I have had many people in the last few weeks ask about improving or increasing hip mobility so I am presenting some examples of exercises that can be used to promote hip range of motion and mobility. Information shared here is not meant to serve as medical advice. Ideally the exercises below should be performed after some form of cardiovascular activity in order to increase blood flow, increase tissue temperature, and promote elasticity. The exercises are presented here as part of a post-workout session cool-down and recovery. You should speak with your health care provider (HCP) before performing an exercise plan. If you have a history of injury or experience any pain during any of the exercises you should refrain from performing them until speaking with your HCP.
Perform 20-30 squats with your feet approximately hip width or slightly wider. Toes should be rotated slightly outward, not pointing directly forward. Looking straight out, keeping your chest upright with a flat back, drop your hips down attempting to get them slightly past parallel with flat feet. If your range of motion will not allow you to keep flat feet, only work the range of motion that will allow you to keep your feet flat and your weight evenly distributed.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel down on right knee. With chest upright, roll/tilt pelvis under and shift body weight forward slightly to produce a stretch over the front of the right hip. Hold position for 1-2 minutes. Do not hold your breath or bounce during the stretch. Switch and perform on left side.
Modified Mountain Climber
Start in a plank position. Keeping your butt down, take your left foot and place it flat on the floor to the left of your left hand and hold for 1-2 seconds. Now switch your feet so that your right foot is flat on the floor next to your right hand. Do 10 on each side.
Position yourself so that when you are lying flat you can place your feet flat against the wall. Use your elbows to apply pressure to open up your knees. Try to progress where you are sitting by moving closer and closer to the wall. Hold 1-2 minutes progressing the stretch with more pressure from your elbows if possible.
Figure 4 Cross Over with Trigger Point
Sit down and cross one leg over the other in a “figure 4” position. You can then place a foam roller or ball beneath you to not only stretch but also provide some trigger point massage over your glutes while stretching. Perform 1-2 minutes each side.
Lying on your back, bend your knees bringing your heels about 18 inches from your butt. Put your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Now turn your left knee in and drop it as close to the floor as possible. To add to the stretch you can place your right foot on your left knee to increase the stretch. Hold for 1 minute. Switch and perform on the right.
Laying your stomach, push your torso into an upright position while bringing your left leg up beneath you. If you have a history of knee injury – you may want to refrain from this exercise or at least make sure not to place too much torque on your knee. Try to sit upright for 1 minute at your stretch your hip. Switch and perform on the right.
Thoracic Spine Extension
Although this is not specific to your hip, having a tight thoracic area can affect your hip mobility. Laying over a foam roller, roll it up and down your thoracic spine stopping every 1-2 inches to reach slightly back. If you have a history of back issues or injury, check with your HCP before doing this exercise.
Using a pvc pipe or broomstick, take a very wide grip. Attempt to pass the pipe all the way over your head, around to your back and finish at your butt. Maintain straight arms throughout. Now return the pipe back overhead to the starting position. If you have any history of shoulder injury or instability – do not perform this exercise.
*Prior to performing any exercise plan you should check with a physician or health care provider first.