3 Hip Mobility Exercises
Continuing our Mobility Mondays we will be turning to the hips, because hip turn is critical to a consistent, powerful, and pain-free swing. With a large range of motion and numerous muscle attachments the hips provide a large amount of power and stability during athletic activities. However, if they are unable to move sufficiently they cannot serve this purpose and other body regions may be left to compensate.
The hip is a joint formed by one half of the pelvis and the head of the femur bone of the thigh. It is a ball and socket joint, as is the shoulder, which allows motion in all three planes of the body. It is much more stable than the shoulder due to a deeper socket known as the acetabulum, a tighter ligamentous structure, and more surrounding musculature. There are multiple muscles involved for moving the hip in any of the 6 available directions and most have more than one action. Hip tightness has become a common problem in today’s society as many of us spend significant amounts of time sitting and fail to utilize the full capabilities of this joint.
Here are some of our favorite hip mobility exercises:
1. 90/90 leans and switches:
Begin seated with one thigh directly in front of you with the knee bent to 90 degrees with the lower leg across your body placing the outer portion of your foot and ankle on the ground. The other leg will be at a 90 degree angle laterally with the knee bent and the inner portion of the foot and ankle on the ground. Maintaining an upright posture, simultaneously lift both knees off the ground while maintaining contact with the feet by rotating through both hips to switch which leg is in their respective positions. This exercise can be made easier by leaning back slightly and/or being supported by your hands.
2. Elbow to instep lunge:
Take a large step forward. Bend the lead knee while trying to drive your elbow from the same arm down toward your heel. Keep your torso low and rotate an arm upward. Repeat on the other side for motion through the hips and low back.
3. Squash the bug
Stand with almost all of your weight to one side and just the ball of your other foot on the ground. Imagine a bug is under your foot and rotate through your hip to pivot on the foot. Make sure to isolate the motion by keeping your pelvis still. Difficulty can be altered by changing how much friction you have with the surface.
There are many more options to promote and improve hip mobility. Let us know
if you have a personal favorite not included on this list or if you’re looking for different variations!