Far too many people waste time looking for that “perfect” stretch or drill to help open up the hip but not enough time implementing the exercises they find consistently.
It’s the same thing with fitness. Looking for the perfect program is a form of self-sabotage. Stop searching and start implementing.
If you want to improve your back squat, then you back squat.
If you want to release tight hips, then you release it often.
These four hip opening mobility drills are tried and true. I use them on myself and my clients do, too. If you sit most of the day and your goal is general health and fitness, apply these 4 drills before every single workout, even if you’re focused on the upper body.
Underrated and yet, so powerful. The hip airplane hits balance, coordination, glute activation and joint mobility all at once.
- If balance is an issue, hold on to something or push your hands against the wall
- Soften the standing leg so you don’t hyperextend the knee joint
Hip CARs, or “Controlled Articular Rotation” involves rotating the joint within one’s range of motion under neurological and muscular control. In a way, you are training the brain to move the joint fully within the limits of your own, usable ROM. It also creates kinesthetic awareness so that you’re not compensating the movement with other areas of your body.
- Back and hips stay neutral the whole time
- Rotate the femur in a circle slowly without “borrowing” movement from the hips or low back.
- Circle around 6x in each direction
- It should feel like you’re fighting tension the whole way through
- Expect each side to feel different
This drill just feels damn good. It stretches the whole front side of the body including the hips, shoulders, and spine. If you sit all day like most of my clients do, this is a nice treat for your body. It’s a safe exercise for just about anyone, too.
- Aim to keep shoulders down on the floor as you twist
- Hold the stretch on each side for 10-30 seconds, then switch
- Repeat as much as you like
This is one I use a lot before squatting because it mimics the movement pattern of the squat from a safer position on the floor.
- You can rock back and forth with control or hold the stretch for 30 seconds
- Align your knee with the ankle
- Keep your back straight and core braced as you sink back – treat it like a squat
If you incorporate these four drills every day or every training day, guaranteed you’ll improve your mobility, experience less hip and low back tightness. Try it!