Limited range of motion in the hip can be problematic for many different reasons. The restricted hip mobility can contribute to lower back pain or knee pain. Or the hip stiffness maybe interfering with your ability to deep squat. This blog post will discuss five mobility exercise for the hip joint.
The hip joint consists of two different parts: the femoral head of the leg and the acetabulum of the pelvis. Because the hip is a ball and socket joint, it was designed for mobility. Stiffness in the hip joint can lead to compensation patterns and pain in different regions of the body.
For example, if the hip is restricted in flexing and extending then the lower back will compensate for the lack of mobility in the hip causing mechanical low back pain. Another example is if hip rotation is restricted, the knee will compensate potentially leading to knee issues like patellofemoral pain or iliotibial band syndrome.
Hip Foam Rolling Exercises
Glute Foam Roll - Hip Extensors
To perform: start by sitting on the foam roller at about a 45 degree angle. Cross the leg of the glute you want to foam roll across the other leg. Then slowly roll from about the belt line down to the top of the hamstring.
Quad Foam Roll - Hip Flexors
To perform: lie on the foam roller with both quads on the foam roller. Slowly roll from above the knee cap up to the front portion of the hip. The flexing and extending the knees can also help to mobility the quadricep muscles in a couple of different positions. If more pressure is needed, repeat the same position as above with only one quad on the foam roller.
Hip Static Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch - Quadriceps & Psoas
To perform: begin in a lunge position with a wall or couch behind you. Place your back foot against the wall or on the couch. Squeeze your glutes and then raise your arm of the back leg up towards the ceiling.
Dynamic Hip Mobility Exercises
Tactical Frog - Hip Internal Rotators
To perform: start in a quadruped position with your arms under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Rock your hips back towards your feet. Then extend your hips and rotate one of your hips outwards. Rock your hips back towards your feet again and repeat rotating your other hip.
90/90 Shin Box - Hip Internal & External Rotators
To perform: sit on the floor with your knees bent to 90 degrees. While trying to maintain an upright torso, rotate your back leg to the other side so that it ends up in the same position as your other leg. Then rotate your other leg so you end in the mirror of your original starting position.
Remember when doing mobility exercises, more is not necessarily better. The goal is to increase the mobility in the hip not to inflict as much pain as possible.