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Mobility - Hip Work for the Brave

Mobility - Hip Work for the Brave

This exercise is essentially mobilizing your position in the bottom of the squat, one leg at a time.  If you have trouble getting to the bottom of the squat or maintaining a good position at the bottom of the squat, this exercise is for you. 

Two important points: 

1. When using this exercise, you must continually move your hips in small circles to gently work through positions that are tight. You should go in and out of the end of your range of motion. Just getting into position and hanging out without oscillating in and out will not do enough. 

2. Make sure you keep your foot flat on the ground to mimic the proper position of the squat.  Even if it lets you mobilize your hip more, don't rotate your hip further outward if you have to lift your foot off the ground to do it.  You want to keep your leg in the same position as it would be for a good squat - keep your knee over your foot and keep your back flat.

Single Leg Flexion with External Rotation Bias

IMPROVES: Bottom of the Squat, Deadlift Setup, Overall Hip Function, Hip Flexion with External Rotation, Low Back and Hip Pain

TEST: First test your squat in the low position.

EXERCISE:

1. From your hands and knees, put your left foot next to your left hand.  Make sure your left shin is vertical.

 1

1a

2. Pin your left foot with your left hand, slide your right leg back, and push your left knee out to the side.  As you do this, push your right hip to the ground and make your back flat.  Now you should make small circles with your hip in and out of tension to make a change.

 2

2a

3. Next, find more areas that need work by turning away from your raised knee. Continue to circle in and out of tension.

 3

3a

4. In order to work more on external rotation, drop your right elbow to the ground and pin your foot with your right hand.  Turn your torso towards your left knee and push your left knee outward with your left hand.  I bet it's tight!

 4

4a

5. Another variation is to drive your hips back to get another area of the hip as well as your hamstrings.

 5

5a

6. Finally, slide your right leg back and continue to circle. You can move forward from that back position and eradicate any stiffness you find from that position.

6

6a

Be sure to repeat steps 1-6 with your right leg.

In addition to oscillating, you can make this exercise even more effective by using a few rounds of the contract / relax technique - Contract your glutes and legs while you count to 5, then relax deeper into the stretch.  Do this for 4-5 rounds.

RE-TEST: Test your squat position again.

How was it?  Let me know in the comments below after you try this exercise.  If you are anything like me, this one was tight.  Especially part 4 was a challenge.

 

Credit: Becoming a Supple Leopard, Kelly Starrett MobilityWOD.com

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