The Med Gym
Hip Mobility Week 9 - Two Hip Rotation Drills
By David Drinks
We’re back this week with week 9 of our series on hip mobility! I took a break from the mobility series last week to give you some more detail on the hip hinge (if you haven’t yet, you should check that out here!).
A couple of weeks ago, we left off with the hip mobility series in week 8, where I went over the ½ Kneeling Adductor Dip. As we move to this week’s mobility drill, we’re going to continue looking at how you can build better hip mobility outside of the sagittal plane.
If you don’t know, the sagittal plane of movement is basically straight forward and backward motion. It doesn’t involve lateral movement or rotation, but rather it is the plane of motion we’re in when walking, climbing stairs, sitting, or doing most daily activities.
While it’s important to build hip mobility in the sagittal plane, since we use it so often, it’s just as important to work on movement outside of that plane. Why? Well, because at some point in life, you’re going to have to use it!
We spent the first few weeks of this series going over sagittal plane mobility drills like the leg raising and leg lowering progressions, the hip flexor mobilization, and the leg lock bridge. Since then, we’ve been looking at ways that you can encourage more hip rotation and lateral movement in your hip mobility drills.
Today, we’ll continue with that theme with two hip mobility drills that encourage rotation at the hips.
The first mobility drill that I go over in the video is called a supine knee to knee pull-in, and it is a great drill for working on hip rotation in an easier position. The second is called split-stance hip swivel, and as you’ll see in the video, it requires a lot more mobility, but also offers a lot of benefits.
Let’s jump right into the video, and then I’ll talk a little more about the benefits of performing these rotational hip mobility drills:
As I’ve mentioned in some of our previous hip mobility videos and blogs, the hip is a joint that should have great freedom of motion in all planes of movement. Unfortunately, what I see most often when someone is lacking hip mobility is a loss of hip rotation. If you don’t access that range of motion in your training or exercise routine, then you’ll tend to lose it.
That becomes a big problem when you get into a situation in real life where you need to access that hip rotation. Usually, one of two things will happen in this scenario:
You get into a position that is outside of your normal range of motion by accident and you strain or tear something which causes pain and injury.
You can’t utilize the hip to perform a movement that it normally should be able to do, so you compensate and rotate too much at the knee or the low back. This can either lead to an acute injury if it’s intense enough or at the very least, it often leads to excessive wear and tear on those joints over the course of time.
To avoid those unpleasant outcomes, then, one of the best things you can do for your long-term knee, hip, and low back health is to build in hip rotation mobility training to your workout routine.
Doing this will not only help you move better and more freely in general, but it will also help you prevent wearing down, pain, and injury to the knees and low back.
So, especially if you found yourself to be lacking in hip rotation while performing the self-assessments in week 2 of this series, you’ll want to get to work on some hip rotation mobility! Whether you start in the easier supine position and do the knee to knee pull-in, or you give the split-stance hip swivel a try, either way, work with what you can do and improve your hip rotation over the course of time!
As with all the drills in this series, I like to speak to how much you should be doing for each of these drills. Just because something is good for you doesn’t necessarily mean that you should drop down and do 100 of them today.
The best approach with mobility training, as with training the body in general, is to be consistent with it over the course of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your hip mobility!
For each of today’s drills, my preference is to place them in the warm-up routine and perform one set of 5-10 repetitions each time you go through your warm-up. That means that you’ll be hitting these drills at least two or three times a week with your normal workouts, and for some people, it may make sense to do it almost every day.
Once again, be consistent with your mobility training and you’ll start to move better from your hips and save your knees and low back!
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