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The 4 Best Hip Openers to Improve Your Mobility

Genuine health and fitness requires proper movement.  Proper movement requires your body to have optimal range of motion at all of your body’s bony joints.  Most of us have lost some of it it through lack of use.  The good news is that mobility improves rapidly once you start using it again.

The good news is that mobility improves rapidly once you start using it again. 

The first requirement for improving your range of motion is to do the work.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to come to class and do the mobility work we program.  But “do” means to do it actively, with the intention to improve, with appreciation that mobility is a key component of not just your fitness, but your injury prevention and general wellness.  It is a necessary component of your whole workout, not an add-on or time-filler.

Related: How can ROM make you fitter?

Even better than doing our programmed mobility work is regularly doing a routine targeted to your specific needs.  Taking the Functional Movement Screen results in just such a tailored program.  Short of that, nearly all of us can work on improving mobility in our hips.  The ability to extend the hip is critical to virtually all functional movements and it’s an ability our sedentary lifestyles seriously restrict.

The 4 Best Hip Openers

Here’s a simple hip-opening routine you can do without any equipment, though you may want a pad for your knees.  Total time is about 13:00/session.  Two sessions per day would be most beneficial, but do what you can.  Our members will be familiar with all of these positions.  Just hold each one for a minimum of 2:00 (yikes! Yes, that’s a long time, but it’s necessary for permanent improvement):

1. Wide-legged seated forward fold: you should feel this in your groin and low back.  Be sure you tip your pelvis forward so it’s vertical or as close to vertical as you can get it.  Relax your arms down.

crossfitslipstreamfowardfold

Related: Why Motor Control Makes You Stronger

2. Low lunge:  Bring your torso upright.  Folding over your front leg takes out the hip stretch.  You should feel this in the groin of the leg in front and the front of the hip of the leg in back.  A gentle pulse with your breath helps you make more progress – forward & down on the exhale, back off a little on the inhale.  Be sure to do both sides.

crossfitslipstreamlowlunge

3. “Cheerleader”: sit on your sit bones and place one foot on the opposite thigh, with the second leg behind you.  Gently try to get both of your sit bones as close to the floor as possible.  Be sure to do both sides.

crossfitslipstreamcheerleader

4. Camel Pose: kneel with your knees hip distance apart and your toes tucked under (easier) or pointed (harder).  Push your hips forward and pull your shoulder blades back so your palms turn outward.  Grab your heels with your palms on the insides of your feet, and use the stability that gives you to push your hips forward.   Try to breathe as deeply as possible.  2:00 is too much for this one, so hold this only for 3-5 breaths, but repeat 2-3 times.

crossfitslipstreamcamel

Send me an email if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@CrossFitSlipstream.com