Like a lot of things, hip mobility is use it or lose it, especially since most of us aren’t consciously doing hip mobility exercises.
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting or do workouts that are fairly linear (e.g. cycling, weight training that focuses more on the weight and less on the range or jogging) then you probably have some restriction in your hips, since they’re being used in limited planes of motion and our nervous system will usually only maintain control + strength in ranges that we frequently use.
This alone isn’t a crisis, but overtime a lack of hip mobility can contribute to compensatory movement patterns leading to less than ideal posture and hip, knee or low back pain. It’s also a common culprit of glute weakness and hip flexor pain.
The good news is that even if you have tight hips, gentle hip mobility exercises can help you regain flexibility, improve overall function in daily life AND fitness performance – particularly if you run, lift or cycle…and if squats are your nemesis, these are great squat helpers!
Try these exercises before your next workout, hike or run and see if you enjoy some newfound freedom and ease in the hips.
3 hip mobility exercises for tight hips
- Start with knees bent and the balls of the feet on the roller.
- Keeping the core gently engaged and the hip bones still slowly open the knees.
- Keeping the legs turned out, straighten your knees.
- Roll the legs parallel and bend the knees pulling the roller towards you.
- Perform 8 reps and then reverse directions.
Hand Knee Rocking
- Start on hands and knees with spine long.
- Keeping your spine neutral (or a small low back curve) side your hips back.
- Stop just before your tail tucks under/your back rounds.
- Return to start position. Perform 8 times.
- Come onto hands and knees with spine long.
- Lift your right foot off the ground.
- Swing your right foot to the right as you look over your right shoulder.
- Swing your right foot left as you look over your left shoulder.
- Perform 8 times and then repeat on left leg.