Today, we’re going to look at 3 versions of my all-time favorite hip and pelvis mobility drill.
To be a great athlete, you have to have mobile hips and pelvis and low back, and also to be healthy to stay out of pain, so one of our favorite things to focus on Z is making sure people can move well through the hips and pelvis.
One of the things that we really focus on is the hip itself.
Where your leg bone, your femur comes up and attaches to your pelvis, this area becomes very tight on a lot of people. One of the things we want to focus on or improve is what called internal rotation and external rotation.
If I’m sitting here and my knee drops to the inside, that’s internal rotation. If it goes to the outside, that’s external rotation.
One of my favorite drills, like I said, is what we call this 90/90 squat. The first thing I’m going to ask you to do is gently get down on the floor and see if you can get into this position. You can see that my front leg is bent at 90 degrees, my rear leg is bent at 90 degrees, and I’m trying to sit up comfortably.
Now, if this is hard for you, you may actually be starting back here and you may only be able to do this in the beginning. If this is where you have to start, this is perfectly fine. A lot of people that are very tight through the hips figure out very quickly that they have to lean back, and this is about the full range of motion that they have available; if that’s you, work with it.
Do 20 or 30 reps of that.
Now, if you can get into this basic squat position, like I said, a 90/90 squat, the first exercise, the first variation that we’re going to work on, we’re going to put both of our hands back behind us, so that we can lean back and relax. We’re going to try to keep our feet still so that they don’t slide around and we’re just going to roll into the same position on the opposite side and then we’ll roll back.
This is alternatively causing internal and external rotation in my hips, and as I get into this position, I’m just trying to identify what feels tight or less mobile. I may spend a little bit of time working into that.
Now, your body may move and shift after you do 5 or 6 repetitions. If so, just readjust, come back to a tighter position if possible. The tighter position will cause a little bit more motion in the hips.
That’s version 1.
For version 2, we’re going to go to a breathing exercise. This one’s at first, depending on your hip mobility, this one can be very, very challenging. If it’s to difficult for you, I just want you to try to work on synchronizing your breathing in version 1.
What I’m going to do is I’m going to now take my hands off the floor. I’m going to take a breath in, and then on the exhale, I’m going to let my body sink down and I’m going to make a switch without using my hands. I’m up, I’m nice and tall, breathe in, exhale, roll to the opposite side. Again, inhale, exhale, roll to the opposite side. Notice I’m bringing my arms forward to counterbalance my body a little bit.
Again, much more challenging than version 1, so if you have to adapt that, you certainly can, but ultimately your goal is to be able to release the hands using the breathing, exhaling, and just roll through into the alternating positions.
Once again, we’re going to aim for 20 to 30 repetitions of that, and now, we’ll go to version number 3.
In version 3 of this exercise, we’re going to include more of the body. The way that we’re going to do that is we’re going to do the same exact exercise that we’ve been doing with the lower body. Only now, we’re going to keep one hand in contact with the ground.
Initially, we did 2 hands in contact, then, no hands in contact, and actually for many people, the hardest version, version 3 is keeping 1 hand down.
Right now, my right leg is forward. I’m going to put my right hand back behind me. I’m going to give myself a little bit of space to brace, and then I’m going to go through the motion. Now, when I get into this position, it’s a very, very strong stretch or mobilization of the arm all through the chest and the rib cage.
You want to go slowly in this one. A lot of people when they first do it will go and get stuck here. If that’s you, that’s fine. Just gently work into it, so you can eventually go all the way through.
You want to do again 5 to 10 repetitions of that on one side, and then you want to switch your hands. I’m going to roll over here. I like to start in this position. The left leg is forward, left hand is back, and roll through.
In general, you will figure out that you have one side that’s much tighter than the other. If you find that your left is tighter than your right, you may want to do 4 to 5 additional repetitions on that side.
Remember, we covered 3 different variations for improving hip mobility in separating the hips from the pelvis. These are incredibly important and the nice thing is because you’re on the ground and there’s not a lot of challenge to your balance, very often people will achieve greater range of motion working with these drills than things that they do standing, particularly at first.
Aim for 20 to 30 repetitions of the first and second drills, and then when you finally go to drill number 3 with 1 hand behind you, aim for 5 to 10 reps on each side.
Give these a shot. If you have questions or problems with them, please let us know. Otherwise, I think you’re going to love these. Use them as part of your warm-up prior to your workout, prior to your run or sports.
I think your hips will thank you for it.