The following set of mobility exercises for your hips will also condition your core at the same time. Not only will these dynamic stretches help with hip mobility, but they will also help to mobilise the lower back. The core is paramount in each of these poses for stabilising the movement at the hip joints and pelvis. The more you can bring the legs through the sequences without relying on swinging momentum, the more you’ll build muscle memory in activating these movements from the core.
These hip mobility and core conditioning exercises can be integrated into your daily workout or extended into longer sets to make a workout in themselves. Adapt each hip and core mobility exercise to the speed and depth that’s right for you and work on accessing a deeper ROM (range of motion) over time.
90/90 legs for warming up the hips and core
This pose alternates your legs between internal and external rotation at the hip socket. This makes it a great mobility exercise to start with to warm up the hips. As you build momentum and your twists begin to deepen you’ll begin to mobilise the mid-back along with the hips. Activate the core by using it to control the body when coming up through the centre, without edging forward on your sit bones.
Start with your knees bent and feet on the ground a little wider than hip-width apart. Drop both knees in one direction whilst rotating around to tap your hand behind you to that same side. As you come up through centre pull up through your core to prevent you from shifting forward on your sit bones. As you gain momentum you can try leaving your arms elevated throughout, eventually raising up on one knee at the top of the twist.
Dynamic Lunges stabilising the hips with the core
Now that you have your hips and core warmed up then you can start to build a little bit more fire in your belly. The core is used in this hip mobility exercise to stabilise the rest of the body and control the momentum of the leg moving forward and back. If you can’t tap your foot all the way to your other wrist, then just bring it forward to wherever you can. Instead of trying to get the leg further forward, focus instead on core stabilisation.
Start in a lunge position and bring your front foot to outside your hands. Push into your hands and try to slightly dome between your shoulder blades to help switch on your core. Initiating the movement from the core, not the leg muscles, tap the front foot back towards the back foot into a plank. Once in plank pose reverse the movement bringing the same foot forward again to wherever you can, whilst still maintaining the rest of your body static.
Lunge to squat kick throughs for ultimate hip mobility and core combo
This mobility exercise is always fun for checking your coordination. If you’re restricted by tight calves or ankles in a low squat, which prevents you from grounding your heels, then you may find this mobility exercise somewhat more testing. You can challenge yourself once you’ve got to grips with the mobility routine, by trying to pick up as much speed as possible, whilst not losing the order of the footwork.
Start in a low squat position. From here step your right leg back into a low lunge. Next bring the same leg you just brought back all the way forward, kicking it through between the left foot and right hand. At the same time raise the left hand up to counterbalance you. Now, this is where you really test your coordination! Step the kicked through foot back to the outside of the right wrist and then start the whole process again from the other side. Finish the exercise with a few breaths in a wide knee child’s pose.
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Spinal roll to squat jump for explosive movements from the core and hips
This starts off as a mobility exercise for the spine, as the rolling back and forth over a curved spine gives you a spinal massage. The hip mobility and core conditioning come in to play when you begin to pop up onto your feet.
Start by rolling back and forth along a curved spine to seated. Then roll into low squat and back. After a few rounds in low squat see if you can get enough momentum to start coming into a higher squat. You can eventually make your way all the way to standing and even add in a jump before rolling back down.
Dynamic spinal twists stabilising the pelvis with your deep core muscles
This final sequence starts as an exercise for spinal mobility, especially if you alternate your head in the opposite direction to your knees. If you need to help stabilise your core throughout these movements then turn your palms into the ground to push into. You want to try and keep both shoulders grounded throughout this mobility routine. And as before, try to initiate the movement from your core, not your legs.
Lying on your back bring both knees into your chest. With control drop both knees to one side as you exhale, turning your head in the opposite direction. Inhale the knees back to the centre. To activate the core further, extend the legs out. If you’re doing the extended leg version then keep your head centralised.
For an added challenge, try working the legs in 3 positions. First tap your feet to your wrists, then to midway, and then finish with your feet tapping out to about 5 or 7 o’clock. Neutralise the spine at the end by taking a few breaths with your knees into your chest in the centre.
For you full mind, body workout including exercises such as these head over to the Ocean Flow Fitness Online Studio and try one of the Yoga & mixed Movement class today!