Improving Hip Health and Mobility

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Due to the way we live in modern life tight and immobile hips are becoming more and more common. This is thanks to the lack of movement, sitting for most of the day and general neglect of stretching and mobility – even in those who are pretty fit and exercise on a regular basis.

The main problem though develops in those who spend the whole day sitting - It could be long hours at the desk, driving or students who spend all day in class. Whatever it is all this sitting causes the hip flexors to become tight and weak. The problem with tight and weak hips is that it can have a knock on effect on your performance in that movement is compromised. Secondly hip immobility causes back pain, this is because it causes your butt muscles to switch off meaning your lower back has to step in to compensate – leading to a big gut, small butt and inward curving of the lower back (lordosis).

Here are some signs or tests to see if  your hips are tight:

  • You have problems doing a bodyweight squat with proper form (knees flair out and there is an inability to go down all the way)
  • Your lower back has an overexcentuated inward curve
  • Difficulty performing lunges

The Solution to tight hips in quite simply to Loosen Them Out - I am going to suggest a few exercises that can be done daily to improve hip strength then to stretch them out. The first is a hip bridge, performing a few sets of 10-20 of these at the end of your workout will go a long way to rebuilding hip and glute strength.

And this complex of stretches and joint mobility movements is excellent. Some are quite advanced but give something to work towards.

The Amasov Squat is another great movement that anyone can do – It not only helps with hip mobility but also warms up the knees and gets the whole body moving, most importantly it can be done by people at any level of fitness.

Doing some mobility work on your hips or even better some yoga (which incorporates all this) on a regular basis will help to no end with improving hip mobility and reducing all the symptoms that come with it. The main reason I wrote this post is that I am finding more and more people have tight hips – finding it difficult to squat, lunge and do a whole host of functional movements that are a must to keep in good health and maintain a functional, robust body.

Some even go as far as describing the hips as “The Fountain of Youth” so it is imperative to keep them in shape. This will save you a lot of trouble in later life…..

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Comments

  1. SueC says

    Hi, wow is this subject close to my heart at the moment! I’m in training to test for my black belt in karate at the moment and improving hip flexibility is one of my aims as it is essential to executing good strong kicks. I’ve been doing various static stretch exercises for my hips but I like the more dynamic nature of the stretches you present in your videos – I’ll definitely be giving them a go. It’s an interesting observation that you have made that hips are getting weaker and more inflexible with peoples increasingly sedentary life styles. You have a great blog here :-)

  2. JQuarta says

    You hit the nail right on the head! Being at a desk all day, has taken a toll on my overall mobility these days. I will give these regimens a try.

  3. Bob says

    Chris i had never heard of lordosis before but have been complaining of a bad lower back for a while now (especially during deadlifts and squats) as well as very tight hamstrings. Turns out they are both symptoms. Looks like its time to strengthen my glutes and loosen up my hip flexers. Thanks Bob

    @ Bob: Well the lordosis is a common sign of weak hip flexors and glutes which in turn cause the lower back muscles to weaken. I think the best thing you can do is strengthen your hamstrings/glutes with exercises like stiff legged dead lifts, next make sure the emphasise hip mobility by doing some stretching for them daily (5 minutes should be enough)

  4. Luke M-Davies says

    As a keen runner, hip flexibility is something I must focus on. Runners get a bad rep. for being stiff folk! Running tends to stiffen the joints and muscles over time, so thanks for these hip tips!

  5. Sarah says

    I’ve been having some serious problems with this, & yes, I’m one of the many who sits most of the day. I’ll definitely be going through some of these videos & adding to my daily routine!

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