The hip is one of the largest joints in the body and is responsible for a wide array of range of motions in the lower limbs. However, it is also one of those that are neglected during exercises and stretching making it tighter than the rest of the joints in the body. Improving hip mobility is synonymous to improving the overall movement of the lower limbs and ambulation, complementing the improvements you get from your Land O Lakes chiropractor visits. There are various ways to improve hip mobility including:
One of the best ways to improve your hip mobility is through stretching. Stretching helps shorten and lengthen your muscle effectively making them adapt to any hip movement. Also, stretching exercises increase the flexibility of the connective tissues in the hips preventing sprains and limited range of motion. There are several ways to stretch the hips. These include:
• Toe touches
Toe touches are a conventional way to increase hip mobility and aims at stretching the gluteal muscle and hamstrings, which you can do at home or at work. First, stand with the feet hip apart. Bend over to touch your toes. Use your right hand to touch your left toes and your left hand to touch your right toes. Alternate the toe touches for 10 to 20 seconds.
• Leg swings
To stretch the hip flexors and extensors in the hip joint, swinging the legs forward and backward helps you increase mobility. Stand beside a wall with your one side as close as possible to the wall to provide balance and stability. Swing your inner leg back and forth steadily for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. After this, you can also do the side to side leg swings as you swing one leg to the right and to the left to stretch the hip adductors and abductors.
• Twisting Reverse Lunge
To do this stretch, take a big step backwards and drop on one knee like making a lunge. Next, twist your torso to the opposite side of the bent knee. Repeat for 10 counts and repeat on the other side.
• Knee to Chest Stretch
Lastly, this stretch focuses on the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings for improved mobility of the hips. First, lie on your back. Pull your left knee towards your chest and use both hands to pull it closer. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat on the other leg.
Foam rolling is another way to increase hip mobility. Foam rolling breaks tight knots or trigger points in the soft tissues around your hips to make the hip joint more flexible and free to move. All you need to have is a foam roller and you can practically massage all parts of the hips for fifteen rolls each side for improved hip mobility. Foam rolling focuses on various parts of the hips including:
• IT band- Use the foam roller to massage the lateral portion of the thighs from the hips to the knees.
• Hip Adductors- Using the foam roller apply pressure back and forth on the inner side of the thighs.
• Hamstring- If your hamstrings are tight, use a foam roller to release those tensed muscles for improved hip mobility. Apply pressure at the back of the thighs.
To make the hips more flexible and mobile, always follow good body mechanics and employ proper exercises or training to prevent tightness in the hip area.