Hip mobility simply refers to the ability of your hips to move through a full range of motion. This means being able to move your legs in all directions without any pain or restriction. Your hips are the main connector in your lower body, so when your hips are mobile, they act as a shock absorber for your whole body which helps protect your spine and other joints from injury. Over 15 muscles around the hip area work together to achieve hip mobility—having one tight muscle or a group of muscles will impact your ability to have full range of motion.
Good hip mobility is important for several reasons:
- Injury prevention - Having good mobility in a joint helps maintain proper movement patterns and prevents compensatory movements that can lead to injury.
- Improves range of motion - Improves performance in physical activities and everyday tasks.
- Reduces pain and discomfort - Tight joints can cause pain and discomfort. Improving mobility releases tension and reduces these symptoms to improve overall quality of life.
- Improves posture - Hip mobility helps maintain proper posture alignment in your body, reducing the risk of back pain.
- Increases muscle function - Mobility allows muscles to function more efficiently, which can lead to more muscle strength and endurance.
- Static Stretching - There are many stretches that help increase the range of motion in your hips such as lunge stretch, butterfly stretch, and pigeon pose.
- Strengthening exercises - Strengthening the muscles around your hips helps support the joint to reduce the risk of injury.
- Mobility exercises - Watch this video on hip mobility exercises that will help stretch and strengthen your hips.
- Dynamic stretching - Dynamic stretching before and after a workout loosens up the hips to allow better range of motion.
- Foam Rolling - Foam rolling your hip flexors and other surrounding muscles can release tension and improve flexibility.
When your hips are mobile it gives you the ability to move more efficiently and to perform better biomechanically effective body movements. This reduces the risk of lower back pain or even injuries. Many athletes experience this type of injury in the weight room when proper technique is not executed. When mobility and strength in the hips are limited, it's common for athletes to compensate by using their back muscles to lift weights, putting them at greater risk for injury - especially when lifting heavy loads.
With summer quickly approaching, good hip mobility is also a secret weapon to a better golf swing. Read more about how hip mobility and some exercises from a Renew Physiotherapist can help your swing this season.
It's important to work on hip mobility in a progressive and controlled manner, including a proper warm-up and cool-down in your routine. Reach out to a Renew Wellness physical therapist, located inside O2 Fitness, if you have any specific questions or concerns. Improving hip mobility can lead to better movement, stability, and overall health; so schedule an appointment or free screening today!