Stretching is great.
But so is moving a joint through its full range of motion… in fact it can be just as helpful as stretching (sometimes more)!
Let me show you some exercises that are movement based.
The more you do these the better your joints will move and the larger your range of motion will become.
12 Movement Based Hip Exercises To Restore Full Range of Motion
1. Wall Kicks
I use this exercise in every warmup I do for any workout. It's a great way to get the blood flowing and body feeling loose.
Use a wall... back of the couch... a chair... something to help keep your balance. Make sure it's sturdy though.
First orientation... kick straight out and as high as you can.
Your leg is a true pendulum... you're not stopping... it's one fluid motion forward and backward.
Second orientation... Face the wall and kick out laterally.
Same idea... it's a fluid movement. Let the momentum of the kick pull on you hip joint and muscles.
I typically do 10 reps per leg... per orientation.
And typically I do two rounds before a workout.
2. Hip Circles on Wall
The more you do these... the better your body will feel.
Use a wall... back of the couch... something to help with balance.
You're going to make a HUGE circle with your hips... as big as you can move.
BUT... here's the kicker...
If you're doing forward circles...
Kick back with your heel pointing straight up to the sky.
Externally rotate your leg so your shin is now parallel to the ground.
Continue to rotate at your hip joint so when the leg is in front... shin is now perpendicular to the ground.
Keep your knee bent at 90 degrees the entire time.
Same idea going backwards... only you’ll need to internally rotate on your hip joint to get your shin parallel to the ground.
Use a box or chair to help force yourself to make really big circles.
Do 10 circles per direction per leg.
3. Hip Circles on Knees
This is the same idea as doing hip circles standing with a little twist.
Because you have to lift your leg against gravity... you're actually getting a little more glute activation than when you stand.
But the same idea holds...
Circle your hips as big a circle as you can... MOVE that hip joint!
4. Deep Squat Movement
I call this the deep squat jitter.
Here's what you do...
Get into a deep squat. If you need help... have a chair... couch... box... door jam to help hold you up.
Once you're in a deep squat try some of these sequences:
Go relaxed and let your back round... then hold your core tight and see if you can straighten your spine.
Move around and work on ankle mobility... try to move over your feet at much as possible hinging from your ankles.
Do some low squat twists... very tough mobility move.
Move your arms up and over your head as high as you can.
All of these moves you do in a low squat help your hips... your ankles... your shoulders and back.
Just listen to your body and don't force a move if it hurts. Get in tune with what your body is saying.
5. Side to Side Lunges
Side to side lunges are a great exercise... but we're not doing the exercise version.
Rather... don't use a weight at all right now.
Rather go from one side lunge to the other and work on hip mobility and stretching out your groin.
Here are some cool tips to try:
When you're in a low lunge... feel like you're trying to drag the foot of the straight leg. It helps to really stretch your groin out.
Work on getting into a deep lunge and over the foot of the bent leg... this is very tough when one of your legs is straight. Good for ankle mobility.
As you go from one leg to the other... stay bent over and get a good hamstring stretch in-between.
As you get better... you can use a light weight to help get deeper into each move.
I love to do this as a warmup and the more you practice this the better your hips will feel.
6. Hip Switches
Just like hip rotations... you're practicing internal rotation of the hip joint and external rotation of the hip joint.
When you start... put your hands behind you to help with the movement.
As you get better... don't use your hands at all or add a weight for a tough challenge.
Pat attention to this...
When your legs are down notice the hip of the leg that is internally rotated... how far off the ground is it?
Do you feel an uncomfortable bend in your side?
Keep doing this move and as your hips open up... you'll notice you can sit taller and get that butt cheek closer to the ground... if not on it.
7. Hip Switch Sequence
This is the hip switch with two added moves.
When you're in your seated position... move to your knees and squeeze your butt.
Squeezing your butt opens your hips and feels really good.
Then you can swing your outside leg all the way around your body until your in a kneeling position.
Once you're in a kneeling position, you can go into a modified lizard pose and do some lunge twists to help mobilize your low back.
Then to return... you swing your front leg all the way back around your body until you're on you knees... then hip switch to the other side.
Watch the video above because this is really hard to explain in words.
I love this move for a warmup as well.
8. Forced Seated Hip Rotations
This is one or my favorites for hip mobility.
Sit up with your legs straight out.
Bend one leg so the foot is at knee level... then move the foot out to 45 degrees from your leg and shoulder line.
Now... open the leg and forcefully push the leg open.
Then bring your leg back in and push the knee back down the ground on the inside... try to keep sitting straight up.
Keep moving back and forth between the two positions and you'll feel your hip start to loosen up.
This is a great move as a warmup and during cool down too... even great in the middle of the day.
9. Seated Banded Hip Pull Aparts
It's time to bring the bands out.
You'll need a small loop band. They are cheap on Amazon or your local sports shop... go local!
Move between wrapping the band below the knees and above the knees. Both locations work... and different people think one is harder than the other.
But you'll sit on a chair or box with your feet at hip distance.
You can let your feet roll over as you move your knees as far apart as possible.
Keep repping out as much as you can... 60... 80... 100 before you take a break.
You'll feel your butt burn like crazy behind your hip joint. This is your Glute Medias doing the work and it's a muscle almost everybody needs to strengthen.
Are you ready to rock out the old 80s style of workout?
Wrap your band around your ankles.
Assume 80s aerobic position... and you're going to do leg lifts fighting the band.
But here the change I want you to make.
Rather than lift your leg straight up... lift it at a 30 degree angle going back... so up and back diagonal essentially.
Again, this will force your Glute Medias to work really hard and you’ll feel the burn like no other.
It's a great hip mobilizer and strengthener.
Want More!?!? Come Train With Me In Person!
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We have a program called Fit Women's Weekly LIVE . It's our premium program where we host 3 LIVE workouts every weekday.
We also record them so you can do them when they better fit your schedule.
And guess what?
One of the classes we do every day is a coaching class.
During these coaching classes you learn a lot... especially mobility.
So if you want more mobility exercises and routines... try FWW LIVE for 14 days .
See what it's all about.
There's no obligation to join when your trial is over. I just want you to see what they next level of online training is like.
I hope to see you during a LIVE workout!