Hip mobility training is rarely our top priority when working out. Unless we experience pain or discomfort in the area, that is. Here we'll go through some of the best hip mobility exercises out there. But first, what are we talking about really and why is it even important?
The hip joint, aka acetabulofemoral joint, supports the weight of your body in static and dynamic postures. If it's perfectly mobile, it can move in full range of motion throughout its region. It's crucial in maintaining balance and keeping the optimal spinal curve.
Hips are very tricky in a sense that they may hurt even though there are no physical restrictions in them. It's because they're tightly connected with the condition of the rest of your kinetic chain. To increase hip mobility, you have to work on your core and back strength, hip flexor and hamstring flexibility, ankle mobility, and overall balance, to name a few.
And, vice versa, the underactive hips can lead you to many other supposedly unrelated conditions. Those could be pain in the knees, ankles, lower back, and even restricted digestive function! So if you sit at the computer all day long, you really own it to yourself to incorporate these hip flexibility exercises in your workout plan.
Hip Foam Rolling:
- Lie on your belly and place the foam roller or a foam ball beneath and slightly below the left hip.
- Move your right leg to the side, bending your knee to make a 90-degree angle.
- Place your forearms on the ground in front of you, as if doing a low-plank. This will take some of your body weight from your hips.
- Stretch your left leg long behind you, toes point out, the front of your foot flat on the ground.
- Slowly start moving back and forth over the foam roller or a foam ball. Do this for up to 30 seconds.
- Recognize the areas that you feel most tightly. Focus on them by spending more time foaming on them.
- You can add some side-to-side movement too.
- Repeat with your right hip.
Hamstring Foam Rolling:
- You can use a foam roller for this, but a foam ball or even a tennis ball works best. You'll also need a hard surface to sit on, such as a backless chair, a bench, or a table.
- Sit down on your chosen surface, take the ball, and place it at the top of your left hamstring just bellow the bottom of your bum.
- Roll the ball side to side, letting it dig and slide towards the inner edge of your thigh and back towards your outer edge.
- Recognize and focus on the tight spots, dwelling on them more. You can help release the muscle knots by straightening your left leg for a moment. This movement aids at flexing and relaxing the hamstring making it easier for the ball to unknot the troubled area.
- Move the ball side-to-side like this along the whole length of your thigh.
- Repeat with your right side.
- Begin in a tabletop position, shoulders over your wrists, hips over your knees.
- Move your left knee forward and put it down just behind your left wrist.
- Place your left ankle in front of your right hip.
- Straighten your right leg behind you. Keep the right knee straight and your toes pointed.
- Keep your hips aligned.
- Lower your torso towards the ground so that your chest rests on your left knee. Stay for up to 10 seconds.
- Push yourself up with your hands, lift your hips, moving the legs back into a starting tabletop position and repeat with the other side.
Horizontal Squat Stretch:
- Begin on all fours, with your elbows and forearms on the floor.
- Spread your knees as far apart as you can.
- Sit back and down towards your heels while stretching your arms forward, keep your forearms on the ground.
- Melt your chest into the ground, stretch your spine, and stay like this for 10-30 seconds.
- Then push yourself back to all fours, stay for a moment, and go down to the squat again. repeat a few times.
Traveling Butterfly Stretch:
- Start in a longsitting position with your legs stretched long.
- Place your hands firmly on the floor behind your back.
- Use your hands to push your core forward without moving your legs, until you end up in a butterfly position.
- Stretch for a short moment and move back to the longsitting position. Repeat several times without long pauses.
- This is one of the best hip mobility stretches that also improves blood circulation in the area.
Hip 90/90 Stretch:
- Sit on the floor with your spine straight.
- Bend the left leg behind you and the right leg in front of you so that both of them are fully touching the ground. Both of them should be bent at a roughly 90-degree angle.
- You can use a pillow or a yoga block to sit on to make it easier on your hips.
- First, rotate to your right. Place your right palm on the floor and thread the needle with your left hand.
- Then rotate to your left with your right hand reaching straight behind you.
- Repeat 2-3 sets of up to 5 repetitions to each side.
The World's Greatest Stretch:
This is truly an amazing stretch to improve hip mobility, thoracic spine, and shoulders. And it feels so good!
- You can start in a high plank position.
- Step your left foot all the way to the front in between your palms. You can lower your right knee to the ground while pushing your torso up and straight. Keep your left leg in a 90 degree angle. Now you're in a low lunge. Stay here for a moment.
- Then place your palms back on the floor and, if you can, lift your right knee to straighten the right leg.
- Start lifting your left hand while rotating your whole torso until you reach the final moment of your left hand outstretch towards the ceiling. Stay here for a moment and come back to the high plank position.
- Repeat to the other side.
- Repeat for up to 5 times to each side.