General flexibility correlates to athletic performance in a number of ways. It leads to better posture and movement, prevents body misalignment, and decreases risk of injury. In particular, hip mobility and flexibility play a significant role in an athlete’s ability to use their body efficiently.
Hip mobility allows athletes to do more than just get into an athletic position before a play, it allows them to manipulate their body into biomechanically efficient positions while making a play. Having flexibility in your muscles keeps you loose, but have mobility in your hips is what allows you to play to your full potential.
4 Daily Stretches to Promote Hip Mobility
Lying Hip Rotations
This is an extremely accessible stretch, that can even be done while sitting. Follow the steps below from a seated position and you can work on hip mobility from your desk!
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor
- Cross one of your ankles at the opposite knee
- Push your elevated knee outward to engage the stretch, and release it in to relax
Kneeling Lunge Stretch
Step into a lunge, and allow your back knee to touch the floor. The key here is to keep your hips square and your front shin upright (not angled forward or back). It may take some practice to feel out how far your feet should be from one another, but you will know when you’re in the correct position.
- Get into a lunge position, with knee and foot about hip width apart from the elevated leg.
- Keep the chest tall and the hips square.
- To make the stretch harder, you can pull the back knee up off the ground.
Butterfly Hip Stretch
This classic stretch is very useful for the groin muscles, and for improving hip rotation to the side. Pay close attention to your back and keep it straight and upright as you move through the stretch.
- Sit up with feet together, moving the knees down toward the ground
- Use your hand to press into the ground and move your groin closer to your heels
The pigeon stretch is common in yoga practice. It is a deep stretch that can that can help you work on hamstring and spine flexibility as well as hip mobility
- Start with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle. The back knee can be as bent or extended as is comfortable for you.
- Rotate the back hip toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot.
- Keep the chest up tall, and only bear as much weight as you can comfortably.
- If you feel comfortable with the knee bent, you can work on straightening out the back leg into the full pigeon pose.
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