Fitness Fix: Improve Your Hip Mobility

By Andrew Heffernan |

Back pain. Knee pain. Poor posture. Difficulty getting up off the floor. Trouble squatting and deadlifting.

What do all these physical limitations have in common? They’re symptoms of poor hip mobility, says physical therapist Kelly Starrett, DPT, author of Becoming a Supple Leopard.

The hips are the most powerful hinges in the body, and they’re vital for everyday movement, he says. “But we sit so much — and move our hip joints into their end range so infrequently — that nearly all of us end up with limitations.”

The following moves will mobilize the hip flexors (muscles on the front of each hip joint), the hip extensors (those in the back, including the glutes), and the hip rotators (a complex of six smaller muscles along each joint capsule), all of which contribute to pain-free function and improved athleticism.

Try these exercises postworkout or pre-bedtime for better movement in and out of the gym.

Hip-Flexor Stretch

  1. Breathe deeply, hold for one to two minutes, and repeat on the other side.

Flex-and-Rotate Hip Stretch

  1. Repeat the entire sequence with your left leg on the table.

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