Hip mobility is extremely important for all athletes. This is particularly true for players who spend a great deal of time sitting when they are not training or competing. Whether athletes are working eight-hour days at a desk, or putting in hours in the classroom, sitting for long periods of time has the effect of shortening the hip flexors as well as weakening the glute muscles. This negatively impacts hip mobility in addition to player performance. This means that it is vital for coaches and personal trainers to design a strength programme which includes hip mobility exercises and stretches in order to offset tight muscles from hours of sitting.
In addition, hip mobility is vital to the correct full functioning of the hip joint. While the hip joint is intended to be more stable and less flexible than the shoulder joint, it can still be tremendously limiting and even harmful if the hip joint does not have its full mobility.
There are a lot of structures (such as 15 muscles and three major ligaments) which cross the hip joint as well as move it or stabilise it. Thus, it is a complex joint which needs to be operating at its fullest potential in order to create peak athletic performance and prevent injury.
How To Improve Hip Mobility
Taking the time to include a few hip mobility exercises is a simple as well as straightforward way of assisting you to move toward your athletic goals:
- Firstly, foam rolling your quadriceps and hamstrings is a straightforward and easy way in order to encourage hip flexibility. These large muscle groups begin at the hip bones and thus affect hip flexibility if these are tight.
- Other stretches which promote hip flexibility include the “Pigeon stretch” where you extend one leg behind you and cross the other in front which helps to release locked-up hips.
- Also, the scorpion stretch is a fantastic way to release tension in the hips. Stretching your hip-flexor muscles is extremely important and can be done by putting one knee on the ground and having your other leg at 90˚ with your foot on the ground. Gradually push your pelvis forward until you feel a hip-flexor stretch in the leg with the knee on the ground.
- Lastly, the simple butterfly stretch can help stretch your hips and inner thighs.
Inflexible Hips Can Lead To Other Body Pain
Tight hips can result in a domino effect of other body pain hotspots as well as even injuries. The challenge with sitting for long periods of time is that is can manifest as pain in the back, hip, or knee. The hip flexors actually start in the lower back, so when they get tight, this can place stress on the lumbar spine. Alternatively, you could experience pain in the front of your hip, either from muscle shortening or a pinching sensation from the rim around the hip joint socket. This means that having flexible, mobile hips is so important for overall health and mobility. “Hip mobility is critical for healthy movement and injury prevention.
Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy
If you want to learn more about gaining hip mobility – in addition to mobility in other areas of your body – then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. For more information about this world-class fitness course, please follow this link.