Build and Maintain Hip Mobility

Running, squatting, getting out of a chair or going up the stairs. You perform one or more of these tasks every day. Mobility of your hips is crucial in all of these tasks and hundreds more, and a limited range of motion in your hips hinders the ability to perform these tasks.

Think of your hip joint (or any joint, for that matter) as a rubber band. The further you stretch a rubber band, the more force it generates when it is released. The same goes for your joints, the more flexibly that exists in your joints, the more force it will  generate.

The benefits of hip mobility range from achieving an effective squat to walking up stairs and once you achieve this mobility, it is simple to maintain. Increasing hip mobility reduces your risk of hip-related injuries, improves posture, and helps release muscle tension and soreness. Increased hip mobility is achieved by improving the ability to internally and externally rotate your legs and increasing flexibility in your glutes and hip flexors.

Here are some of my favorites for improving/maintaining hip mobility:

 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

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While taking a knee, make sure your lead leg is portioned at an angle greater than 90 degrees. Lean your entire body forward, decreasing the knee angle and forcing your hips toward the ground, and feel for the hip flexor on your bottom leg to stretch. To intensify stretch, place your hands on your hips and arch your back. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on other leg.

 

Supine Crossed-Leg Rotation

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Lying on your back, place your foot flat on the ground with your heel about a foot away from your body, Cross the opposite leg over. Rotate both legs toward the side of the grounded foot while making sure to keep both shoulders on the ground. To intensify the stretch, pull your knees toward your shoulder on the same side you are rotated toward. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat on other side.

 

Butterfly Stretch

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Sit on the ground with the balls of your feet touching each other. Wrap your hands around your feet and press your elbows onto your thighs as your lean forward. Hold for 60 seconds, gradually increasing force with you elbows and externally rotating your hips by engaging your glutes. Hold for 60 seconds.

 

Pigeon Pose

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Sit on the ground with one leg bent in front of you. Extend your other leg backwards, with the top of your foot touching the ground. Pull your front foot toward your body and lead forward over your lead knee. To intensify, push your front leg away from your body and lean forward over your lead knee. Hold for 30-60 seconds and switch legs.

 

 

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