Fitness
10 Minute Hip Mobility Lower Body Warm-up Routine

10 Minute Hip Mobility Lower Body Warm-up Routine

10 Minute Hip Mobility Lower Body Warm-up Routine

What is Hip Mobility?

Mobility is the ability to move freely and easily. The hip girdle contains 15+ muscles, all working together to allow proper movement of the hip joint. Hip mobility is simply the ability of the hip joint to achieve full range of motion during dynamic movements.

hip girdle muscles can become tight and decrease hip mobility
Hip Musculature

The Importance of Hip Mobility

Hip flexibility and mobility not only enhances athletic performance, but it can also help prevent lower back pain and injury in, and out of, the gym. Sufficient flexibility and mobility of the hips allows for more powerful and efficient movement. Whether running, jumping, swimming, or weightlifting, hip mobility directly affects athletic performance. Sufficient mobility allows for heavier lifts and, more importantly, proper lifting form.

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Causes of Decreased Hip Mobility

Sitting for long periods of time day in and day out (working a desk job, driving a car, having an overall sedentary lifestyle, etc) can cause tight hips.  Over time, the hip musculature progressively shortens and weakens due to its perpetually relaxed, deactivated state. As a result, tight muscles in the hips decrease the joint’s ability to experience its full range of motion.

When a joint cannot perform within its full range of motion, the body makes compensations.  Whether during everyday movements or sports exercise, the body finds a way to do what you want it to do.  Even if that means over utilizing muscles that shouldn’t be doing the bulk of the work.

The body recruits other muscles and joints to “pick up the slack,” so to speak. These movement compensations greatly increase risk of injury all over the body.  Improving hip mobility and flexibility is paramount to the prevention of pain and injury.  Whether you’re an athlete or not, the body’s ability to move and function freely and painlessly will have an effect on your overall quality of life.

The more you know…
The principle muscle involved in a movement is referred to as the agonist, or prime mover. When the prime mover’s range of motion is compromised (ie because it’s shortened/overactive/tight), the body recruits other, inappropriate muscles to perform movements. This is called synergistic dominance. Synergistic dominance can lead to altered movement patterns and muscle imbalances, which increases the risk of injury.

How to Increase Hip Mobility

Releasing tension in the legs by way of Self-Myofascial Release (or SMR, aka foam rolling) can encourage hip mobility.

In addition, performing this series of dynamic mobility exercises can greatly increase flexibility and mobility in the hips.  This will give you the range of motion necessary to perform exercise and everyday movements more safely and efficiently.  In turn, this will enable you to lift heavier, jump higher, and run faster.

This is a great sequence to loosen things up in the lumbo-pelvic hip complex in general, even if you aren’t a weightlifter/runner/athlete.  Give it a try to get a little movement first thing in the morning, while you watch your evening Netflix, or when you wind down before bed.

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Perform the following sequence before your next lower body training day. Notice if you feel less stiff during and/or after you exercise.

10 Minute Hip Mobility Lower Body Warm-Up Routine

  1. Leg Swings x10 front-to-back and x10 side-to-side, each leg
  2. Lateral Lunge x10 each side
  3. Knee Hug with Curtsey Lunge x5 each leg
  4. Dynamic Squat Stretch x10
  5. 90/90 with Hip Extension x5 each leg
  6. World’s Greatest Stretch x10 each side
  7. Fire Hydrant Hip Circles x10 each direction w each leg
  8. Rocking Frog x 10
  9. Supine Bridge x10

Click Here to see the above hip mobility exercises demonstrated on IGTV. Or view video below and follow along with the 10 minute hip mobility lower body warm-up routine on YouTube. My 3 year old joins in on the fun, too. Stay-at-home mom problems, amiright?  I spend most of my time momming my 6- and 3- year old, and I am both an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach.

I train with Kelsey WellsPWR program on the SWEAT app, lifting a minimum of 4x per week with whatever low-intensity cardio I can sprinkle in here and there. Usually walks to and from school or the park, or wandering the zoo or museum with the kiddos.  Currently, I’m adding more recovery sessions into my weekly goals. Things like yoga, stretching, dynamic mobility, and foam rolling are so important to the body’s ability to recover and perform at peak levels. And this almost-38 year old body could use the TLC! I like to push myself when I lift weights, and I’m often sore and stiff.

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Thanks for reading 10 Minute Hip Mobility Lower Body Warm-Up Routine!

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