There are many benefits of living in our modern world! We have comfy furniture, cars that allow us to travel many miles and computers that allow us to do so much! But with these comforts come some problems!
We don’t move! And movement is Life!
I once asked Dr. Craig Davies who is one of the elite chiropractors and strength and conditioning coaches working on the PGA Tour about lack of hip extension and mobility in elite golfers. I was curious what his thought process would be and why this is so common among both golfers and non golfers. His answer was simple and so insightful! He said “we put everyone into desks from the age of 5 on. This combined with lack of playtime and movement creates a environment that produces poor movement patterns. All this sitting and lack of movement is the crutch. We are designed to move, and move a lot. The body will adapt according to the demand and the demand is too much sitting down.”
So if you are a parent, coach, or teacher encourage less sitting and more moving.
That is the key. More moving and moving in many different positions.
Think of all the sitting you do as an adult. You sit in your car. You sit at your desk and you probably sit when you go to the gym.
But don’t worry in this post I am going to give you some great exercises that will reverse all your sitting and help you feel better as well as perform better.
The key is in your hips!
The healthier and more mobility you have in your hips the better you can express your athleticism. The hips are your powerhouse and the key for power and strength. You need good midline stability and the ability to create a strong core while having the ability to stiffen your abs and back so you can free up your hips!
That’s why I made this blog and specific sequence that you can do weekly to increase your hip mobility and stability, strengthen your hamstrings and core and increase your diaphragmatic breathing.
Do these things and you will have less pain and better performance in virtually everything you do!
Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Build Stronger More Mobile Hips With These Exercises
Having strong hips and better pelvis stability is crucial for everything we do in life. Especially for performance in sport!
The main goals are:
Build strong midline stability so you can express movement through hips. Midline stability is another name for the core. It is common to have too much movement in the lumbar spine, which can lead to back problems.
Develop fluid hips, strong and active hamstrings and active glutes to assist in hip extension.
In this post I will give you great drills to help you with these things!
Your hips need daily movement. So these drills can be done on a regular bases. They can be used as a morning routine or as part of your warm up. If you are looking for even more direction for training your hips check out our Every Day Hip Program.
Every class, every workout we do at premier fitness systems has hip work. There is no reason I see for not including some type of hip functional movement in your everyday life. So lets get to the hip exercises! The following 10 exercises will help you achieve healthier, stronger, more functional hips.
[Get our free Mobility Guide to get the fastest results with this routine and all your mobility/flexibility work.]
This program is designed for golfers but will work for anyone.
Like with anything in life the key to progress is consistency! A personal mantra of mine is Stress + Rest = Growth. I remind myself of this on a daily basis! So with this stuff be patient, be consistent, and listen to your body!
Lets First Start with the Basics
1. Simple Better Breathing Drill
Start by lying on your back.
Perform a hamstring hook (Posteriorly tuck your pelvis and pull the ground towards your butt).
Press your low back into the ground and you should feel your butt slightly lift off the ground.
Begin breathing, focusing on driving air into your back, sides, belly and chest while keeping your back on the ground.
Do this for 5-10 breaths and repeat for 2-3 sets.
2. Supine Pelvic Tilts
Start by lying on your back
Begin taking your pelvis into a anterior and posterior tilt
Feel your core active while you breathe
Do this for 10-15 repetitions. This drill is to give you a foundation for better understanding of your pelvis in space.
3. Spinal Segmentation (Cat/Cows)
Take position shown in video (Hands and knees on ground).
Begin moving your spine from your pelvis up.
The goal is to control the movement and move one vertebra at a time
This requires good strength, awareness and control.
4. Exercise Ball Hip Rotations
Start in position shown in video
Maintain a strong and active core
Begin to take one of your hips through the range of motion.
You should feel a stretch and not pinching pain
Perform 10-15 reps on each leg
5. 3 Way Hip Flexor Stretch
Begin in position shown in video
The main key to stretching your hip flexors is the position of your pelvis. You want to stay out of lumbar extension and focus on the hips.
As with all of these drills focus on breathing and moving air
6. Prone Hip Extension
Start by lying down on your stomach.
With an active core and avoiding driving tension into your low back perform a single leg extension.
Again the key is to avoid using the low back but instead using the glute and hamstring as the primary mover
7. Basic Hamstring Bridge
Progression 1 > Single leg Hamstring Bridge with Upper Support
Progression 2 > Single leg Hamstring Bridge with No Support
The main keys to a solid hamstring bridge is the position of your pelvis. Slight posterior tilt in key.
When your pelvis is in a good position and your core is engaged the hamstrings can do their thing.
Lets spend a little time talking more about the hamstrings! They are important for hip and pelvis functionality.
The hamstring muscle group has just as much if not more importance on pelvis stability as it does on the knee. When the pelvis is stable the rest of the muscles can do their job.
In late phase of swing (walking and Running) the hamstring muscle is rapidly increasing in length while performing a high level of eccentric work to decelerate the leg for foot strike. If the hamstrings cant perform these tasks then the hip takes on a lot of unnecessary force. This over time can create problems. So keeping the hamstring strong can help reposition the pelvis and allow for better mobility, stability and strength.
I often get asked about neutral pelvis position and what is the best position. The way I see it is it is not about always being in a neutral position but rather being able to express all position with the ability to get in and out of positions in dynamic movement. Life and sport is dynamic not static it is when we get stuck that we run into problems.
Back To The Exercises!
8. Better Glute Bridge
This drill can be done using a bench like in the video or on the floor
Take your pelvis into a posterior tuck
Engage core and breath ribs down
Maintain position as you execute the drill
Perform 10-15 reps
9. Better Breathing with Core
Start by lying on your back
Perform a hamstring hook (posteriorly tuck pelvis and pull heels towards butt)
Breathe ribs down and press into wall
Hold position for 30-60 sec
10. Hip Flexor Inhibition
Start by lying on a bench
Pull heel into ground
Posterior tilt pelvis
Quiet breath in through nose, easy exhale.
Take 5-10 quality breaths on each side.
For Brandon, fitness has been his passion for as long as he can remember. In high school he was a three-sport athlete and received a scholar athlete award in football. Later, he attended Arizona State University on an academic scholarship and received his degree in Kinesiology in 2004. When he was a junior in college, he started Personal Training and has since turned this into his career. Brandon is a natural teacher who is passionate about health, fitness, wellness, and life. Each and every day he feels blessed to be able to do what he loves most…help people achieve a healthier life! Working with his best friend and having clients who he considers to be his family is one of the best jobs he could ever wish for. What he loves most about being a personal trainer is helping his clients achieve what they thought was the “impossible”!
Brandon’s philosophy is that exercise and fitness should be viewed as preventive medicine. If one takes care of his/her body today, he/she will stay healthy for the remainder of his/her life. His main focus is on functional training that incorporates normal daily movements which strengthen core muscle groups and help deliver a functionally fit body. This body will then be efficient with all activities, from athletics to everyday movements.