Dynamic hip mobility exercise can be a great addition to either your warm ups or mobility training, however you use them, here are 5 excellent dynamic hip exercises that you can add to your routine.
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Why Hip Mobility is So Important
Hip mobility is an important physical attribute that only goes unappreciated when it is not lacking. The main benefit of hip mobility and hip health is the ability to carry out normal day to day functions, like climbing stairs, walking around cities etc. This may seem mundane for some, but for people with severely tight hips these activities can seem impossible.
Hip mobility is also a key attribute to success in sporting endeavours, the majority of sports require a huge amount of organic movement around the hip joint, think of sports like rugby, tennis and judo, all of these very different sports all require very mobile and stable hips to both perform at your peak whilst also mitigating injury.
The squat and the hinge movement pattern both require very mobile hips to be performed at the desired range of motion. When we think and look at both of these movement patterns (seen below), the hips play a key role in successfully carrying out these exercises, so if they are very restricted mobility wise it will be difficult to perform them in such a way that will enable you to find gains in strength, which is ultimately the goal of these exercises.
Complete 3 rounds
Static hip mobility would involve static stretching of the hip joint and the muscles surrounding it, static is when there is no movement and the position is held still for a prescribed amount of time whereas a dynamic stretch is when there is movement through the joint. We can see this below in the difference between a 90-90 sit (static) and a 90-90 hip twist (dynamic). Personally I prefer using dynamic movements in warm ups and a mixture of static and dynamic movements in cool downs, I do not have evidence to support this but I prefer myself and my clients to flow into their sessions with dynamic movements and slow things down with static movements.
It is hard to say if dynamic movements can increase range of motion as so much depends on the individual performing them. If an elderly and sedentary individual starts doing a morning flow of dynamic movements for the hips, I think it be highly likely that they gain range of motion in the exercises they perform, because the stimulus is high enough to make change. Whereas others who are deep into their fitness journey and are already very mobile will likely see very few benefits in terms of mobility from what may feel like passive warm up exercises for the hip. These more advanced individuals will likely need more stimulus to create physiological change.
Warm ups are the perfect time to add in dynamic hip mobility exercises, they push the joint to the end of its range of motion, opening up the joint in preparation for strength work. I write all my warm ups based on movement categories, below in this sample warm up we can see a warm up for a session that starts with a hinge, then a squat. I always finish the warm up with a core exercises to make sure the body is working as one unit and to help increase body temperature. This warm up shows how dynamic hip mobility exercises can be used in a warm up.
Complete 3 rounds
Movement flows are great ways to change mood, wake up for the day, use as an active recovering activity and many other reasons. I like to use these as a way to add some light movement into my day when I d o not have a training session scheduled, mainly just because moving feels good. The goal here is not adaptation, but feeling tone.
We have an extremely extensive movement library with 162 mobility / movement exercises that you can use to create either warm ups of mobility flows. I highly recommend you look through these exercises and use them in your session creation process.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.