Mobility is so important but too many people ignore this aspect of physical fitness. Strength, speed, and stamina are all important, especially to athletes or weekend warriors, but everyone of any age or fitness level needs the ability to move their limbs and joints through their full range of motion. Even though not everyone will be throwing barbells around for fun (yes, I call that fun), we all have to function in the proper way in this world.
The most common area that is focused on when trying to increase mobility in the hips. People have forgotten how to use their hips the way evolution designed them to be used. Instead of dropping into a squat and thrusting your hips forward as you stand when you pick up objects off the ground, people tend to bend at the waist and lift with the lower back. Picking up a heavy bag? A child? A barbell? Keep lifting like that and that’s a back injury waiting to happen.
Another thing that moves us backwards in the pursuit of amazing hip mobility is that we sit just too darn much. I am probably with the majority here that I just freaking love to take a load off at the end of the day, kick back and relax on my sofa. I am fortunate that my job has me on my feet most of the time, but those with 9-5 desk jobs who then come home only to sit some more…well, I have news for you, that is wrecking havoc on your hips. It weakens the glutes and shortens your hip flexors, and when those are weak/shortened, your lower back takes over as the PRIMARY mover. Hmmm…not good when your hips are designed to produce tons of power to help you move, lift things, etc.
So I’ve put together a series of pictures of hip mobility exercises to help you achieve a wider range of motion within that joint. Descriptions are below the pics:
I hope some of these exercises helps you on becoming more mobile in your hips. Add these into your normal routine (you can add some before exercise and some after exercise). There are definitely other exercises out there that you can do, so this is merely a starting point for some people. Before you start any of these though, make sure you are cleared to exercise and your doctor says it’s ok!