Updated: May 16, 2018
Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to move your hips like Shakira or Ricky Martin? I mean come on, those guys have some serious flexibility in the waist area.
And how sexy does it look to see no stiffness in someone's hips, they have a great flow about them don't they?
Along with good movement around the hips usually comes with a great backside! I'm serious, those guys that can move their hips well have good butts, they are able to use their glutes to great effect to move their hips that way.
Now, consider having the above mobility in your hips and great control of your butt, as a runner, swimmer, cyclist or any other kind of athlete. How do you think that would affect your performance?
How is it that we have become so stiff in the hip area?
Our good friends the desk, the car, the sofa (and so on) are unfortunately to blame. In today's world most of us spend a large amount of our waking day sat down. According to NHS statistics, many adults in the UK spend 7 hours a day sitting down which can increase to 10 hours or more with age. That is a massive amount of time. Then when we factor in we sleep on average 8 hours a night we're looking at 15+ hours of a 24 hour day being completely sedentary.
Benefits of good hip mobility and glute activation include;
Less back pain (particularly for athletes)
Less stiffness in the hips
Less likelihood of injury
Better core control
Elimination of related issues else where in the body. Lower back, knees, ankles, shoulders and neck. They are all affected by your hips.
A quote from Mark Sisson, writer of 'The Primal Blueprint' and is responsible for the web site Marks Daily Apple, go check it out.
People have forgotten (or don’t know) how to use their hips the way evolution designed them to be used. Instead of sitting back with their hips to pick something up, followed by a hip extension (thrust forward) to bring it up, they’ll bend at the waist and lift with the lower back. Picking up a potted plant? You can get away with poor hip mobility – for a while. Picking up a weighted barbell, a child or a bag of peat moss with poor hip mobility using your lower back? That’s an injury waiting to happen.
We really should be looking after our hips far more than we do. I see stiff hips in people on a regular basis and one of my missions is to try and help people move better and more.
I've attached some videos of some hip mobility exercises you can do at home with no equipment on a regular basis. Within a week you will feel the benefits of such exercises, just think how you'll feel in a month, 6 months or a year? Imagine yourself with better hip movement. Use this as motivation to get out of bed 5 - 10 minutes early to get these done and then 5 - 10 minutes before you go to bed.
Hip Mobility Exercises;
Hip Gait Openers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWAv5InbvGA Breathe in as you pull the knee upwards and out, bracing the core when pushing the foot out. 5 - 10 each side.
Hip Gait Closers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVC0iKMky5g Breathe in as you pull the knee upwards and out, bracing the core when pushing the foot out. 5 - 10 each side.
Hip Circles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5c3GJfUTUI 10 - 15 each side, keep yourself tall and your chest facing forwards. Slightly bend your knees.
Hip Opening Routine, slightly more advanced - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr4dRbMCOK8&t=22s Be sure to breathe deeply through every movement. Hold positions for 3 - 5 deep breathes at a time.
I guarantee that these will help to release your hips and make your life that bit more comfortable. If you work behind a desk, be sure to get up and move around for 5 - 10 minutes every hour, even do these exercises if you're brave enough to do them in your office.
As a bonus, here are a couple of glute activation exercises to start you using those butt cheeks of yours. This will help you become more aware of your core when you do things of an everyday nature - learn to engage and brace when you lift things.
Give your body a chance.
Mule Kick or Bird Dog - Keep your core tight and breathe out on the effort. 5 - 10 each side. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQpX4xG43o4
Glute Bridge - Keep your feet close to your butt. Breathe in before you start and brace your abs. Squeeze your butt cheeks to lift your hips and breathe out. Hold at the top for 1 second breathing in on the way down. Repeat 5 - 10 times, as many sets as you please. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap60phe4MVk
In Fitness & In Health
John 'Mobility Is Sexy' Withinshaw