Top 4 Hip Mobility Exercises
Hip mobility is crucial for squatting, deadlifting, lunging and sprinting. I like clients to loosen up their hips before every session and recommend that they perform at least one hip loosener every single day.
These are my top 4 hip mobility exercises:
1. Single Leg Flexion with External Rotation (aka Spiders)
This is my favourite hip loosener. The front leg is positioned in the bottom position of a deep squat — one of the key principles of mobility training is to mobilise in positions you’re going to adopt in your training, sport or everyday life. Additionally, this movement can easily be incorporated into a mobility sequence or ‘flow’ and you can also throw in some thoracic rotation as well.
2. Pigeon Stretch
The pigeon is a great way to get in about the glutes! Be cautious with this one — don’t force the front or back leg into positions they don’t want to go. Start with the front leg’s foot/shin pointing in towards your body and as your mobility improves it will become easier to position the shin more horizontally. Similarly, the back leg doesn’t need to be stretched out behind you — many people get a big stretch from the first 2 ‘phases’ of the set up, as you’ll see in the video.
3. Couch Stretch
Some people call this the greatest stretch on the planet! It targets the hip flexors and can be brutal! As with all mobility exercises, don’t go beyond what your body is capable of — a bit of discomfort is fine, pain is not. This stretch be done up against a wall, using a bench at the gym or the couch at home.
4. Deep Squat
Hanging out in a deep squat has been one of the most effective ways for my clients to improve their squat range of motion. Who’d have thought that to develop a deeper squat you’d have to spend time in a deep squat position!? Change the position of your feet, knees and torso regularly so you’re mobilising in many different areas. Start with 15-30 seconds in a deep squat position and work towards 2-5 minutes. The 2-5 minutes doesn’t need to be all at once, it can be spread throughout the day or session.
Working on hip mobility will have a big impact on the quality of your movement. Use these four hip mobility exercises to keep your hips loose and free. Try to do one or more every day.