Hip Mobility Routine: Better Movement in 14 Days

Dr. John lifting his left leg over the box to complete the leg circles exercise as part of his hip mobility routine

Healthy hips are essential for everything from pain-free walking to rocking those killer dance moves. Tight hips can wreak havoc on your posture, leading to lower back pain and restricted movement.  In this challenge we cover all the likely culprits that could be causing your pain and stiffness. We’re stretching in rotation and extension, getting the core to work in harmony with hip movement, and finally, we’re combining flexibility and stability in a strength movement.  Let’s explore the Mobility-Doc definition of mobility and then get to our 14 day hip mobility routine!

What is Mobility

It’s a common misconception that mobility equals flexibility.  Really that couldn’t be more different.  Mobility for any joint is a combination of 3 things.  It’s the perfect balance of flexibility, stability, and strength.  All 3 of these elements play a vital role in how (in this instance) your hip moves.  People have a tendency to focus on flexibility and leave out stability and or strength.  This is when problems start to happen.  Doing exercises that are well balanced will help you become more flexible, stable, and strong.  You can use this hip mobility routine to holistically improve the function of your hips! 

The Hip Mobility Routine

Let’s start by talking about how amazing this primer is for general mobility of the hips.  We’ve done primers in the past that focus on internal, external and other specific kinds of hip mobility, but this one is so special.  You’re going to get a little bit of everything which means it’s perfect for everyone to do!  Trust me when I say, you’re going to love it!  Make sure you share it with your friends and family.  This is a great quick routine that you can do together.  It’s appropriate for all ages and skill levels.  Accountability helps you keep going for all 14 days, so grab your friends and let’s go!


Dr. John lying on his back with 1 leg up in the air testing the mobility of his hip

We start laying on our back. Slowly raise one leg straight up into the air, keeping your back in a neutral position. You’re going to repeat this 3 times per leg.  How high can you comfortably go? 

Take into consideration where your body feels tight and what is stopping your leg from moving.  Take photos or notes, but most importantly remember this for your post-test!

The Circuit

This circuit has 3 exercises.  You should do them in order and then once 1 round is completed, do all 3 exercises 2 more times!

Exercise 1: The Brettzel 2.0 (30 seconds each side)

This stretch goes deep on your quads and hip flexors.  You’ll want to be seated on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees in front of you.  Let both knees fall to 1 side.  From here, bring your top leg’s foot closer to your glute. 

Dr. John on the floor stretching his right hip for his hip mobility routine.

Lean back and extend from your hips by squeezing the glute of the hip you’re stretching!  Turn your body into the side your elbow is leaning on.  Hold for 30 seconds per side.

Pro Tip:  Play around with the angle of the top leg.  The closer or further away it is to your bottom changes the stretch.  Don’t open more than 90 degrees!

Exercise 2: Activated Single Leg Raises (10 reps each side)

Let’s get that core working! You’ll need some kind of resistance band and a secure anchor for them.  Lie on your back with legs extended.  With both hands hold onto your band(s).  With straight arms pull them down in front of you as hard as you can.  You definitely want to feel your core ENGAGED!!  It should feel like a big crunch.  Slowly raise one leg straight up, keeping the other leg flat on the mat. Hold for a beat, then lower back down with control. Do this 10X on one leg before switching to the other.  It’s important not to lose the tension in your arms for this exercise!

Dr. John demonstrating engaged core and arms by pulling down on exercise bands for his hip mobility routine
Core Engaged Before Leg Raise
Core engaged with Leg Raise

Exercise 3: Hip Circles with Bench (10 reps each direction, per leg)

Grab a sturdy bench, box, or chair. The height of this will be trial and error!  You want the box or bench just next to/slightly in front of you.  From here you’re going to start your circle from behind, lifting your leg up and sliding your foot on the top of the box/bench and then in front of you.  Then go back the other direction.  This is 1 rep. 

Dr. John demonstrating keeping his hips level while moving one leg over the box for the last exercise of the hip mobility routine

It’s important to choose something that isn’t too high!  Part of the reason we’re incorporating a prop is so that your movement is more honest.  When we say honest, we mean not letting your leg drop or using your body to leverage yourself to 1 side by leaning over.  Pay attention to how you’re moving and play around with different heights to find 1 that’s best!

Watch our How To Video for detailed instructions on the hip mobility routine!

Now that you’ve completed round 1 of the primer, you need to do 2 more rounds.  Once these exercises get more comfortable you’ll start feeling more confident and differences in your body!


Let’s see how much progress you’ve made!  Finish your 10 min primer by repeating your single leg raises.   It’s very normal to feel minor differences from day to day, but if you stick to it you’ll see big changes from day 1 – day 14. 

Pro Tips

  • Listen to your body: Don’t push through pain. If something feels off, go back to the basics and listen to how the exercise is done again.  You may be missing a small but key part.  If not, your mobility may be more limited than you think!  Which leads us to our next point…
  • Be consistent: The key to unlocking lasting mobility is showing up every day.  A few minutes spread out over many days will always beat an hour once a week.  Big changes happen if you stay consistent!  Do the full 14 days and see!
  • Record your progress: Take photos or videos to track your improvement and celebrate your wins!  From day 1 to 2 you may not notice a difference, but from day 1 to day 14 you will! 

Join the Movement!

Let’s make this a community effort! Share your journey on social media using #HipMobilityChallenge. Tag us (@mobility_doc) and show me those pre and post-test results!   Here’s to looser hips, stronger cores, and a whole lot of confidence!

Check Out Our Other Challenges!

Want More Hip Mobility Exercises?

Do MDRx Hips!  This 4 week program systematically improves your flexibility, stability, and strength.  You’ll continue seeing big improvements how your hips feel and move!  Learn More

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