When clients first begin training with me, I take them through a movement assessment to better understand and identify areas that may have limited mobility and overuse or underuse. The most common areas where I see limited mobility is shoulders, hips, and ankles. Shout out to desk jobs for making it challenging to not have shoulder and hip limitations. Although there are several exercises to help improve mobility, we will focus on my top three hip mobilization exercises. 1. 90/90. This one can be done as a dynamic exercise or a static stretch. It addresses both external and internal rotation of your hips. Place each leg at a 90-degree angle -- one in front, one to the side. With a flat back, lean toward the front knee while keeping both knees in contact with the ground. You will likely feel a stretch in the hip of the same knee you are leaning toward. From here, lean back while keeping both knees down to get a stretch in the quad and hip flexor of the side leg. Repeat on the opposite side. To complete as a dynamic exercise, you'll sit up as tall as you can and switch your legs from each 90/90 position. Use your hands as support as needed. 2. Hip shift. Get into a half kneeling position with one knee and plant the other foot out to the side to with toes angled directly out. Hold a 5-12 lb weight in front of your lap and slowly shift your weight toward your angled out foot. You should feel an inner thigh stretch. Keep your glute engage to align your knee with your toes as you shift your weight. 3. Plate squat. Plant your feet in a slightly wider squat position with toes slightly angled out. Widen the feet to keep all three points of your feet in contact with the ground as needed. Hold the plate in front of you and lower down into a squat. Shift your weight slowly from side to side to get a slight stretch in your hips. Feel free to use your elbows to gently press the inside of your knees out. These three are great for addressing internal and external rotation. You can use them as daily mobility exercises, part of your warm-up, and/or when your hips are feeling extra tight. Note that these recommendations are not injury specific -- please see a Physical Therapist for a diagnosis. For exercise demonstrations, view the video below.
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