This just in — hip mobility isn’t just for dancing! The ability to freely and flexibly move our hips is important for many of the activities we perform as humans. From climbing stairs, standing up, or even something as simple as walking, inadequate hip mobility threatens our ability to perform simple tasks.
WHAT CAN OCCUR FROM LIMITED HIP MOBILITY?
It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but decreased hip mobility can lead to big problems down the line. In fact, poor range of motion in your hips leads to an increased likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. This can cause an abnormal compensation in your lower back and knees leading to pain and joint weakening over time. It’s also the number one cause of hip replacements, if that further entices you to stretch out.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HIP MOBILITY IS LIMITED?
Odds are, if you sit at a desk all day you probably have poor range of motion in your hips. That’s because your body is stuck in a 90° angle for the majority of the day. You may also have limited mobility if you are overweight or have/had an injury that limits overall mobility.
Schedule today to learn the range of motion in your hips!
TRY THESE 2 EXERCISES TO IMPROVE HIP MOBILITY!
- THE PIGEON:
- Figure 1: Start on your hands and knees. Notice how Kellie’s back is in a neutral spine position with her hands directly below her shoulder, shoulder width apart and her knees are below the hip. For added comfort, try placing a mat below the hands and knees.
- Figure 2: Move the right knee toward the right hand, crossing the right ankle over toward the left knee. Apply light pressure downwards as if you are sitting down.
- Figure 3a & 3b: Apply more weight downwards as if you are sitting down and use your hands as a guide. Distribute the weight as needed. Maintain a neutral spine by looking straightforward. You will feel a stretch and some relief along the right hip in this position.
- THE BIRD DOG:
- Figure 1: Figure 1: Start on your hands and knees. Keep the spine in a neutral position with hands directly below the shoulder, shoulder width apart and knees below the hip. You will need a tennis ball or something similar (notice how the ball is on the low back and is not/won’t move).
- Figure 2: Start by lifting one leg off the ground to get accustomed to how it feels. Alternate legs and repeat with lifting arms until the motion feels familiar. Be careful that the ball does not fall off. Repeat warm up exercise until you are familiar with the motion.
- Figure 3: Once familiar with the motion of the Bird Dog, reach your arm straight out, hands balled into a fist, and kick the opposite leg straight out. Make sure you kick out and push with the heel. Notice how the ball is not moving or falling.
If you are experiencing pain while performing common tasks such as tying your shoes or getting out of the car, hip mobility may be the root cause. Schedule your initial evaluation with a physical therapist at Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center to assess your hip mobility and receive a custom treatment plan to achieve your goals.