Hip mobility plays a big part on how your legs and back not only feel but function. If you’re suffering from a stiff back, tight hamstrings, and even knee pain, I wouldn’t be surprised if your hips are part of the issue. That is why this month’s 10 day challenge is all about hip mobility targeting external rotation! So what does limited hip mobility really affect, why is external rotation so important, and can 10 minutes really make a difference? Read on to find out!
Effects of Limited Hip Mobility
Increasing hip mobility provides many forms of relief in your body. Two big ones are taking stress off your back and knees. When the muscles in your hips are tight, they directly impact these two areas. Think about it. They are the two main moving components on either side of this muscle group. If your hips are not sitting the way they should due to tightness, your back and knees are the first to feel it. No matter how you move your hips or pelvis, your lower back moves too. You can feel it when you make even the slightest movement with your pelvis.
Your hip mobility also plays a role in the health of your quadriceps, hamstrings, IT band, and everything in between. Not being able to fully extend and flex your hips means these muscles aren’t able to elongate properly. The direct relationship to these muscles is what causes knee issues. If these parts of your body are short or too tight they can pull on the knee causing pain and discomfort.
Are you one of those people who after sitting for a long time feels achy and tight when you stand up? You guessed it, tight hips are the culprit once more. Another great benefit to increasing your hip mobility is fighting sitting stiffness. When we are sitting, not all of our muscles are in great positions. Couple that with not having the best seated posture and you’ve got yourself a recipe for discomfort. Increasing flexibility in the hips along with making sure we are sitting well and getting up regularly can help combat these issues. It’s easy to see that everything in this section is connected, but how do we fix it?.
Why Target External Rotation
Limited external hip mobility impairs both flexion and extension. That means squatting or sitting down and being able to fully extend through the front of the hip. By waking up the ability to externally rotate you can more easily access your hamstrings and hip flexors. Better use of these two muscles will allow you to feel stronger. How does that work you ask? There isn’t anything holding you back! Having increased flexibility and mobility allows you to have more range of motion which in turn gives you access to use the entire muscle to its fullest potential! We talked a little before about short muscles not being able to provide maximum output. This is the same concept!
I know what you’re thinking. 10 minutes isn’t enough to make a big difference. Well, if you did our shoulder mobility challenge, I hope it made you realize that 10 minutes can make all the difference. The main thing is reinforcing a habit. Doing these exercises once for 1 hour is going to have way less of an impact than if you did them for just minutes every day. Slowly chipping away with bite sized increments of time is scientifically proven to be much more effective! It’s the same as learning a language. Your body does better with smaller bites than huge chunks!
The 10 Day – 10 Min Hip Mobility Challenge can make a big difference in how you feel day to day. The best thing about it… It just takes 10 minutes. You can do these exercises while winding down in the evening, during your lunch break, tacking them into your regular gym workout, or adding them into your morning routine. Either way, everyone can find 10 minutes.
Here we go! The full detailed challenge video is below! It features 3 different exercises. The first is a standing pigeon stretch. You will need either a couch, bench, or chair. The next exercise is fire hydrants with an external rotation flare. It really targets the little muscles you need to grab that external rotation. The last exercise is hip circles. This exercise puts that flexibility and activation into good use.
You have all the power to change how your body feels in just minutes a day! I know it can be hard to get started, but once you do, you won’t regret it. Sometimes people need a little push to get going so let this be yours! Make sure you tag us @mobility-doc on whatever social platform you use so we can celebrate your accomplishments with you! We look forward to seeing your progress.
If you’re bouncing back from an injury and are looking for more than just mobility work, check out our MDRx Hips program. Over 4 weeks it improves your range of motion, strength and overall function of the joint.