There are a myriad of benefits when it comes to improving both hip strength & mobility and yet they remain to be one of the most neglected muscle groups when it comes to strength training. Improving hip strength & mobility might not only improve your posture as a whole, but even reduce or eliminate back pain, giving more power or strength to your overall body, and increasing your range of motion.
These are just a few of the many benefits that comes with increasing your hip strength. By improving the muscles within your hip flexors, you’ll be improving the alignment of your spine and eliminating any postural problems you may be faced with (e.g. forward head posture). The reason is because as we age and the more often we sit, the more likelier it is for these muscles to tighten and become stiff instead of remaining soft and supple from when we were kids.
This causes our pelvis to gradually misalign itself into an unnatural forward tilt placing an undue amount of stress on our lower backs and spine. So the more we can improve on our hip strength & mobility, the more we can improve our overall health and appearance. After all, “hips don’t lie” and it’s important to note that strength straining shouldn’t always be about working on those vanity muscles. Working out and strengthening your core is just as, if not, more important. In this article, we’ll provide you with a simple routine (including exercises and stretches), which will help to improve the strength and mobility of your hips.
- Seated Butterfly Stretch – Now I know this might come off as a simple & basic stretch, but doing the butterfly stretch will really help you work on those groins, which you’ll find get tight day in and out. Doing so will greatly increase the strength & flexibility of the pelvic floor, while also improving the co-ordination of other muscles such as in your lower body, back, and abdomens.
- In this following video, you’ll be really working out your Psoas muscle, in which you should almost begin feeling a difference right away within your hips and lower back. The video recommends using a moveable bar that you can duck under, but I’ve been able to manage this exercise without one. So far, this has been one of the most effective exercises from improving my hip mobility, strength, and flexibility. Highly recommend giving this one a go:
- Mobilizing Your Front Hip Flexors – In this exercise, we’re going to need a foam roller or tennis ball. With this exercise we’ll be using those to go over and apply pressure to the crease in our front hip area, which will really help to loosen up those muscles that are deeply affected from sitting down through out the day.
- Wall Psoas Hold – Notice the term Psoas here? If you’ve never heard of it, it’s actually one of the most important muscles in our body. Deeply attached to our spine it connects the upper and lower body together. Strengthen this muscle, and you’ll be doing your body a huge favor allowing you to increase your stride length, your range of motion, and increasing the strength and power in your hips. To perform a Wall Psoas Hold, all you need to do is bring one knee up while in a standing position and hold it for 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.
- Floor Side Mountain Climbers – Next up is where things might get challenging, but this is an exercise I highly recommend to strengthen the front of your hip flexors. In order to do this, you’ll need something that slides across the floor. But anything works.. Grab a couple hand towels if you have to and start by putting yourself in the pushup position. Bring your left leg towards your chest and begin to alternate each leg. Incorporating this exercise is especially beneficial because of how hard it can be to target these muscles.
- Last but not least, check out this complete guide to learn how to perform the following hip stretches: Hip Flexor Stretch, Hip Rotator Stretch (internal & external), Floor Hip Stretch, Hip Adductor Stretches (short & long adductors), Hip Extensor Stretch, Iliotibial Band Stretch.
- Here is another great video comprising of various hip stretches you can do daily.
I think once you get the hang of working out and stretching your hips every once in a while, it will start to become a habit. You’ll start to notice how easily they become tightened and the many, many benefits in keeping your hips mobile. Gradually, you should notice small improvements in your: posture, range of motion, strength, and overall mobility. In other words, strengthening your hips is a great preventative strategy for both postural problems, muscle imbalances, and spinal stability.
Have any questions on how to better improve your hip strength & mobility? Please leave your comments down below!