10 Hip Mobility Exercises to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Pain 

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10 Hip Mobility Exercises to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Pain 

Maintaining optimal mobility and flexibility is crucial for overall physical health and well-being. One area of the body that often goes unnoticed but plays a significant role in our daily movements is the hips. The hip joints provide stability, support, and range of motion for numerous activities, such as walking, running, squatting, and even sitting. Incorporating hip mobility exercises into your fitness routine is essential for preventing injuries, improving athletic performance, and enhancing the overall quality of life.

Benefits of Hip Mobility Exercises

Preventing Injuries

Good hip mobility can help prevent various injuries, particularly those related to the lower back, knees, and hips. The body compensates when the hip joints lack mobility by placing additional stress on neighbouring joints and muscles. This compensation can lead to issues such as lower back pain and more.

Regular hip mobility exercises help to maintain the natural range of motion in the hips. This helps in reducing the risk of these compensatory movements. By keeping the joints mobile, you improve the body’s ability to absorb impact, maintain proper alignment, and distribute forces evenly throughout the lower extremities. This decreased stress on other areas of the body minimises the likelihood of overuse injuries and chronic pain.

Enhancing Athletic Performance

Mobility exercises for hips are particularly beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Whether you’re a professional athlete or enjoy an active lifestyle, having flexible hips can significantly enhance your performance.

During physical activities that require explosive movements or quick changes in direction, such as sprinting, jumping, or agility drills, the hips play a crucial role in generating power and maintaining balance. Improved hip mobility enables a greater range of motion, allowing athletes to generate more force, increase stride length, and achieve better body control.

Improving Daily Functionality

Hip mobility exercises are beneficial not only for athletes but also for individuals seeking to improve their everyday functionality and overall quality of life. Simple tasks like bending down, picking up objects, or sitting for extended periods can become increasingly challenging as hip mobility declines.

Incorporating hip mobility exercises into your routine can counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting and sedentary lifestyles. Maintaining proper hip mobility also promotes good posture, reduces back pain, and enhances balance and stability. This is particularly important as we age since decreased hip mobility is a common contributor to falls and related injuries in older adults.

Best Exercises to Improve Hip Mobility to Increase Flexibility and Reduce Pain

Hip Circles

Hip circles are a fundamental exercise that can enhance your hips’ flexibility and range of motion. 

How to Perform:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Smoothly rotating your hips in a circular motion. 

By performing hip circles regularly, you can increase blood flow to the hip joints and improve the mobility of the hip flexors and rotator muscles.

Lying Hip Rotations

This exercise helps you to prepare for your workout routine. 

How to Perform:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Cross one ankle over the other knee.
  • Rotate the hip in and out to enter and exit the stretch.
  • Use your hand to help you push into the knee during the hold.

90/90 Hip Opener

This exercise concentrates on the external rotators and lateral glutes. These muscles can be strengthened to increase hip stability and enhance squat technique and depth.

How to Perform:

  • Begin in the 90/90 base position.
  • To prevent it from rising during the exercise, press your front knee down.
  • Put yourself up onto the rear foot’s big toe.
  • Extend the trail knee and turn the heel.
  • Drive with the heel down and as much space as you can between the knees.
  • Squeeze for a brief period of time before going back to 90/90 base.

You can perform 5 repetitions on each side for 2 to 3 sets.

Butterfly Hip Stretch

This traditional stretch is excellent for groin muscles and for enhancing side hip rotation. As you do the stretch, pay particular attention to your back and maintain it straight and upright.

How to Perform: 

  • Move the knees towards the floor as you sit up with your feet together.
  • Move your groin towards your heels by pressing into the ground with your palm.

Hip CARS

Exercises called hip CARs rotate your hip joint through its entire range of motion. It helps to increase the range of motion, enhance hip functionality, and maintain the joint’s general health and structural integrity.

How to Perform:

  • Hold a railing or other support while standing, extend your arm in front of you. The opposite arm should similarly reach out.
  • To keep your body stiff, brace your abs and keep your muscles tensed.
  • Keep the knee locked and firmly press the inner leg down (through the heel).
  • Raise the knee to the outer leg in front of your chest as high as possible.
  • While ensuring the hips stay straight, open the knee out to the side and move the foot outward.
  • Turn your foot’s sole upward towards the wall behind you and go as high as you can.
  • Keeping the back knee at a 90-degree angle, lower it until it rests precisely behind your hip.
  • Perform the exercise in reverse motion. 
  • Put the knee to the side, then raise it high in front of your chest.

Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants are a great exercise for strengthening the hip abductors and improving mobility. 

How to Perform:

  • Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your knees under your hips. 
  • Lift one knee out to the side, maintaining a 90-degree angle. 
  • Lower the knee back down and repeat on the other side.

Perform 10-15 repetitions on each leg to enhance hip mobility and stability.

Pigeon Stretch

This exercise can help you improve your hip mobility, hamstring, and spine flexibility.

How to Perform:

  • Begin by bending your front knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • You can position the back knee as you feel most comfortable.
  • Rotate your back hip first towards your front heel and then your back foot.
  • Only carry as much weight as you can easily bear while keeping your chest tall.
  • Make sure to use a wrist wrap for support and stability if you want to carry heavy weights.
  • You can work on straightening the rear leg into the complete pigeon stance if you are comfortable keeping the knee bent.

Cossack Squat

This exercise stresses and works the adductors. Additionally, the exercise helps increase ankle mobility.

How to Perform:

  • Stand with your feet apart.
  • Keep the knees tracking over the toes and the heel down.
  • The side-stepping leg serves as a balancing aid while your groin stretches.
  • If you are unable to maintain the heel down while going deep, use a doorway as a counterbalance by holding on.
  • Continue in a low squat while switching to the other side.
  • Then repeat with the other leg.

Complete 10 cossack squats, holding each for 3 seconds.

Spiderman Lunge

The Spiderman lunge exercise is effective for targeting hip mobility while engaging the core and upper body. 

How to Perform:

  • First, start in a push-up position and bring one foot forward.
  • Place it outside the same-side hand. 
  • Lower your hips toward the ground while keeping the back leg straight. 
  • Push the front knee outward to feel a stretch in the hip flexor and groin area. 
  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Deep Ring Squat Stretch

This exercise educates your brain on how to enter into the deep squat and makes your body more flexible by engaging your hips and legs.

How to Perform:

  • Lower yourself into a deep squat while clutching rings.
  • Make sure your heels remain on the ground.
  • Lower the hip crease to the knee.
  • While stretching, forcefully expel each breath to completely clear your lungs.
  • Exhalations will help you contract your abs and tilt your hips backwards.
  • Hold for 15 full breaths.

Conclusion

Hip mobility exercises are vital in maintaining overall movement quality and reducing the risk of injuries. By incorporating these exercises for hip mobility into your fitness routine, you can improve flexibility, increase your range of motion, and enhance your overall mobility. Remember to perform these exercises in a controlled manner and gradually increase the intensity to avoid strain or injury. Use a high quality weightlifting belt to get through more exercise with less pain. Prioritise hip mobility and you’ll experience improved performance and functional movement in various aspects of your life.

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