Before we talk about Hip mobility, I want to clear up the use of the words mobility and flexibility. They are commonly used to talk about the same thing, however, they have subtle differences. Mobility applies to the joint’s overall range of motion, whilst flexibility applies to the muscle length itself.
Both are important for good overall function, especially in runners!
The importance of Hip Mobility
Without hip mobility, runners would be unable to hold correct postures and positions when sprinting short distances or running for prolonged periods. There are four main movements of the hip that are important for runners; extension, flexion, internal rotation and external rotation. These movements allow us to take off, push into the ground beneath us and propel us forward!
Without hip mobility are unable to perform at their best and can be more prone to lower limb injuries which can involve the calf, achilles tendon, hamstrings, and foot/ankle.
The hips are the powerhouse for the lower part of the body. They are the control centre for our knees and ankles and surrounding muscles. We need to look after them!
What should I do?
If you think your hips are tight you may experience lower back tightness, calf tightness, achilles tightness as well as hamstring tightness. You also may feel tight and restricted at the front of your hips and struggle with basic daily movements. Some people report after a walk or after a long run that they can feel a pinching sensation in their hip!
If you think this might be you try this test below:
TEST: Hugging knee to chest whilst lying on your back
What you may feel: tight feeling in front of hip or a pinching sensation
Aim: hold the stretch for 30 seconds and relax into the stretch