5 Exercises to Increase Hip Mobility
As we age, mobility can be a major cause for concern among patients. Staying active can be one of the most beneficial ways to increase your mobility. If you are struggling with mobility, particularly in the hips, physical therapy could be a helpful tool for you. There are a few key stretches or exercises that can help increase your hip mobility if you work at them daily. Though these stretches are a good start, it is important to first consult with a physical therapist.
1. Straddle Kicks
Start by lying on your back. lift your feet off the ground and make a "V" shape with your legs. Slowly kick them to a V shape then back together. If you are able to go farther than a V, try going until you feel a slight stretch in your hips and inner thighs. You can try going into as deep of a straddle as you can and start to gently pulse your legs while in the V shape.
Repeat this exercise up to 5 times. You can try this at home on a yoga mat or wherever you are most comfortable. Keep in mind to protect your back while lying on the floor and make sure you are able to get up if you are doing them on the floor.
2. Over Knee Hip Stretch
Lying on your back, place your left ankle just above your right knee then straighten your right leg attempting to pull it towards your chest. If you are unable to straighten your leg, pull your right knee towards your chest as much as possible.
Repeat this stretch on the opposite leg. You can do this stretch 5 times holding for 15-30 seconds each.
3. Butterfly Stretch
Sit on the ground with the bottoms of your feet touching. This should make a diamond shape with your leg or "wings." Let gravity do the work here, and if you can, gently press your knees toward the ground to feel a light stretch. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
Once you are stretched, you can try pulsing or "flapping your wings." Repeat this exercise up to 5 times.
4. 90 / 90 Pails / Rails
Standing, make sure you have something to help you balance. With your inside leg straight, push strongly through the heel and keep the leg locked. Stand as tall as you can, and take the other arm out to the side making a fist. Pik your outside leg up keeping your toes pulled to the shin (it should make a 90-degree angle)Raise the knee as high as you can into hip flexion.
Next, slowly open the knee keeping it the same height and keeping your hips square and freezing. Next if internal rotation- pull your knee back and underneath the hip. This completes a full rotation of the hip. Slowly reverse the position back to a normal standing position.
5. Standing Hip Flexion
- While standing, bend one knee and lift it towards your chest. Use both your arms to stabilize and pull the knee close to the body. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds
- Create tension in your body and let go of your leg. Try to hold the leg up with the strength of your hip flexor. Repeat 2-3 times for 10 seconds.