Active mobility training is life-changing.
In my experience, most people are going to notice the most significant improvements from dedicated mobility training in the hip and shoulder region.
Getting the shoulders and hips working nice, pain-free, strong, and supple is a good goal for ANYONE.
And I know saying that sounds really broad, but a body that works nicely without pain during movement is ideal.
Today’s post shares 3 hip mobility exercises that can wake up your hips and make them feel great.
I preach to play the long game with fitness. Whether you’re pursuing a body transformation, performance gains, or general health improvement, it’s going to take time.
Nothing long-lasting happens overnight with fitness and movement.
It’s a process.
But after “blowing the dust” off of your hip musculature with a few good work sets of active mobility work, your hips will likely feel amazing.
“Amazing” = buttery, mobile, alive, awake, workable, etc.
The basic premise of active mobility training is to increase range of motion (progressively) and establish full CONTROL over that range of motion.
We accomplish this using a variety of isometric holds and dynamic movements.
Conditioning the hips, a ball-and-socket joint with a really robust potential for movement in many directions, to perform tasks beyond lifts like deadlifts, squats, and lunges is ESSENTIAL.
Deadlifts, squats, and lunges are all great exercises to include in a workout regimen.
My YouTube channel is loaded with variations of each of those movement patterns.
But, from a joint articulation perspective, these exercises only scratch the surface.
Your hips can do more. Way more. Mobility training can help retrain your body to access this movement.
Don’t interpret my message as a call to stop lifting weights. but rather an encouragement to deliver nourishment to your joints in the form of active mobility training.
Dedicated mobility training can help mitigate injury while boosting movement performance.
Building strong hips is can be made simple, and these 3 hip strengthening exercises will help to improve your hip control and strength.
90/90 Knee to Heel
Touch the knee to the heel.
Position the hands in front and outside the lead leg, using your arms to prevent any contorting of the body.
While moving the leg, hover the knee an inch or two above the floor while the foot lightly glides. Keep the floor pressure as soft as possible.
After touching the knee to the heel, drive the leg away from the heel as far back as possible.
Squeeze the glute hard and PUSH!
Keep the torso calm throughout the drill.
Aim for 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps per side.
90/90 Heel to Heel
Same idea here, except right before the knee touches the heel, articulate the hip and lift the knee upward.
Guide the trailing foot heel to contact the down leg heel.
Some people might refer to this as a “heel click”.
Call it whatever pleases you, just make sure you try it.
Lightly touch heels without losing body position before reversing the range of motion and reaching back.
On the reach back, SQUEEZE your ass cheek HARD. REACH!!!
Aim for 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps per side.
90/90 Around the World
I wasn’t sure how to name this movement, “around the world” seemed fitting.
Perform the same knee to the heel, upward lift into the heel to heel, but return to the leg to the start position by extending at the knee and swooping the leg back into extension (with a subtle rotational articulation).
All of the hip mobility shared will burn up the muscles to some degree, but this exercise will really set them ablaze.
Again, do your best to keep the upper body calm. Avoid excessive leaning or other compensations.
Stay strict, make the hips do the work.
Aim for 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps per side.
How to Make These Hip Mobility Exercises Harder
Slow down and increase the time under tension.
Test your ownership over the movement by moving slower. Try moving at a 3-count or 5-count pace. Add pauses when you find weak points and GRIND!
Add ankle weights.
Wearing 2-5lb ankle weights load will make each of these hip mobility variations significantly more difficult.
Especially on the 90/90 “around the world” variation. Your face will begin to melt onto your neck.
A 5lb ankle weight will feel like 25lbs when your leg is at full extension. 🔥
A simple pair of ankle weights serve a valuable purpose with mobility training, and if you didn’t find the bodyweight variations difficult, take a shot of whiskey because adding weight is going to increase the intensity quickly.
Consistently practicing active mobility drills helped me make gains with my lifts.
I fought the idea for years and talk about it frequently on this blog and in the description section of my YouTube videos.
Deadlifts clean up. Squats clean up. Overhead movements clean up.
I couldn’t touch the dragon squats for months. It got to a point where I wasn’t even sure my bony structure would allow me to perform a full range dragon squat. Ha. Regressions provided limited improvements.
My hips didn’t understand they could move into those “extreme” ranges without compromising safety. Our bodies are equipped with amazing safety features.
So I turned my attention to ramping up the mobility work (along with dragon squat regressions), and whammo… depth achieved.
I prefer these Valeo ankle weights that are adjustable from 5lbs to 20lbs.
For Best Results
Give every work-set full attention and focus and don’t let your mind wander during the exercise.
Center yourself, and stay in the moment.
Expect these drills to be humbling. Moving the hips like this will light up the muscles different than any traditional exercise.
You can expect soreness in the days afterward.
One workout is not enough to make forever change. Mobility, just like strength, requires ongoing TLC.
It took a while to arrive at your current state, it’s going to take some time to reverse it.
Give the body time to adapt to the stress to make room for the next bout of stress.
Related Posts and Resources:
MyMobilityDaily (best streaming mobility training program)