The famous musical artist Shakira once said “The hips don’t lie”, although she was referencing dancing this concept still correlates to the mobility of our hips. This month we are kicking off the beginning of a monthly mobility blog post and videos correlating to a specific joint starting with the hips.
First before we dive to deep into mobility, let’s make sure we are all on the same page by defining, discussing, and explaining why you should apply mobility exercise into your daily routine. We all have the general idea that joint mobility is most preferably described as the ability of a specific joint to move allowing that joint movement to provide optimal performance and overall health of the body. At the gym we see this important concept on an hourly basis. Sometimes as an athlete our strength isn’t what is limiting us, when actually our mobility is. The best example of this is the athlete that has a tough time with squat snatches or overhead squats because they rise up on their toes and their shoulders collapse when they are in the bottom position. That athlete is usually more than strong enough to increase in weight or go faster in a workout, but their mobility is holding them back. On the other side of mobility what you may not be aware of is deceased mobility in any joint can assimilate into a decrease in overall function of the body and, if the joint is left alone long enough can even lead into pain or injury. The goal of these posts and videos will help educate how we can keep improving or maintain, if we already have great mobility, our mobility of our joints to help prevent any issues in the future.
One last thing I want to add before we move on is addressing the different terminology of the hips. You may read or come across in other posts names such as femoral acetabular joint and the lower extremity ball and socket articulation; these names are quite different sounding, but we are still discussing the same location being the hips. If you ever feel getting stuck or caught up with the reading or a portion of the video please don’t hesitate to ask. Now that is out of the way the question now becomes how do I improve my mobility.
A couch, a pigeon, and a monkey sounds like the start to a really bad joke, but in this case they are descriptions for our mobility exercises. The couch stretch, pigeon stretch, and monkey stretch all have different benefits for them addressing different areas of the hips. These exercises should be performed for approximately 2 minutes, yes that is 2 minutes each side, to establish a change in the soft tissue around the hip joint. Deciding when to perform these exercises is anytime except directly before a workout. The reason for this is that prior to exercise you want to warm the muscles and body up for better circulation and load distribution rather than stretch the fibers and hold a position without moving for 4 minutes. Personally I perform them as soon as I wake up and then over lunch. A video along with directions and a detailed post of each exercise will be provided with a description in the upcoming weeks to help give a visual of the exercise being performed, the specific purpose, and what we are targeting around the hip joint to give everyone a better visual of the exercise.
Be on the lookout for these posts and videos. Once we get started remember just like most things progression takes patience, and patience leads to excellence. I’m excited to be working with everyone and getting you started on improving that mobility.