The Need For Hip Mobility In An Ever Stiff World
Being able to move our bodies’ efficiently is essential to live a long, prosperous life. At the core of our basic motions, the pelvic area grounds and centers us. Of course, hip mobility is needed to simply keep moving, but it also can be improved to become stronger and relieve joint pain as well.
See how your daily life or athleticism can benefit from a wider range of hip motion and put aches and pains to ease.
So…. Why Is Hip Mobility So Important?
Before diving into specific stretches, movements, and exercises, understanding why we concern ourselves with hip mobility is crucial.
Foremost, keeping our joints healthy only happens through consistent joint mobility effort. In other words, moving your hip joints through their full range of motion will sustain and prolong their durability.
Hips are comprised of ball and socket joints, which are arguably the most versatile joints in the human body.
The last thing you want to do is take them for granted because once you lose them, there really is not anything stopping from nature keeping you stationary for the rest of your life.
If you ignore your joint mobility, specifically hip mobility, your days of being fit and agile will be greatly numbered.
In order to walk, run, jump, lift weights, or any activity, you need to have a certain level of joint aptitude. And if it is not improving, even in the slightest, it is certainly on a decline that will slowly, surely, and unpleasantly surprise you one day.
Hip Mobility & Strength Training: The Connection
Time and time again, general joint mobility is an afterthought when it comes to powerlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic lifting, strongman, and weightlifting sports.
Unfortunately, once injuries arise, then the idea of taking care of joints is given more notice. However, it is does not have to be this way.
Maintaining the health of your hip joints up to par with the rest of your goals allows muscles to develop to their full potential.
Squatting and deadlifting forms become fluid, natural, and more at ease with a deeper sense of hip mobility. In addition, speed and overall power output increases substantially through well-developed hip joints.
We have always had great joint mobility since we were young children, so this is nothing new – we just realize again what we may have forgotten.
Consider implementing hip mobility into your weekly workouts to provide a well-rounded and ultimately stronger approach to being active.
As an example, try to go for a greater range of motion than you have before during your squats – feel the stretch in and out, but do not hurt yourself. You will see every time it will become easier and easier to perform in your new range of motion, thus making you stronger overall.
Joint Pain Relief At Last!
Nonstop or reoccurring pain from the hips is a daily reality for many. There are a variety of reasons and situations that cause chronic or temporary discomfort in the hip joints or pelvic area.
Yet, merely staying active in a safe manner can help alleviate much of the pain generated from this lower region of the body.
Sometimes cooling down inflammation with ice or relaxing your joints with soothing heat are great ways to take away pain for a few hours.
In the long run, consistent movement in the morning will be more beneficial than solely relying on passive remedies such as heat and ice.
Take note, relying only on one avenue such as warm bathes may not be enough to provide permanent relief – focus on low impact workouts in tandem with warmth and ice.
If you are suffering from arthritis or bursitis, consider swimming in a pool to remove high-impact activities from your workout routine.
Exercises and Stretches to Gain More Hip Mobility
Feel free to put the following exercise and stretch examples to the test to get your hips moving in the right direction.
Even if you have the tightest of hips, you can still sit down with your feet’s soles touching to perform this exercise.
Sit down with an erect spine as if you are going to perform a butterfly stretch, then gently and minimally move your legs up and down a few inches to start.
Once you feel more warmed up and comfortable, you can increase the speed or depth. Just slightly go faster or deeper in order to prevent an overstretch of the ligament and tendon.
Take it a step further by anchoring your arms behind your back on the ground and opening your chest up so your pelvic region follows suite. This will greatly influence the hips opening up more and more if your body is ready for it.
Commonly known as a traditional yoga pose, the Cat-Cow is a great warmup not only your spine but for the hips too. You should be mindful and at ease, but it should not be strenuous.
Start with your hands, knees, and feet on the floor or mat – similar to how any four-legged animal is. Your back starts off as neutral, which is straight and parallel to the ground beneath.
On the inhale, arch your back so your belly falls. Raise your glutes vertically while keeping your head up. You will feel your hips opening up at this point.
As you exhale, round your back, push the ribcage up, and tuck your head down trying to look at your navel (belly button). Well known as the cat position for how cats round their spines.
Keep repeating this at least ten times or until your body lets you know it is enough.
When you start this movement, it is normal to not feel flexible enough for this stretch.
The frog stretch is a staple of understanding how mobile your hips are. You will become more and more movable when you consistently work at it, so do not become discouraged if you feel stiff right off the bat.
Start in the neutral, four-legged animal position in the floor. Then, very slowly, drop your pelvis down below by spreading your knees outwards to the left and right of your body.
Hold both of your arms straight, fingers facing forward on the ground to support yourself. Arch your back slightly to help gently push your hips closer to the ground.
You may find you may not be able to move much more than an inch once you spread your knees out. That is a good place to start because you can expect your hip mobility to increase a great deal the more you revisit the frog stretch.
Conclusion…. Or Just The Beginning?
Hip mobility is a journey more than it is a destination. Trust me I have been doing it for years. But looking back at all of it, I could have really saved myself some time and gotten quicker results if I had the right person teaching me.
Don’t make the same mistake I made and try to be superman!
The information here in this article is only scratching the surface.
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