Our hips are complex structures that need to be taken care of. Without proper warming up, stretching, and strengthening, we may develop issues. Asymmetries, inflammation, nerve pain, and lack of mobility all can arise from neglecting our hips.
Remember, the hips are a three dimensional unit. A ball-and-socket joint secures your femur at the hip joint. This type of joint allows for the most movement of any of the joints in the body (similar to the shoulder). We believe that it is important to move in all directions in order to stay mobile and strong. The hips are no exception and need to be exercised correctly – especially for those of us with sedentary jobs where we sit for long periods of time.
So how do we take care of our hips? Having a few hip-specific exercises in our tool belt is a great start. We encourage you to try some of these bodyweight exercises in your next warm up as a way to activate and improve your hip health!
The hip hinge is the most basic of all hip exercises. Our hips primarily move in the sagittal plane and must be prepared to do so. This exercise translates to many other movements like the deadlift, clean, snatch, etc. It is one of the most fundamental hip exercises and is an absolute MUST in your warm up.
One of our favorite lunge variations, the star lunge gets your hips moving in all directions. Sagittal and frontal planes are used in this exercise. You can strengthen your hips and improve mobility with this one.
Lateral Hip Swing
Hip swings are a great warm up prior to squatting or running. I like lateral hip swings because they activate abductors and adductors when you do them properly.
Alternating Hip Stretch with Reach
This movement really opens up the hips. Take your time and move intentionally. The reach adds in the transverse plane and gets us moving in a totally different way.
Regardless of your sport, fitness level, or training goal, having healthy hips is important. I firmly believe that the exercises listed above can have a positive impact on how you move and function.
Are your hips healthy? What are your favorite exercises for mobility and strength?
Let us know in a comment below and until next time.. Stay moving!