The Importance of Hip Mobility

April 09, 2015 2 Comments

Whether you're athletic or just trying to carry on with your daily routine, good movement in your hips is essential. Good hip extension is especially important if you're physically active though. 

There is a reason why trainers emphasize form and good position when doing WODs. In fact, the inability to fully extend your hip causes other joints to compensate for the lack of range of movement and this can be problematic with repeated exposure. 

Not sure what I mean, here's an example using the deadlift movement:

Starting with a tight mid-line as you squat to grasp the bar, you try to squeeze your glutes and maintain a tight abdomen as you rise up, but you are having troubles. 

When you try to open your hips, your anterior hip muscles pull your lower back into a forward arch. The more often you complete this movement without full range of motion, the more your back muscles tighten and you end up overworking your spine, putting too much weight on your knees and other areas that are being overworked.

The long story short of it is:

Problem: Missing that hip extension at the top of a movement.

Cause: Poor movement patterns or a tight anterior hip.

Effect: Overworked spine, overworked knees

Most of us aren't able to tell when we're doing it wrong because we tend to ignore those little aches in our body, but that's where a good trainer or swole buddy comes in handy because they can see it.

So, what do we do about it?

Push the reset button.

The first step is to start by learning about hip extension. You should improve your hip extension mobility to achieve a full hip extension at the top. This will relieve your lower back and other muscles that are working overtime to compensate for your missing hip flexibility.

Some quick tips include self massaging, mobilizing your hips, activating your psoas, and just generally learning more exercises that can help you improve your hip mobility. 

One of my favorite ways to work on hip extension is by using resistance bands. Check out this video to help drive this all home!

Do you suffer from poor hip mobility? Share how it's affected your WODs in the comment section below!

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2 Responses

Team WOD Nation
Team WOD Nation

May 11, 2015

Hey Liz – sorry to hear about your car accident and subsequent hip issues. Have you consulted with a coach or physical rehab trainer? I bet they would be able to give you great advice at strengthening your hips and improving their mobility!


April 11, 2015

Ive suffered from hip problems for about 15 year from a car accident. I didnt exercise or in particular stretch before the accident and I always curse myself for it. I find it particularly hard to squat to the floor and generally have to bring the weight to my shoulders and leave it there rather than squat. These are generally what I already do but I am always looking for new ways to help my squat. Im still unsure except to keep doing squats particularly overhead squats to improve in but I also think maybe a heavier wall ball and do wall balls more often. I also think I need to spend more time in the stretch than other people so that it will work

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