Mobility: The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.
Having good hip mobility means to have usable ranges of motion through the joint, strength through the range and control of the joint. The hip girdle is a complex area with over 15 muscles, each working together to give the hip joint mobility. Mobility of the hips is important as our hips provide a stable base for the spine to keep us upright, whilst allowing enough movement of our lower limbs to move around the spine. Poor hip mobility can impede movement, create poor posture, and limit muscles which can lead to injury. This can be recognised through stiffness, restrictions, or pain.
Spending so much time sitting in our everyday lives, whether it be in the office or car, at home or during meals, can contribute to a lack of hip mobility due to tight hip muscles, most commonly the hip flexors. Simple stretches such as the ‘pigeon’ or ‘butterfly’ are a great way to release tension that builds up from sitting so much.
Taking the time to add in a few hip mobility exercises is quick, simple and easy. Give these exercises & stretches a go…
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, with knees bent.
- Engage your glutes and lift hips off the floor driving them up towards the ceiling.
- Pause at the top, making sure your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Squeeze your glutes, hold for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back down slowly to the starting position.
Side lying leg raise
- Lay on your side with your bottom knee bent and your top leg straight.
- Raise your ankle up towards the ceiling, slowly raising your leg to the top and then return to the start position.
- Lie on your side and bend your knees so that your thighs are at 90 degrees to your body.
- Clamp your feet together and slowly rotate your leg in the hip socket so that the top knee opens.
- Open the knee only as far as you can go without compromising the alignment of your hips.
- Slowly bring your knee back to the start position.
- On all fours with a neutral spine take one leg back and upwards keeping a 90 degree angle.
- Make sure your foot faces the ceiling with hip and knee aligned, while parallel to the floor.
- Bring the leg back to the original position.
- Start with feet wider than shoulder width apart with toes angled out at 45 degrees.
- Bend forward at the waist and squat so knees are bent and thighs are parallel with the floor.
- Place elbows between knees; press palms together. Drop hips to the ground, keeping chest lifted.
- From all fours, sit down onto one of your hips and bring your leg forwards with your knee pointing directly in front of you.
- Slide your other leg back and point your toes, your heel should point towards the ceiling.
- Walk your hands forward and lower your upper body towards the floor. Rest your forearms on the mat.
- To release, push back through the hands, lift your hips and move your leg back onto all fours.
- Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together.
- Hold your feet or ankles with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees.
- Keep your back straight and allow your knees to fall towards the ground. You can apply a bit of pressure on the inner thigh by pressing gently on the knees with the elbows.
For any further help or if you have been suffering long term with your hips then speak to one of the team!