by Linh Nguyen, PTA, CPT, Senior Fitness Specialist
Hip mobility is crucial to be able to perform various exercises, but before we dive into the nuts and bolt, let’s take a moment to understand what mobility means.
Mobility requires strength, coordination, and balance to execute the movement, but it is not the same as flexibility. Flexibility is the full range of motion (ROM) in a joint and the length of the muscle that crosses the joint with the use of assistance.
Mobility is being able to move freely within a joint with no restrictions from surrounding tissues, tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which means you can control the motion throughout the entire ROM without assistance or compensation of other muscles.
What are the possible issues with decreased hip mobility?
- Lower back pain/problems
- Knee pain/problems
- Neck pain/problems
- Asymmetrical gait/movement patterns
- Poor posture
- Unbalance muscle tightness and strength
- Movement restrictions at the hip, a.k.a. decreased ROM
What are the benefits of hip mobility?
The benefits of having functional hip mobility can increase your potential strength, power, and athleticism.
Walking and running patterns improve, climbing stairs become second nature, getting in/out of your car is more convenient, getting on/off the floor becomes effortless, and problems with your low back and knees decrease.
Ultimately, by ameliorating your hip mobility, you can have a healthier and symmetrical looking movement pattern!
World’s Greatest Stretch
To improve your hip mobility, we recommend performing the World’s Greatest Stretch.
Step 1: Grab your right ankle and try to bring it towards your butt while maintaining a neutral pelvis. Your torso should be perpendicular to the ground. You should feel and quad stretch.
Step 2: Let go of your right ankle and now grab your right knee and hug it towards your chest. You should feel your glute stretch.
Step 3: Let go of your right leg and take a step forward with your right leg and lower your body into a deep lunge.
Step 4: Place your left hand down, lining it up with your right foot, and bring your right elbow to you right inside ankle while trying to maintain a neutral pelvis and flat back. You should feel a groin and glute stretch.
Step 5: Next, rotate your right hand out towards the sky by rotating your thoracic spine with your left hand in line with your right, almost perpendicular to the ground.
Step 6: Come back forward with both hands to the ground and rock back to straighten the right leg, where you’ll feel a hamstring stretch. Stand back up and repeat on the other side.
Perform this particular exercise first thing in the morning, before and/or after your workouts or when you’re watching your favorite show. Make sure to maintain a neutral posture the entire way the best you can. To find other hip stretches, follow along with our video here.