Best Hip Mobility Exercises
Hip mobility for better sport specific performance
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that connects the femur with the pelvis and allows us to walk, run and jump. It is the biggest joint in our body and the main movements at the hip are flexion, extension, internal and external rotation, abduction and adduction. There are also numerous muscles, ligaments and tendons inserting and originating from the hip such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and hip flexors. Although, the main purpose of the hip joint is weight bearing properties and stability, mobility is crucial but why is it so important? In this article, we will talk about the best hip mobility exercises.
What is hip mobility and why is it so important?
Let us first start by explaining the difference between flexibility and mobility. While it is very common for flexibility and mobility to be confused and interchanged with each other, flexibility depends on the length of a muscle and how much it can stretch while mobility is the range of movement in a joint. Saying that, joint mobility is affected by the flexibility of the surrounding muscles since the muscles attach and insert from and to joints via the ligaments and tendons. Therefore, in a nutshell, hip mobility can be described as how much range one can achieve in the hip joint while comfortably carrying out normal daily tasks and sporting activities. Furthermore, due to the hip, pelvis and spine being closely connected together, they also work in conjunction with each other and will therefore, affect one another when it comes to different movements.
THE VIDEO: Best Hip Mobility Exercises
Hip mobility is important for several reasons
Reduced Chance Of Injury And Lower Back Pain
Research explains how when we spend a lot of time sitting down our glutes become weak and hip flexors become short and tight. This allows for overcompensation through other muscles and transfers the intended forces and stress of the hip joint to the lower back and extremity which, have been associated with lower back pain and injury.
Without good hip mobility, it is very difficult to be able to execute the big compound lifts such as the deadlift, squat and even the clean and jerk and snatch effectively and with good technique, holding you back from pushing maximally.
Transfer Of Power
Apart from the core, hip mobility and stability also allow for the effective transfer of strength and power from the lower body to the upper body which, is essential in many sporting activities. Good hip mobility with a strong core have been found to be most beneficial and effective together.
Enhances Athletic Performance
Increased hip mobility allows the athlete to reach better overall range resulting in better technique which, will in turn bring about better adaptation around the whole body both in the weight room as well as on field.
What To Do To Increase Hip Mobility
Foam roll the surrounding muscles and tendons to increase the flexibility of the muscles that attach to the joint – glutes, hip flexors and quads.
Stretch The Hip Muscles
Try and do this out of your training time so that you avoid decreasing the force output before a session or damaging more muscle fibres after the session.
Perform hip opening exercises.
Exercises Under Load
Use exercises under load such as squat holds.
To activate the deep muscles in the lumbopelvic hip complex which, results in better range.
Since hip mobility is crucial to our everyday life as well as our athletic performance below, are a few stretches and mobility exercises that will help improve hip mobility.
- Hip flexor lunge hip mobilisation
- Pigeon stretch
- 90/90 hip stretch
- Frog mobilisation
- Seated hip rotation
- Deep squat
- Hurdle mobility and marches
- World’s greatest
- Alternating running man
- Prone and supine crucifix hip openers
There are various reasons why everyone should increase hip mobility and several ways to improve it. Make sure to give the above exercises a go to improve your general everyday life as well as your specific sports training. Start with the basic movements and keep building up on them.
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Also, check this article out form our friends at Dark Iron Fitness.