Improve Hip Mobility
A couple of weeks ago we worked on your hips.
Today we’re going to add a couple of exercises to make it even better.
As you may remember a few weeks ago, we worked on a simple hip mobility exercise that began in this position called the 90/90 squat or shin box or whatever.
There’s lots of different names for it.
In that particular video we worked on just rolling back and forth, creating some internal and external rotation in the hip. A lot of people liked that blog. A few people said, “Well it’s pretty easy. Pretty rudimentary.” Which made me laugh because everything’s easy if you can do it. If you can’t do it, it’s hard.
Why We Need to Improve Hip Mobility
What I want to do today is go through a couple other drills that can help mobilize your hip, give you a little bit more space. One of the things that happens to a lot of us is because we spend so much time seated each day, the hip tends to get compressed and very tight which makes all these strange rotational movements a little bit more challenging.
Improving Hip Mobility: Getting Started
Today what I want to go through is a little … give you stretch mobilization for each hip. It’s going to be down on the ground and you can see I’m on a mat. The reason I’m on a mat is your going to be on all fours to begin with so you want to make sure that your knees padded.
Pretty simple exercise to explain and to look at but it’s a little hard to do because it requires you to do a little exploration. Your basics are going to be this. You’re going to start off in what’s called a quadruped position. I’m here on all fours basically.
Now in this position I do not want you to be overly tucked. I also don’t want you to be dropped down like a cow. Just have a neutral spine position. Now what we’re going to do is I’m going to be working on my left hip, the one that’s closest to the camera, and the way that I’m going to start working on the stretch is, I’m going to leave my lower leg in line with my upper leg.
I’m going to take as much weight off my right side, my left leg is in contact so I’m just going to take my right leg and push it back. Now from here what I’m going to do is I’m going to think about this bone. This is called the greater trochanter of the femur.
It’s a big … the big pointy bone that sticks out of your hip here and I’m going to try to drop it out to the side. You can see my hips are shifting a little bit and I’m trying to drive my weight and push that side of my leg out.
Now once I’m there, depending on how tight you are, your probably feel a decent amount of stretch.
If you feel some, great. If not, what I’m going to ask you to do is start to play with your upper body. From this position once you’ve driven out, you can start to take the upper body toward the floor as if you’re going into a push up.
For a lot of people that will increase the intensity.
You can also rock backwards, rock forwards, and even add in some spinal rotations. This is what I would like for you to do in this particular motion. A soon as you have a little bit of stretch, you’re going to now mobilize.
The mobility’s going to come from just doing some micro-movements.
You’re here, you’re going to push back. You’re going to push forward. You’re going to dip down. You’re going to turn to your left, turn to your right. Just start to do that in a little bit of a sequence and as you explore this, you may find that there’s one particular movement that’s particularly tight for you.
If that’s the case, then do 3-5 reps just trying to loosen that area up. Then eventually take the pressure off.
Now very important. If you’ve had hip surgery, if you’ve had a hip replacement, this exercise may not be for you. You need to go cautiously. Obviously, I don’t want you to hurt yourself.
Improve Hip Mobility: Next Version
Once you’ve done that version of it, there are two additional versions.
We’re going to go back into that same position. For my leg I also …. remember in the beginning I kept this section in neutral. What I’m going to do now is I want to turn my foot out so my lower leg is going out which is basically internally rotating my hip up, the pelvis. Then I’m going to do the same series of exercises.
A lot of people find this one a little bit more constricting, a little bit tighter. That’s very normal but you’re going to go through the same process so you’re going to be here, drop the upper body, push back, push forward, rotate left, rotate right, and you even play with some diagonal motions.
Again, you’re looking for the movements that create … or you find the greatest tightness and just do a little bit of mobility, working there, getting 3-5 reps, you should start to feel pretty good.
Improve Hip Mobility: Third Version
Now from here, our 3rd position, instead of going out with my lower leg, I now going to turn my lower leg in. You can even brace it if you need to with your opposite leg. In this position, once again, same process. Think about dropping this hip out and it puts it under a pretty good stretch from right there.
Then again I’ll play with my upper body positions forward and back, left and right rotations, my diagonals. Again, you’re just exploring some basic positioning here. Usually if you spend 30 maybe 90 seconds, exploring each of these positions, it’s going to make your hip feel fantastic.
Try that on both sides.
Improve Hip Mobility: Reassess
Once you’ve done that, going back into this basic shin box position and doing your little switches as we’ve worked on, should feel a lot easier. You can also test this in squatting. You may find … You know do a squat before, do these little mobilizations for the hip, squat again, usually what you’re going to find is a lot looser.
If it feels good to you, add this part of your warm up or even post workout, preparing for the next day.
Improve Hip Mobility: Summary
For a quick summary of the 3 position grounded mobility exercise, really simple.
You’re going to be in your quadruped position. Remember the whole idea is I need to get all my weight on the leg that I’m going to work. I then going to drop the hip out to try and create a little bit of stretch.
Once I have that I’m going to explore by moving my body forward and down and back and some rotations.
That’s position 1.
Position 2 is the lower leg turned to the outside.
Position 3 is with the lower leg turned to the inside.
My recommendation on this is again, spend 30 to 90 seconds in each position, lower leg in neutral, lower leg out, lower leg in, and just explore. Try to find areas that feel tight. Small mobilizations into that area, over and over usually will give you a great sense of freeness in the hip.
Do that on both sides.
If you are a regular exerciser, you can make it a part of your warm up and also even the post workout, if you’ve done a lot of work for your legs.
If you’re a runner, it would be great to do ahead of time. Just take it easy. Don’t overdo.
If you’re just working on, maybe, building a little mobility, getting out of pain, this is also a great exercise but you just need to make sure that you do it very carefully. Don’t over do it. Don’t over stretch anything or over mobilize.
You can begin doing it maybe in the morning after you’ve been up, moving for a little bit because you don’t want to jump directly into this one when you’re cold.
If you have any questions about this, please let us know.