Simple Dynamic Warm-Up Hip Stretches for Big Gains

November 10, 2012 | Giovanni Grassi

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Just how mobile are your hips? Stiff hips could be what's holding you back from attaining peak performance. The hip girdle is one area of the body that demands a dynamic mobility warm-up. Performing hip stretches as part of your dynamic warm-up is a foolproof way to increase mobility and flexibility and to prevent injury.

Dynamic joint movements increase blood flow to the hips and expand range of motion in the hip girdle. In turn, more agile hips result in improved lower-body strength, greater stride length and more control over your center of gravity for agility training. (See also Improve Hip Mobility With NFL RB Ryan Mathews.)

Add these four dynamic hip mobility movements to your warm-up and take your performance up a few notches.

Hip Circles 

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg

  • Begin on all fours
  • Keep leg at 90-degree angle to body throughout exercise
  • Perform forward hip circles with right leg, bringing knee back, then out to side, then up, brushing it along elbow and back in to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform reverse hip circles, bringing knee up toward chest, brushing it along elbow, out to side and back, as if stepping out a window backwards, then back to start position
  • Perform set with left leg

Lying Prone Hurdler 

Sets/Reps: 2x10

  • Lie on stomach with arms out to side and legs straight, in T position
  • Keeping chest flat on ground and not over-rotating hips, bend right leg and pull knee up to elbow without letting knee touch ground
  • Return to start position without letting any part of right leg touch ground

Forward Hurdle Over/Under

Sets/Reps: 3x4 each leg

  • Set up four hurdles about two yards apart, alternating low and high hurdles
  • Begin standing on balls of feet with arms straight overhead (for full hip extension)
  • Keeping arms locked overhead, without dipping upper body forward or rotating to side, step over hurdle with right leg followed by left
  • Drop down so right leg is halfway through high hurdle and left knee is on ground
  • Keeping arms at side, tuck chin down and sit back on left heel
  • Shoot through hurdle keeping body stable
  • Stand up and repeat

Lateral Hurdle Over/Under

Sets/Reps: 3x4 each leg

  • Set up four hurdles about two yards apart, alternating low and high hurdles
  • Begin standing on balls of feet with arms straight overhead (for full hip extension)
  • Keeping arms locked out overhead, without dipping upper body forward or rotating to side, step over hurdle with right leg followed by left
  • Standing close to hurdle, place right foot through
  • Squat low with proper mechanics and tuck chin
  • Do not let chest touch knees
  • Once your head is lower than hurdle, shift hips through
  • Stand up and repeat
Watch Olympic shotputter Reese Hoffa perform the Lateral Hurdle Over/Under.

Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
Giovanni Grassi
- Giovanni Grassi is an NSCA-CSCS-certified sports performance specialist at the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he trains athletes in speed and agility...
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