Hip mobility drills are all over Instagram, with trainers (and even less-qualified people) demonstrating Hip CARs — Controlled Articular Rotations. Many people have issues with tightness and pain in the hip, so these movements are important to know.
The only problem is…
Instagram is doing it dead wrong. (A lot of the time at least)
The 3 problems we see most often – EVEN in tutorial videos – drive us nuts.
- The video’s instructor doesn’t stop and “own” the hip’s position. Owning the position is important to understand your range of motion and improve it.
- Their spine moves. We want the spine to stabilize so that we can isolate the hip joint. If the spine moves, we are no longer working on the hip, are we? And much worse, we are teaching the body to move the hip with the spine…which can be a recipe for injury.
- Their body twists with the hip’s movement. As with the spine, if the torso comes along for the ride, we are no longer getting pure hip mobility, and setting up patterns that can be detrimental to performance and staying injury-free.
Now that we’ve covered what’s wrong…
Here are the 4 main things to remember about these movements:
- Flexion – Raise your knee towards your shoulder without rounding the spine.
- Abduction – With your knee still bent, move your leg away from the midline of the spine (out to the side) without twisting.
- Internal rotation – Rotate your thigh bone inward to the midline of your body with the knee bent.
- Extension – Push your leg back behind you, with knee bent, while leading with your heel — and feeling your glute contract maximally.