Search

7 Movements for Better Hip Mobility


I'm sure that you've experienced tight hips or lower back at least once, if not many times in your life. This tightness can lead to pain, discomfort or misalignment in the way you move your body. Sedentary lifestyle or extended periods of sitting can leave your hips and back feeling tight, sore or even painful. Here are several dynamic stretches to relieve this tension in the body. Before we get into the movements, let’s talk about the different types of stretching.

There are 4 main types of stretches, dynamic, static, ballistic and PNF, today we are focusing on the foremost. Dynamic stretching is actively moving the joining and muscles through full range of motion. This type of stretching is commonly used as a warm up prior to exercise. These stretches should be functionally based and contain similar movements to the physical activity you are planning on doing. Dynamic stretching can be performed with a slow tempo after an intense weight training, strenuous exercise or athletic practice as a cool down.

Benefits of dynamic stretching include: Increasing the heart rate and bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the muscles involved in the movement which primes the body for exercise. It can also help improve speed, agility and acceleration in athletes. However where there are benefits there are also drawbacks. Like any movement with the body, executing these stretches with improper biomechanics can put you at risk for injury. Be sure to use proper form and refrain from pushing past your body’s natural range of motion. If you are feeling pain, try a digressed version or stop doing the movement completely.



Movements


1. Staggered Hip Bridge

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the glutes and low back, lengthens the hip flexors and improves posture. This movement loads one side of the body which engages the deep core stabilizing muscles, promoting stability within the body.

Target Muscles:

  • Glutes, Core and the Erector Spinae (low back)

Digression:

  • If the staggered hip bridge is too intense in the beginning you can digress this movement by performing the Double Leg Hip Bridge.

Progression:


2. Dynamic Figure 4 Spinal Twist

Benefits:

  • Lengthens the Gluteus Medius which is primarily responsible for hip ABDuction. Releasing tightness in the Gluteus medius can help improve your hip mobility and may reduce pain from hip tightness.

Targets:

  • Gluteus Medius and Minimus, Piriformis, Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)

Digression:

Progression:

  • If you would like to progress this movement try the Standing Figure 4 or pushing on your knee with the elbow to open up the hip further, or pulling your foot closer to the opposite hip.


3. Lunge to Hamstring Bow

  • Benefits:

  • Release tension in the Hamstrings and the Hip Flexors. Because this is a unilateral stretch it will allow you to focus on one side at time and activate your body's core stabilizers. Improving the mobility in the hamstrings will help improve your body’s postural alignment and relieve stress in the low back.

  • Targets:

  • Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Glutes

  • Digression:

  • Start with a standing lunge with support if needed. As you move to the kneeling lunge use blocks as support to increase stability. If you are feeling pain or too much intensity, reduce the range of motion that you are moving through by using small shorter movements until you get used to the stretch.

  • Progression:

  • Remove blocks and reach hands to the ground. Create a bind by holding the back leg in the lunge position, and flex the front foot in the hamstring bow. To add an abductor and hip stretch try the Lunge + Hip Opener, add a bind to progress here.


4. Lunge to Spinal Twist

  • Benefits:

  • Relieves lower back pain as it releases the psoas. Use this movement after extended periods of sitting as it will help improve mobility in hips and back.

  • Targets:

  • Hip Flexor, Psoas, Low Back

  • Digression:

  • If this movement is too advanced, use blocks to support you. If it is still too advanced, break up stretches into two separate movements, starting with a lunge then separately working the spinal twist.

  • Progression:

  • To progress this movement remove blocks and reach hands to the floor. To take it one step further reach the elbow to the ground. You can also add a counter twist for added difficulty.


5. Dynamic Couch Stretch

  • Benefits:

  • This stretch will help balance the biomechanics through the low back and hips by lengthening the hip flexors. It can also alleviate pain in the low back, legs and knee. It also activates and strengthens the glutes and core muscles.

  • Targets:

  • Quads and Hip Flexors

  • Digression:

  • If this stretch is too advanced feel free to try the Standing Quad or Couch Stretch. You can also start with a Standing or Kneeling Lunge stretch then work your way up to the full couch stretch. You may also want to use yoga blocks as stabilizers during this movement.

  • Progression:

  • You can progress this movement by placing a block under your front foot. You may also want to add a twist or side stretch for more intensity.


6. Crossack Stretch

  • Benefits:

  • This movement improves strength and range of motion in the hips and leg muscles. The unilateral mechanics of this movement activates core and stabilizer muscles, and enhances bio-mechanical balance. This is the only stretch on this list that moves the body specifically through the sagittal plane. It is important to move your body through all planes of motion to holistically improve strength and flexibility in lateral movements.

  • Targets:

  • Quads, Abductor, Hamstring, Glutes, Calves

  • Digression:

  • To digress this movement use the support of a bar, pole or wall. You may also reach your hands to the ground for stability, remembering to keep your back straight and bending only through the hips. You can also use a shorter stance and limit range of motion to get used to the movement, then progressing from there.

  • Progression:

  • To progress this movement you can perform it free standing or with weights to strengthen your muscles throughout the full range of motion. Adding a thoracic twist will add intensity and provide a deep side stretch. Increasing your range of motion through this movement will also increase difficulty.


7. 90/90 Rocks + Hip Hover

  • Benefits:

  • This movement helps activate the muscles in the hip, which protects wear and tear on the joint capsule. It can also improve active range of motion in the hip which can reduce pain and improve the biomechanical function of the hip.

  • Targets:

  • Hip joint capsule, Glutes, Piriformis, Psoas, Hip Flexors, Hip Abductors, and Adductors.

  • Digression:

  • If this movement is too advanced, start with the 90/90 Stretch and then move on to 90/90 Rocks and finally 90/90 Rock + Hip External Rotation.

  • Progression:

  • To increase the difficulty of this movement try the 90/90 Shin Box or the 90/90 Shin Box Overhead Reach.


Try adding some of these dynamic stretches to your routine if you’re looking to improve the function of your hips, decrease pain and stiffness and increase mobility and strength in the hips and legs. These movements will be a great tool as you are nurturing and caring for your body.

Always remember to listen to your body, don’t push past the point of pain. If you feel discomfort with any of these movements try a digressed version OR omit the movement all together.




0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All