Quick and Easy Hip Mobility Workout
Hip mobility exercises are a great way to improve your stability and flexibility while also helping to reduce pain and build strength in your hips, legs, and back.
Improving hip mobility can help you to have less pain when walking, sitting, sleeping, etc., and can keep you moving and doing the things you love for longer. These simple exercises can be done at home or at the gym to start improving your flexibility, building your hip strength, and protecting your mobility so you can stay in the game.
A key part of any mobility workout is stretching. While you should always do a full-body stretch as part of your warm-up routine, we’ve put together 4 hip-specific stretches to spend additional time in outside of your regular warm-up stretching.
These stretches can be incorporated with your hip mobility exercises as an extended aspect of your warmup and cool down or in-between exercises as a way to keep your hip muscles loose as you work on building strength and increasing your hip flexibility to take advantage of a full range of motion.
Figure 4 Stretch
The figure 4 stretch is a position commonly used in yoga practices to target the outside of your hip as well as your glutes.
You can do this stretch standing, but it’s best to start on your back and build some flexibility in the hip before bringing in the added challenge of balancing on one foot.
The butterfly stretch is a great hip release stretch that you can do first thing in the morning and right before bed as well as in your mobility workout to help keep your hips fluid and pain-free.
The frog stretch is an excellent way of stretching your inner thighs and groin muscles as well as your lower back and even your shoulders.
This stretch is a bit more intense than others as the force of your body weight will naturally push you deeper into the stretch, so be conscious of what your body is capable of and listen to your limits. Don’t be afraid to make alterations and accommodations by using yoga blocks, pillows, towels, or whatever else you need to help you be more comfortable in your frog stretch.
One of the best parts about the pigeon stretch is that it offers a deep hip flexor stretch with a number of variations available based on your ability and to target specific sections of the hips.
For the purposes of this workout, we’ll stick with the standard half pigeon. You can enter into your pigeon stretch from a seated position, but if you’ve done a fair amount of yoga in the past, you may feel more comfortable entering into your pigeon stretch from a downward dog position.
Hip Strengthening Exercises
Now that you’ve loosened up your hip muscles with a good round of stretches, it’s time to start building up your hip strength. These exercises target the muscles responsible for motions that involve hip flexions, hip rotations, and leg extensions.
Controlled Articular Rotations are specialized movements that target the full range of motion of a joint and the muscles and tendons that facilitate that movement. Not only do they help improve your hip mobility but your stability and balance as well.
CARs should always be done slowly with form and fluidity of motion at the forefront of your focus. For hip CARs, you will want to hold onto something for stability, a chair, countertop, or even just a wall, though you will also want enough room to perform the full range of motion so a post or a convex corner will work best.
Single-leg deadlifts help to build strength throughout the whole leg as well as your back and core, helping to improve balance and stability as well as mobility.
You can use whatever type of weight you prefer for this exercise including dumbbells, kettlebells, and plates. The important thing is that you can easily grip the weight with one hand and maintain balance on one foot through the motion of the deadlift.
Cossack squats are a fun and challenging variation of traditional squats that adds a larger range of hip motions with the extension of one leg and the switching of the position at the bottom of the squat when your muscles are under the most tension.
You can do Cossack squats while holding a weight, but to start, it’s best to have your hands free in case you need to catch yourself. On that note, it’s also important to make sure that you are doing these in a space where you are not going to accidentally run into anything should you lose your balance and fall over.
Leg swings are an excellent way to close out your mobility workout and gauge your improvement from one workout to the next.
This is another exercise where you will want to hold onto something for support and stability. You might want to do your leg swings next to a wall where you can measure and track how high you can raise your leg.
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