CES Sports Performance

Tips for Hip Mobility: Exercises for Flexibility & Performance

Dana Bender
Dana Bender
| Stay Updated with NASM!

Are you prioritizing mobility enhancement in your current fitness and performance goals?

With summertime in full swing, it's the ideal opportunity to conduct a mid-year evaluation of your physical tightness and mobility – especially in your hips. 

Pressed for time? Listen to Rick Richey explain the importance of hip flexor strengthening on the NASM-CPT Podcast.

Why is Hip Mobility Important?

Maintaining good hip mobility allows for efficient movement patterns, reduces the risk of imbalances and injuries, supports proper alignment, facilitates daily activities, aids in injury rehabilitation, and promotes overall comfort and ease of movement.

If you haven't been giving much thought to muscular tightness and joint restriction, there's no better time than now to begin. 

All individuals can benefit from a mid-year body scan of tight muscle groups and areas of the body that need more focused attention and rejuvenation.

What is a Body Scan?

The body scan is a mindfulness technique frequently used in fitness to detect and address areas of tension and discomfort. 

It involves a deliberate and systematic process of directing your attention to different parts of the bodyobserving physical sensations, and noting any signs of pain, tightness, or irregularities.

A body scan is a great tool that helps you find these areas of the body that need more attention with stretches and mobility exercises.

Not sure how to do a body scan? Follow these steps: 

1. Find a comfortable space: Choose a quiet and relaxing environment where you can sit or lie down without distractions.

2. Relax and breathe: Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and bring your attention to the present moment.

3. Scan your body: Start at the top of your head and slowly move down, paying attention to each body part. Take note of any sensations, tension, or areas of discomfort without judgment.

4. Conclude and return: Complete the scan by bringing your attention back to your entire body as a whole. Take a few more deep breaths and gradually transition back to your surroundings.

Remember, the body scan is a practice that can be adapted to your needs and preferences. Feel free to modify the steps as necessary to suit your comfort and time constraints.

Interested in the practice of stretching, mobility, and how to prevent injuries through both? We made a Corrective Exercise Specialization guide just for you. 

The 6 Best Hip Mobility Exercises

With the warmer weather beckoning us to prioritize joint mobility and muscle flexibility, it's important to pay attention to the hip region of our bodies.

During this time of year, outdoor exercises like walks, runs, and bike rides can lead to tightness in the hip and pelvic muscles. To counteract this, incorporating specific exercises can help loosen up the hips and enhance mobility. 


Here are the top six hip exercises to promote flexibility and freedom of movement this summer.

Figure Four Glute Stretch 


1. Lay supine on your back. 
2. Lift your knees above your hips.


3. Cross one shin across your thigh with the hip turned out actively flexing the foot. 
4. Hold for at least 45 seconds to a minute before switching to the second side.

Tabletop 1 Leg Hip Circles


1. Find a tabletop position, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
2. Use padding under both knees if needed.


3. Hover one knee under your abdomen and draw a full range of motions circles with your knee to lubricate your hip.
4. Complete five circles in each direction before switching sides.  

Technique Tips

As you move, do your best to stabilize the core so only one hip moves. 

External Rotation Clams


1. Lay on your side with knees bent towards the naval. 
2. Stack shoulders, hips, and knees as best as you can.


3. Keep the heels together and externally rotate your top hip as far open as you can without the core moving or letting the heels come apart.
4. Repeat 6-8 repetitions before switching to the second side. 

Technique Tips

Focus on the range of motion and isolating the gluteus. 

Internal Rotation Side Lying


1. Lay on your side with knees bent towards the naval. 
2. Stack shoulders, hips, and knees as best you can.


3. Keep the heels together and lift the top heel off of the bottom heel internally rotating the top thigh. 
4. Repeat 6-8 repetitions before switching to the second side.

Plie Squat with elbows on thighs for support 


1. Stand tall with feet as wide as your shoulders, legs turned out, and toes and knees pointing in the same direction. 


2. Sink your hips into a plie squat and place your elbows on your thighs for support and to assist in the rotation. 
3. Hold 45 seconds to a minute to open the inner thighs and pelvic muscles. 

90-90 Hip Opener Low Lunge


1. From a kneeling position step one leg forward into a low lunge with the back knee on the mat. 
2. Position your back knee right below the hip so that both legs create a ninety-degree angle. 


1. Without changing the position of your body, activate the core to stretch the front of your hips.

How long does it take to see results?

With consistent practice, including targeted exercises and stretches, you can typically start to notice improvements in hip mobility within a few weeks to a couple of months.

Regularly performing mobility exercises, incorporating dynamic stretches, and maintaining an active lifestyle that promotes hip movement can expedite the progress. 

Additionally, proper warm-up, proper form during exercises, and avoiding overstretching are essential to prevent injuries and facilitate steady improvement.

Final Thoughts…

  • Prioritizing hip mobility during the summer season can have a significant impact on overall well-being. 
  • By recommitting or starting a mobility and recovery program, you can work towards improving hip and pelvic mobility. 
  • Incorporate these exercises into your regular weekly routine to maximize the benefits and achieve the best results.

What To Read Next…

1. 5 Huge Benefits of Stretching
2. Tips to Get Your Body and Mind Ready for the Beach
3. Wellness Tips For Summer 



The Author

Dana Bender

Dana Bender

Dana Bender, MS, NBC-HWC, ACSM, E-RYT. Dana works as a Wellness Strategy Manager with Vitality and has 15+ years experience in onsite fitness and wellness management. Dana is also a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, an Adjunct Professor with Rowan University, an E-RYT 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, ACSM Exercise Physiologist, and ACE Personal Trainer. Learn more about Dana at www.danabenderwellness.com.

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