Why Is Hip Mobility So Important?
Many people suffer from tight hips especially if they sit at a desk all day or watch a lot of tv. Hip tightness can cause the hip joint to become less mobile, which puts the joint at risk for injury. Hip mobility is one of the most important things for people and their hip joint functionality.
The hip joint itself is considered a mobile joint, which means it should be able to move smoothly. If you’re experience issues with your hip mobility it can affect the joint above and below it and cause low back pain, knee and ankle pain.
So hip mobility is something that is very important and something everyone should want to improve.
We have exercises to help restore your hip mobility for squats, seniors, and even athletes! Let’s dive into how to test your hip mobility with the Thomas Test.
How To Test Your Mobility – The Hip Mobility Test
There are several ways to tell whether or not your hip mobility is a problem. The Thomas Test is one of the best ways to test hip mobility, and it’s really easy too.
To properly perform the Thomas Test you want to be on lying on your back , and you hips and knees flexed.
You will hold your kneed bent or flexed towards your chest. From there slowly lower your extended leg as it can. This will show how mobile you hip is.
You can tell how well your hip moves based on this test. For example, if your knee stays extended typically that means shortened quads.
So looking at both knees and hips to see how you are extending and flexing will help give you an idea of mobile your hips are.
So let’s move on now to how to restore your hip mobility if you see a lack of mobility.
Five Exercises To Restore Your Hip Mobility
So now that you know you have bad hip mobility what do you do next?
Well we have focused on five exercises that will restore your hip mobility back to normal. And don’t worry these exercises can be modified or progressed based on how much hip mobility you lack, or have.
So yes, seniors, and even athletes can all use these exercises to help improve hip mobility.
1. Lying Hip Rotations
For these you will start by lying on your back with both of your knees bent, and you will cross one ankle over your opposite knee. Then you will rotate hip in and out, if you want to hold the stretch you can by using your hand to assist by pressing into the knee.
And that is the last exercise. It seems pretty simple but it is really effective in opening up the joint and creating mobility while still stretching it. It is great as a warm up to warm up your joint without just jumping into it.
Be careful if you feel any tightness around or in your knee during this exercise. If you feel any uncomfortableness try moving that leg that is moving up higher onto your shin.
2. Leg Swings
These are super simple and effective. So you can start by standing on one leg, you can hold onto a foam roller or something for support and balance.
You will slowly start tot swing your leg back and forth and side to side across your body. Try to engage your core during this making sure not to arch your back in any way.
This exercise helps with mobility and slowly warms up the joint to get it more mobile by moving your leg and hip socket back and forth.
The great thing about the hip is that it’s meant to be very mobile so it should be able to move front and back, and even side to side.
3. Goblet Squat Hold
The goblet squat hold is a great isometric exercise for hip mobility. The hold at the bottom of the goblet squat will really help with hip flexibility.
To start this exercise you can use a kettle bell or a dumbbell and it should be medium-heavy weight for you. Next you will hold the weight with both arms and slowly lower into the bottom of a squat with your elbows inside your knees resting on the inside of your knee.
From there you will slightly push your knees outward with your elbows, which will help you stretch your adductors which are vital to hip mobility.
Make sure during this exercise to really focus on breathing, and try even holding for 8-14 breathes depending on your level of comfort.
4. Posterior Self Hip Mobilization
If you ever feel tightness especially during hip flexion and external rotation this exercise will help dramatically change your hip mobility, which will help with movement.
For this you will be in a plank position with one knee bent and on the floor with a dorsiflexed foot.
You want to make sure yo keep your femur vertical with you knee, and make sure to apply pressure through the femur into the back of your hip.
Try to shift your weight forward and backward. You can even add a band around your bent knee on your hip to increase the stretch.
This will help you a lot with hip mobility especially for squats. If you have trouble squatting because of hip mobility this will help with any impingement.
5. Quadruped Hip Rotation Exercise
For this position you will start in a quadruped position or on your hands and knees with a neutral spine.
From here supporting your spine and pelvis you will bend on knee and slowly rotate from your hip away from your body and then switching it out and rotating towards your body.
Your leg should be bent like in a donkey kick.
You will really feel this exercise inside you hip joint, as you slowly rotate your hip you should feel your hip rotate along with your leg and knee.
And this is great for working on external and internal rotation of the hip.
How Often Should I Perform These For The Best Results?
So now you’re probably wondering how often should you be doing these exercises and what kind of workouts can you do?
Well don’t fret there are so many options for hip mobility. So yes you still can workout, and we honestly recommend you don’t stop working out.
You want to continue moving to make sure you don’t lose your hip mobility or revert back to where you started.
You should try to be active 5-6 days per week, including your hip mobility exercises. The more you work on hip mobility on a daily basis the more they will start to get more mobile.
The first week you can start by doing just 5 minutes of hip mobility and continuously keep adding more and more time, until you can do about 15 minutes of just hip mobility during your warm up.
Athletes, seniors, and just about anyone active or not should be working on hip mobility on a daily basis.
If you are planning on doing anything lower body, such as, lunges, squats, and even deadlifts starting with hip mobility will open up the hips and get them prepared for such exercises!
Even adding yoga into your workouts will really help increase your hip flexibility as yoga really opens up the hips in pigeon and other varicose exercises.
So overall hip mobility is vital to overall performance and daily movement for everyone especially for seniors and athletes.
Sitting at a desk all day or even watching tv all day can cause your hips to tighten up dramatically.
So don’t forget to add leg swings, squat holds, and hip rotations to your workout.
Try just adding 5-8 minutes of hip mobility exercises before any workout and see how you feel.
Your hips will thank you. And you will definitely notice a huge difference even after a week of practicing your hip mobility work.
**If you liked this article, be sure to check out my other hip mobility article HERE!