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Hip Mobility: Why Is It Important? How Do I Improve it?

December 10, 2015

These days we are all spending more and more time sitting down. We are sitting down at the office, on the couch watching TV or even in the car because you're stuck in traffic. But is all this sitting down affecting our hip mobility?

 

YES!

 

What we know about muscle tissue and what research has said is that when a muscle is left in a shortened position for prolonged periods of time, the fibres tighten. This results in reduced mobility of the hip joint because the tightness of the muscles begins to restrict full range of motion.

 

I daresay everyone has forgotten at some point to take the handbrake off their car when they leave the driveway and it is only after you feel the car struggling and working extra hard that you realise! 

Well tight hip flexors, or tight hamstrings/adductors work the same way with the hip - they act as a handbrake whilst your hip is trying to drive into either flexion or extension. This handbrake, the hip flexor or hamstrings/adductors, is reducing the freedom that your hip has to drive your walking, running or cycling and possibly effecting your ability to kick the football longer and with more power.

 

Now imagine how much further you could walk, or how much quicker your 100 metre sprint could be if you could just take the handbrake off! Maybe your 5 metres short of being able to clear the goal line when kicking from the 50 metre arc in football or you need that extra power to get the soccer ball past the goal keeper…. Hip mobility could be the key!

 

Here are 3 simple exercises/stretches to perform daily to take the handbrake off:

 

 

1. Kneeling Lunge

30-60 second holds, 3 – 5 sets.

 

Play around with the angles until you feel a good stretch down the front of your back leg, remember to tuck your pelvis in underneath and push it forward. 

 

Maintain upright trunk and keep the hips facing forward.

 

 

 

 

2. Pigeon

 

30-60 second holds, 3 – 5 sets.

 

This one will take some time to build up, slowly progress to straightening out the back leg as you feel more confident and less restriction on the hips.

 

Rest on either the palms of your hands (as shown) or as mobility increases lower down onto your forearms.

 

 

 

3. High Box Step-Up

 

3-5 sets, 8-10 repetitions.

 

Ensure you are maintaining an upright trunk and that your weight bearing knee does not buckle towards the midline.

Squeeze glutes and hold the upright position at the top of the exercise before stepping back down.

 

Book an appointment online today to work on your hip mobility with one of our physiotherapists!

 

 

 

 

 

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