
  • Make sure the leg on the floor the foot is turned slightly inward and is standing tall with the glutes and quads locked.
  • Turn from the hips, not the shoulders, into the leg that is resting on the object.
  • You should feel a stretch throughout the entire outside portion of the hamstrings.

Calf Rock-Back Mobs

  • Setup in a push-up position.
  • Walk your feet towards your hands (the closer to your hands, the greater the stretch).
  • Place one leg on top of the other.
  • Drive the heel of the foot that is still in contact with the ground.
  • Hold for one seconds and repeat for 10 reps.

Wall Ankle Mobs

  • This mobility drill is best done with your sneakers off.
  • Set up about four inches away from the wall (you may have to move forward or back more depending on your ankle mobility).
  • Drive your heel into the ground (make sure the heel stays on the floor the whole range of motion), and bring your knee towards the wall.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.

We also want to follow this up by sticking the movement just like we did with the shoulders.  Here we can do some sort of squat or deadlift pattern in order to stick the movement after we have completed the mobility drills above.

Was this post helpful, enlightening, the purest, greatest thing you ever read? Do you do mobility training? If so, what do you do? Let me know; leave a comment below!

One response to “Hip Mobility

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