Tight and achy hips? All of us have been there. Your quality of life will significantly improve if you can increase hip mobility. All joints need to move freely, but the hips in particular. This is essential for your body's health and pain-free operation. The best part is that you just need to do it—not it's tough at all! In light of this, we will go over the essentials of hip mobility as well as the best techniques for incorporating hip mobility exercises into your daily routine.

What are Mobility Exercises?

Mobility is the capacity to move around freely, pain-free, and without constraints. Joint mobility is specifically the range of motion that an articulation (where two bones meet) is capable of before being constrained by the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that surround it. It is frequently referred to as the range of unrestricted motion around a joint.

A joint's mobility is crucial for enabling appropriate movement patterns, especially when it is laden with resistance. For joints to function effectively, they must be mobile enough to endure muscle demands. Joint stiffness causes the muscle's capacity to move the joint through its complete range of motion to decrease. Muscles are built to be effective when the joints move freely.

Stretching and mobility are often used interchangeably, making them difficult to distinguish. Stretching allows for extended ranges of motion to be attained passively, whereas mobility allows for vast ranges of motion to be attained dynamically. Hip mobility is not improved by stretching alone. Stretching and strengthening mobility exercises might help to increase the active range of motion.

The Importance of Hip Mobility

Simply said, mobility is a functional range of motion. Performance is maximized by having sufficient ranges of motion, strength across those ranges, and control within specific joints. Pain, stiffness, and any form of constraint can impede mobility and lead to reduced movement patterns. A productive lifestyle and improving sports performance through a broad range of motion depend on healthy hip mobility. Hip mobility issues can alter general movement patterns.

Those with restricted hip motion and weak hip muscles may begin to strain the muscles around them, including the lower back. If the underlying problem—compromised hip mobility—is not treated, this might result in repetitive loading and injuries.

Causes Of Poor Hip Mobility

Sedentary behavior is undoubtedly to blame for restricted joint mobility, especially in the hip joints. Long-term sitting causes the glute muscles to weaken and the hip flexor muscles to shorten. Moreover, the hips may feel tight if the hip stabilizers—glutes, adductors, hip external rotators, and hip flexors—are weak.

It is essential to focus on strengthening the joint as well as the surrounding muscles to increase the range of motion. The possibility of an excessive pelvic posture is another element that contributes to restricted hip mobility. The surrounding muscles that are linked to the pelvis, femur, and spine are positioned in either lengthened or shortened postures in an excessive pelvic tilt. Certain positions may prevent this muscle group from contracting and/or stretching to its full potential.

Hip Mobility Test

If you want to determine whether or not you have an acceptable range of motion in your hips, these two mobility tests are a wonderful place to start. There are more methods you may use to evaluate your hip functionality besides these two tests to determine your hip range of motion.

Hip Flexion Test

Laying on your back with your legs straight and close together is a good place to start. Keep your arms by your sides and your back straight. As far as your hips will allow, lift one leg towards you.

  • Optimal Range = Raised Leg 90 Angle with Hips

  • Pass Test = Raised Heel Beyond Bottom Knee

Hip External & Internal Rotation Test:

In a 90/90 position, sit tall. While shifting your weight to your heels and swapping sides in the 90/90 position, keep your spine neutral.

  • 90/90 Full Posture with Arms Up at Shoulder Level for Passing the Exam

Note: The following hip mobility exercises will help your movement patterns whether you pass or fail the hip mobility "tests" by maintaining and/or enhancing hip mobility.

Best Hip Mobility Exercises for Beginners

These days, tight hip flexors are very frequent due to the amount of time we spend sitting, which can make some of these exercises painful for many people.

I am aware of numerous individuals who believe they are "too tight" to even start stretching. And although though we've always advised making as many modifications as necessary or skipping exercises that seemed out of reach, we wanted to demonstrate a few different hip stretches for anyone who is experiencing extremely tight hips.

Lying Hip Rotations

To warm up and prepare for the rest of the series, this exercise serves as the first movement in the sequence.

Essential Points:

  • Knees bowed, lie on your back.

  • One ankle is crossed over the other knee.

  • Rotate the hip in and out to enter and exit the stretch.

  • Use your hand to help you press into the knee during the hold.

Modified Edition: When seated on a chair or bench, lift your legs onto a stool or chair (the higher the surface, the harder it will be), and externally rotate one leg at a time. Then, experiment with externally rotating from the position where one ankle is crossed over the other leg. The bottom leg might be completely bent or somewhat more straightened.

Leg Swings

Swinging your legs is a simple, effective, and soothing mobility exercise. Leg swings frequently work well as a wind-down stretch after a workout or conditioning session. These are easy to carry out, and you may do them while multitasking in other ways or watching television.

  1. Start by taking a straight stance with your hips square. Hold on to a chair, counter, railing, or another stable object with your left hand to maintain balance.

  2. While you carefully raise your left leg as high as you can, ideally parallel to the floor, cross your left leg over your right leg. Instead of kicking aggressively, this should be a fluid, smooth motion.

  3. Keep your leg up for a moment, then bring it down.

  4. Do at least ten repetitions. The process should then be repeated after switching sides.

Pigeon Stretch

Another traditional stretch that can help you improve not only your hip mobility but also your hamstring and spine flexibility is the pigeon stretch.

Essential Points:

  • Begin by bending your front knee at a 90-degree angle. You can position the back knee however you feel most comfortable.

  • Rotate your back hip first towards your front heel and then your back foot.

  • Just bear as much weight as you can easily bear while keeping your chest tall.

  • You can work on straightening the back leg into the complete pigeon stance if you are comfortable keeping the knee bent.

Modified Edition: While seated, bring one leg up onto a different chair with the knee bent in front of you, letting your back leg fall naturally to the side. Make the front leg as comfortable as you can by using as many supports as necessary. Leaning forward towards your front leg requires lifting your chest while pivoting at the hips.

Classic Hip Flexor Stretch

Any hip mobility routine would benefit greatly from including a traditional hip flexor stretch. Both joint flexibility and muscular strength can be improved with this stretch. As such, it can be far more impactful than simple flexibility stretches alone. Follow these steps to stretch your hip flexors:

  1. Start by bending your other leg at a 90-degree angle while kneeling on one leg.

  2. Maintain your kneeling leg in alignment with your hips and shoulder blades. Your second knee should continue to be in line with the front foot's ankle and heel.

  3. Put your hands on your front knee and press lightly. You'll work your core muscles as a result.

  4. Your hips and tailbone should be tucked under your torso.

  5. Squeeze your glutes and abdomen firmly throughout the exercise to safeguard your spine.

  6. Lean gently forward till your hips start to ache. For around two minutes, maintain this posture.

  7. Then, as your knee tries to advance, plant your back foot firmly on the ground. Hold for approximately 30 seconds.

  8. Remain in the first position for 30 more seconds while relaxing.

  9. Repeat the entire exercise on the opposite side of your body after switching legs.

Piriformis Stretch

This stretch specifically targets the piriformis, a tiny muscle deep in the buttocks (thus the name!). Sitting all day can cause this muscle to get rather tight.

Essential Points:

  • Cross your knee over your thigh by fully crossing your other leg over it.

  • Stretching the piriformis muscle, pull the crossed knee towards your opposite shoulder.

Modified Edition: Sit on a stool or chair with one leg crossed over the other, depending on how much or how little is comfortable for you. Pull your body towards the crossed knee by rotating your chest in that direction. You can just lift one leg onto a stool or chair and do the same motion if crossing one leg over the other is too challenging.

Hip CARs

Exercises called Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) gently rotate your hip joints across all of their ranges of motion. Any warm-up regimen would benefit greatly from including the Hip CARs exercise. To thoroughly warm up your hip joints and gauge how they are now feeling, you must perform this exercise. Follow these steps to carry out this internal hip rotation exercise:

  1. Stretch out both of your arms as you stand. Holding onto a rail, bar, or other support with one arm is recommended.

  2. Keep your body tight by contracting your core muscles.

  3. Keep your knee locked and press down with your inside leg.

  4. Your outside leg's knee should be bent, and you should elevate it as high as you can to your chest. Maintain your inside leg grounded and straight.

  5. Turn the outside leg away from your torso while maintaining the outside knee's flexion.

  6. You should also point your foot outward. Throughout this step, make sure that both of your hips are square.

  7. Your outside leg's foot should be turned so the heel faces the sky. Just twist your outside foot and leg as high as you can without shifting your hips, so be careful.

  8. The outside leg should be lowered until the bent knee is precisely beneath the hip.

  9. On the opposite side of your body, repeat the entire motion in reverse.

Repeat two to three times per side, at least three to five times each, for the greatest impact.

Squatting Internal Rotations

The moving butterfly is another dynamic exercise that I've included towards the end to promote blood flow and circulation after all the other stretches.

Holding the terminal position should be done briefly. Give yourself some time to work through the movement, then just keep moving.

Essential Points:

  • Begin in a seated deep squat position (as deep as you can go).

  • Rotate one knee inward, down towards the ground.

  • If you are unable to stoop down into a comfortable position, you can perform this stretch while sitting on a tiny stool.

Modified Edition: For this exercise, you will support yourself as you lower into a squat by using a chair (or other sturdy objects that are the appropriate height for you). Then, while holding on for stability, perform the internal rotations. You can then modify your depth and range of motion as much as necessary.

Butterfly Hip Stretch

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

Essential Points:

  • 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.

Modified Edition: Lift your legs off the floor while seated in a chair. Place your feet together and spread your knees apart. The secret is to maintain your chest up, bend forward, and drag your knees down as you enter and exit the stretch.

Traveling Butterfly Stretch

This motion transitions from the long-sitting position, which is where your legs are straight in front of you, to the butterfly stretch.

You won't stay in any of these positions for longer than a few seconds because this is supposed to be a dynamic action. After the stretching you completed in the previous five motions, this is a terrific method to increase circulation and get the hips moving.

Essential Points:

  • Put your feet straight ahead of you while sitting on your butt (long sitting).

  • To achieve the butterfly position, use your hands to push your hips toward your heels.

  • Alternate between the butterfly and lengthy sitting postures.

Modified Edition: Performing this exercise while sitting on a chair or another elevated surface can be a little challenging.

Frog Hip Stretch

At this workout stage, we are prepared to add a little more weight-bearing and a bit more intense hip stretching.

Once more, go slowly and comfortably. Don't push yourself to reach a certain range of motion. Knees are squeezed together as you rock backward and then released as you rock forward as you enter and exit a stretch. You can sit back and unwind into the stretch for up to a minute after a few repetitions.

Essential Points:

  • Start by bending your knees as far apart as you can comfortably while on your hands and knees.

  • Lie there and rock back and forth.

  • Keep your toes pointed outward and your feet flat on the ground.

Modified Edition: The modified version is similar to the butterfly stretch; it begins with you seated in a chair with your feet up and your knees spread wide. But this time, your feet won't be in contact, and you'll concentrate on bending backward to widen your groins as far as you can.

Kneeling Lunge Stretch

The way this workout can affect your hips is a little misleading.

The optimal front foot placement, which occurs when your shin is upright when you lean forward instead of being inclined down or back, may require some trial and error. The correct position is one where your hips are square, and your upper body is tall. To maximize the stretch to release your hip flexors, don't be scared to change the position of your back legs.

Essential Points:

  • Lunge forward with the foot and knee of the lifted leg hip-width apart.

  • Maintain a lofty chest and square hips.

  • You can lift the rear knee off the floor to make the stretch more challenging.

Modified Edition: The modified version is to sit with your back to the chair and your other leg bent. Keep the knee lifted off the ground if you can, and attempt to square up your hips as much as you can. Squeezing your posterior glute will emphasize opening your hip flexor.

Bear Sit

Both a vigorous and passive stretch, the bear sits. The hip adductor muscles, which are located inside your legs, might become stronger when you perform the bear stretch regularly.

  1. Start with the passive stretch first. Put your feet out in front of your body while sitting on the ground.

  2. Maintain a straight line from knee to heel while turning your feet and knees outward.

  3. Pulling your knees apart while grabbing hold of each ankle, extend your arm outward.

  4. Hold the position for about a minute while letting your lower back gently flatten. Inhale gently and deliberately while holding.

  5. Release your hold on your ankles and extend your arms straight in front of you to enter the active stretch. Keeping your shoulders flat, make fists with your hands.

  6. Hold this position for around 15 seconds while breathing deeply and using your core muscles.

  7. Put your hands back on your ankles and take a minute or so to relax in the passive pose.

  8. Add a few more reps to the active stretch.

How to Increase Hip Mobility with These Exercises

Regardless of your practice level or whether you're using the standard or modified program, you undoubtedly want to get the most out of this exercise. Although there are no absolute laws, the following suggestions may be of assistance.

How Many Reps/Sets

You don't need to perform a lot of repetitions and sets of these exercises when performing hip stretches; doing fewer repetitions will allow you to practice more frequently.

We suggest the following when you first start:

  • 5-10 contractions per side

  • 10-30 second hold for each side

  • Repeat

That should take no more than ten minutes.

Do extra repetitions if you have more time or if you're feeling particularly tight on a certain day, but don't go beyond 20 minutes with this exercise unless you're doing a dedicated stretching session.

How Often?

If you can, every day! You don't need to be concerned about overdoing this exercise because it is soft enough (particularly if you stick to a low rep range). Also, even if you're at work or engaged in other activities, the modified version of the exercise gives you good options for practicing in any chair.

Principles in general for training frequency: Use the chair variants at work for short, frequent sessions.

When Should You Stretch?

This exercise program can be practiced at any time and is a fantastic warm-up or cool-down for your other training. Some people like to perform this routine right after waking up to clear their heads and right before bed to stretch out. You can perform this exercise whenever it's most convenient for you.

The ideal moments to practice hip mobility are:

  • early in the day to start your day off.

  • as a part of your usual workout, you may fit it in before or after, as long as it feels right.

Medical Conditions

Even those with hip impingements have benefited from these hip mobility exercises. Yet, there are various degrees of every ailment, so if you're unsure, it's advisable to consult a doctor or physical therapist.

In general, you should be able to gently investigate these if you're healthy enough to move around without experiencing pain. It entails moving slowly and avoiding discomfort.

What If I Feel Discomfort or Pain?

You can skip a movement if it doesn't seem right and concentrate on the others instead.

You can try again after performing the ones that feel more comfortable for a week or two. Frequently, you'll notice that you've relaxed a little and can eventually do all the exercises.

11 abril 2023 — LUXELADYFIT LLC
Etiquetas: exercises

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