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Episode 134: Hip Strength and Mobility

Video Highlights

- Next progression in our hip mobility and strength series.
- Challenge for your balance, strength, and mobility.
- A nice variation for "warming up."

This week, we’re going to add one additional movement to our shin box series that we’ve already been looking at to increase your hip flexibility and strength.

Several weeks ago, we looked at an exercise where we were working out of this position called the 90-90 squat, or shin box, or whatever. As I mentioned in that previous video, and you can check out the link to that blog, this is a really common position that you see throughout the world in modern dance and yoga and martial arts.

Hip Strength and Mobility Part 1
Hip Strength and Mobility Part 2

We like to use this a lot of work on hip mobility, spinal mobility, and breathing. In that previous blog, we looked at just some basic rotations, back and forth, utilizing our hands for support, utilizing only one hand for support, and then also doing it with no hands.

While a lot of people like that, there are a lot of progressions that you can make out of this particular position, and some of them are very fun. They’ll really work on your balance, your hip strength, and your hip flexibility.

I want to take you through one simple progression that begins here and winds up with you standing up facing away. The first thing that we’re going to work on is I want you to get into this particular squat, again, 90-90, and let’s just do a few switches to make sure that your hips are warmed up.

You can do these in whatever way you’re comfortable, and I would recommend, in the beginning, just keep both hands back, keep everything nice and fluid, work on your breathing, exhale as you’re rolling through.

Once your hips are feeling good, we’re now going to start to work on the front leg. What we’re going to do is we’re going to turn this into a cylinder. My front leg, I’m going to take my toes, I’m going to point them down as if I’m doing a calf raise here.

This is now my cylinder, so I’m going to take my hips and I’m just going to drive up and drive them forward so I’m now keeping my weight on this knee and distributing it across this leg, then I’ll roll back down. Again, trying not to use my hands, rolling up, rolling down.

Do that five or six times, making sure that it’s nice and comfortable. If this is tight, feels uncomfortable in your hip, you can look at some of my other blogs that we’ve gone over to give yourself a little bit more hip mobility.

Once you’re comfortable in that position, the next step in this is to go to standing. The process is pretty simple. As you’re first learning this, you can use chairs to help you, you can use a wall, you can use a pole, just something to give yourselves some balance.

I just want to you be really careful. We’re going to go through the careful version first.

What we’re going to do is we’re going to start here, we’re going to point the toe, roll up into that cylinder. Now, the big key here is that this leg, not the cylinder leg but the other leg, this foot is going to sweep around and it’s going to wind up inside this front knee.

Now I’m using my hands, they’re nice and comfortable. From here, I could just stand up but that uses a lot of energy, so I’m going to actually continue my momentum and wind up facing away.

Let’s look at that again. I’m here, point the toes, roll up, be careful of your balance, sweep this foot around, catch yourself if you need to, up to standing. Once you become more comfortable with that, and you don’t need the balance help with your hands, it becomes a nice fluid motion where you’re swinging up here, you’re up, you’re standing, and then you can go back down into the same position.

Once this starts to feel comfortable to you, you obviously can go back and forth.

Using your right leg in the front, do your switch, your left legs in the front, and you can just go back and forth from standing to kneeling, all without using your hands. What you’ll find with this, it really challenges the hips. Because it is an up and down motion, it’s going to challenge your balance, going to challenge your vestibular system, and if you do it fast enough, or long enough, you’ll also get your heart rate up.

I like to use it a lot, personally, as a part of my warm up for whatever training I’m going to be doing because it makes my hips feel great. It also increases my body temperature, gets me ready for whatever I’m going to do next.

Give this a shot. If you have any questions about it, please let us know.

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