Do your hips feel stiff and tight when squatting? Try these 5 exercises to improve your hip mobility and avoid hip pain when squatting.
Squats are one of the best exercises you can do. Bodybuilders squat. Powerlifters squat. Gymnasts squat. Your grandma squats.
Everyone should squat to build a strong and resilient body; however, you may be feeling hip pain and decreased mobility. It’s a bummer to feel pain when you are bum and booty building.
In this article and YouTube video, I’m going to show you 5 exercises to get your hips feeling good when squatting.
Exercise #1: Side planks with clams.
Starting position: Lie on your side with the elbow under the shoulder and the knees bent to approximately 70 degrees of hip flexion.
Ending position: The hips are lifted upward and the top knee should be rotated up with the feet together.
Instructions: Begin with the elbow under the shoulders and knees bent. Lift the hips up to perform a side plank. Simultaneously, bring the knee upward while keeping the feet together. Also, thrust the hips forward to form a straight line with your body.
Helpful Tips: Be sure to thrust the hips forward. Most people forget to thrust the hips and miss out on the full benefits of this exercise. Add the Evercore minibands around the thighs to increase the resistance and build stronger glutes!
Where should you feel it? You should feel the muscles on the side of your hips burning. You will feel it mostly on the hip closer to the floor.
Why should you do it? This exercise will strengthen a muscle on the side of the hip called the gluteus medius. This muscle support the hips, knees, and lower back. Stronger glutes will help you look and feel good.
Exercise #2: Hands and knees rocking.
Starting position: Begin in the hands and knees position with the hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips.
Ending position: Rock back onto the hips.
Instructions: Begin in the hands and knees position. Rock back onto the hips while maintaining a neutral lower back position.
Helpful Tips: Try to rock back further each time. If you feel pinching in the hips, try bringing the knees further apart.
Where should you feel it? You may feel this exercise in the hip joint or in the glutes as they stretch. Ideally, you shouldn’t feel pain in the hips or lower back.
Why should you do it? Many people complain of pinching in their hips past 90 degrees of hip flexion while squatting. This exercise unloads the hips to help you squat deeper. Practice this squat pattern to stay pain-free while squatting past 90 degrees.
Exercise #3: Banded ankle mobilizations.
Starting position: Begin in the half kneel position with the red Evercore power band placed on the lower portion of the ankle joint.
Ending position: Lean forward to bring the knee over the toe.
Instructions: Begin in the half kneel position. Place the red or black Evercore power band below the two bones on the side of the ankle (these bones are called the medial and lateral malleolus). Then, lean forward and let the knee go over the toe to stretch the ankle joint.
Helpful Tips: You should maintain the arch of the foot and avoid pronation of the foot while leaning forward. The arch tends to collapse during this exercise if you do not bring awareness to the arch of your foot.
Where should you feel it? You will feel this in the top of the ankle or inside the ankle joint. You may also feel your calf stretching.
Why should you do it? This exercise will improve ankle dorsiflexion. Dorsiflexion at the ankle occurs when squatting and those with limited dorsiflexion can get pinching in the hips when squatting. If you want to squat better and have less hip pain, then improve your ankle mobility.
Exercise #4: Banded hip thrusts.
Starting position: Lie on your back with the knees bent and hands at your side.
Ending position: The hips should be lifted hip and the lower back should be in an neutral position.
Instructions: Lie on your back with the knees bent. Form “pony tails” or stirrups with the purple Evercore power band and place the feet in the loops. Bring the top of the band over the thighs and thrust the hips up into the band.
Helpful Tips: You should maintain a neutral low back position or slight posterior pelvic tilt while you thrust the hips up. Push through the heels and focus on squeezing your glutes.
Where should you feel it? You will feel this in your glutes and thighs if you perform it properly.
Why should you do it? This exercise is one of the best ways to improve your glute strength and hip mobility at the same time.. It teaches you how to engage and feel your glutes when squatting.
Exercise #5: Kneeling hip thrusts.
Starting position: Begin in the tall kneel position with the hips bent and upper body leaning forward.
Ending position: The hips should be extended and the body should be straight up and down.
Instructions: Place the green Evercore power band around the hips. Hinge at the hips in the tall kneel position and thrust the hips forward by pushing the hips into the band while squeezing the glutes.
Helpful Tips: You should maintain a neutral low back position or slight posterior pelvic tilt while you thrust the hips up. Try not to hyperextend the lower back.
Where should you feel it? You will feel this in the glutes and front of your thighs.
Why should you do it? This is a great exercise to create a mind-muscle connection with the glutes. If you have difficulty feeling the glutes when squatting or deadlifting, then try this exercise to practice engaging the glutes.
What is the takeaway message here?
You need hip strength and mobility to decrease hip pain when squatting. These exercises are a good starting point then you should practice additional exercises to transition back to squatting without hip pain.
It will also be important to improve other aspects of squatting such as your movement patterns, load tolerance, and motor control. These are all areas I can help you with.
What is your next step to squatting without pinching and pain in your hips?
Live close to San Diego?
I’ll teach you how to squat without pain and maximize your strength and mobility. Email me direct at email@example.com or call us at 1-800-760-5469 to begin your journey to pain-free squats again.
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I offer personalized online coaching programs to guide you with the exact exercises and steps you need to take to squat better. Click here to learn more.
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You must strengthen your hips to reduce hip pain and stay out of pain. When you purchase the Evercore minibands, I’ll send you instructional exercise videos to strengthen your hips with the Evercore minibands. Click here to order the minibands.
Do you still have pain and inflammation?
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