The HPCT #6: It’s All in The Hips, Happy!

The High-Performance Chalk Talk #6

 *This is the sixth installation of what will become a weekly email covering high-performance training. 

Top 5 Hip Mobility Movements

“It’s All in The Hips, Happy. It’s all in the hips.” – Chubbs Peterson

There is not an athlete on this planet that does not need to be relentlessly working on their hips.  It does not matter if you are a professional golfer, high school football player, or a weekend warrior.

Every movement, in every sport, involves the hips…

Think about it this way…

Hips are the axis of power generation and the driver of sprint ability.  Lackluster hip mobility and stability leads to a decrease in ability to extend the hips, transfer force, and powerfully rotate.

Now that we’ve established just how vital the hips are here are the Top 5 Movements for Hip Mobility and Stability. I believe these should be done 4-5 times per week.

The thing I like about this sequence is that it goes from slow to fast and can be used as part of your pre-activity prep.

1: Pigeon Stretch

This isometric hold position is a great way to open up your glutes and prime your hips for movement.  It also serves as a good release for your lower back.  As you do this make sure to focus on your breaths and having very smooth tempo to your inhale and exhale. You’ll want to hold this for 30-60 seconds on each side.

  • Key Performance Tips: as your hip mobility increase you can begin to push your torso up and down to change the angle of the stretch.  Make sure to be passive in the movement and not force your knee too high or your chest too low.

2: Iron Cross

The key to this movement is to be robotic in your motions.  Literally, if you look like a robot, you are probably doing it right. What this means is to not move past what range of motion you can do with precision.

  • Key Performance Tips: keep the shoulders on the ground, the knee fully locked out, and the toes flexed towards the shin. Think about driving your toe towards your opposite hand.

3: Modified World’s Greatest

This is a movement that hammers on the hips and provides both mobility and stability.  You should feel a stretch in the hip flexors, adductors, hamstrings, glutes, and low back. During all this, you are holding in an isometric position.

  • Key Performance Tips: do not shortchange the elbow to an instep portion of the stretch. Focus on keeping your back leg fully extended and maintaining stability in your front knee.  The eyes should follow the hand in a smooth manner.

4: Rolling V Sits

The Rolling V-Sit is a phenomenal way to target the hamstrings, groin, and low back. A major benefit of its ballistic nature is that it becomes a dynamic stretch for the hamstrings and primes them for the speed of training.

  • Key Performance Tips: during the rollback portion of the movement do not force the toes into one specific position, be passive and work within your range of motion.  Keep the legs as straight as possible, and as you roll towards the ground, reach the hands in a slightly upward position.

5: Single Leg Walking RDL’s + Block

This is a major ‘bang for your buck’ movement that activates all the stabilizers in the foot, ankle, knee, and hip.  When performed properly this will be a staple in your training, especially if you have struggled with the hip hinge movements.

  • Key Performance Tips: keep your shoulders and hips as level as possible, push your elevated heel back as if you are driving it into a wall, and get long from heel to hand.

These 5 movements should be completed in around 6-7 minutes and can work from the start to any warmup you are doing. If done right, they will start you with an increased core temperature, greater mobility, and solid activation in your hips and lower body.

Remember, just like my man Chubbs said – “It’s all in the hips”. My guess is that old Chubbs was hitting these 5 movements daily.

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