Improving hip mobility for better athletic performance
In this article, we reach out to the Clinical Director and Physiotherapist of Physiologic Ryan Tan to talk about how best to improve hip mobility for better athletic performance.
As a Physiotherapist treating countless Sports Injuries, we see ‘Stiff Hips’ as being a contributor to the development of injuries like Lower Back Pain and Knee Pain, while also limiting your athletic performance.
Whether you’re a CrossFit, Combat Sport, or Weightlifting athlete, you’ll need excellent hip mobility to be at the top of your game.
Improving your hip mobility doesn’t have to be hard, we’ll talk you through some simple mobility drills you can start to get your hips moving better than ever.
1: Lateral Banded Distractions with VR Strength Band
My go-to hip mobility drill to help improve Hip flexion and Internal Rotation is the Lateral Banded Distraction using the VR Strength Band.
Secure one end of the Strength Band to a steady pole, and place your leg closest to the pole in the loop, with the band as high up along your thigh as possible.
Stand a distance away from the pole so there is strong tension in the band, and make sure you are perpendicular to the band.
Get down into a lunge position, so the band is ‘pulling your hip outwards’ and mobilise yourself by lunging forwards and backwards.
I would recommend performing this 15 reps on each leg, for 2-3 sets.
2: Self Myofascial Release with VR Quiet Tech Massage Gun
If you’re an elite athlete and serious about your training, having a Massage gun makes improving your hip mobility a breeze.
Lying on your side, with your hips bent up, use the massage gun on the side of your glute muscles. You’ll be targeting the muscles that are primarily responsible for rotation and extension in your hip.
5 to 10 minutes on each side should be enough to notice a significant change.
3: Foam Rolling on your Hips
Another excellent tool to help improve your hip mobility, the foam roller is able to release tight hip muscles, and it is best used briefly before training or for a longer duration post-workout.
You may also use the Trigger Point Ball, but be warned, this is a much more intense tool compared to the foam roller.
Have the foam roller on the floor, and you will be sitting on it, with one leg crossed over the other in a figure 4.
Lean your weight to the side and roll up and down slowly. You will come across some sore Trigger Points, and when you do, hold your position there for 30-60 seconds for maximum relief.
4: Active Hip Mobility Drills
The first 3 strategies mentioned above are more ‘Passive’ Mobility drills aimed at improving hip mobility. They’re called Passive because your hip muscles aren’t activated during the drill, and the primary intent is for ‘muscle relaxation’.
For longer lasting benefits, always follow up your Passive drills (above) with some Active Mobility Drills. This is important to be able to teach your muscles to maintain the newly acquired range you’ve just achieved following the passive drills.
Here are some of my favourites.
1: Standing Hip CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations). Based on the FRC (Functional Range Conditioning) protocols, CARs encourage active hip mobility throughout multiple planes of movement, making it an ideal hip mobility drill for combat and sporting athletes.
2: 90/90 Hip Transitions. Staring on the floor with your hips at 90 degrees perpendicular to each other, slowly transition from right leg forwards, turning your hips and body over to facing the left.
3: Full Range Squats and Hip Hinging Patterns. Taking it back to basics, work on your fundamental squat and hip hinging patterns to get your body accustomed to the newly acquired range you’ve worked so hard on. Make it functional.
Having great hip mobility can mean the difference between nailing a squat clean or being called out for a no rep in your WOD.
Don’t let stiff hips stop you from reaching your athletic potential, get started on your journey to better hips with the recommended drills and products that VR produce.
To get your hands on our products, head over to the products page at Victory Recovery Systems
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