Hip Mobility Checklist

Mobility is just as important as flexibility, especially as we age. Think strength and control vs. range of motion. By improving and maintaining mobility, hip tightness and lower back pain can become a thing of the past. 

Check Hip Mobility

Using the following movements, test for range of motion, comfort and fluidity.

  • Standing Pancake
    • Start with feet shoulder width apart
    • Hinge forward at the hips reaching towards the floor
    • Gradually widen stance to 2x shoulder width
    • Be sure to keep your back straight
    • Use a box for support at first if you cannot reach the floor
  • Horse Stance
    • With knees and toes turned out, sit back into a squat
    • Proper hip mobility will allow hips to descend to knee level
  • Internal & External Hip Rotations
    • Start seated in a chair, then progress to a mat or step elevation
    • Internal: Slide one foot off the floor by rotating it away from the other foot. Your thigh and knee should stay in the same position as your foot rotates to the side. Relax your foot back to the floor.
    • External: Start by sitting in a chair with one foot tucked under the chair and the other flat on the floor. Your knees should be about hip-width apart. Lift one foot off the floor by sliding it toward your opposite knee. Keep your thigh and the back of your knee on the chair as you move. Hold this position, focusing on engaging your hip and butt muscles. Relax your foot back to the floor.
  • Thomas Test for Quad and Hip Flexor Flexibility
    • Check out this video for a demonstration and more information 

Whether you are a runner, general gym-goer or someone experiencing hip discomfort; working on your hip mobility can improve performance and help safeguard against injury.

Poor Hip Mobility

Poor hip mobility is often caused by repetitive use and over-stressing the areas around the hip joints. Tight hip flexors can restrict movement, leading recurring or chronic hip pain. Targeted strengthening and stretching exercises can restore proper range of motion. However, worsening hip pain, difficulty walking or bearing weight, or injury/trauma to the hip area should be reviewed with a doctor.

With consistent practice, most people typically start to see improvements in hip mobility within a few weeks to a couple of months. 

Popular Hip Mobility Exercises

Dr. Kristie Ennis has a quick hip mobility video demonstrating 5 of the best stretches to improve hip mobility and address associated hip pain. The video offers modified forms if you are not able to do the complete stretch.

  • Hip CARS (controlled articular rotations)
    • These exercises gently take your hip joints through their full range of motion.
    • Highly recommended to incorporate into any warm-up routine
  • Hip Flexor Stretch
    • Designed to increase joint flexibility and muscle strength
  • Hip Rotator Stretch
    • Hip rotators help the body move smoothly and distribute weight away from the pelvis, which aids balance and overall strength
  • Butterfly
    • A gentle and relaxing way to engage muscles and joints, butterfly stretch is one of the most well known hip mobility exercises
  • Frog Stretch
    • More intense than butterfly, this stretch can help release tension from hip flexors and glutes
  • Leg Swings
    • The fluid motion of leg swings can help lubricate the hip joint
    • Regular practice can also help improve balance and stability

Mad Ritual topical CBD used in combination with a hip mobility exercise routine can target inflammation, reduce discomfort and improve range of motion.

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