3 Dynamic Hip Warm Ups You Can Do Anywhere

If you're reading this, you probably have tight hips. You're in good company. Most people in our technology-centric world could use some mobility work in this area, including yours truly. The hip is a synovial joint that is meant to be super mobile. But because many of us sit all day and only move in what's called the sagittal plane of motion we lose mobility.  

Rather than traditional static stretching, I usually recommend dynamic warm ups (after foam rolling) that not only work to lengthen the tight muscles but also gently move the joint through its range of motion. For your hip this involves moving the head of your femur around in your acetabulum (funny technical name for your hip socket) which aids in stimulating its synovial fluid. Here are three of my favorite hip drills that have helped me and many of my clients.

Note, if you experience pain when doing these drills, stop. If you know you have a joint issue, illness or condition do not attempt them. Please consult a medical professional. I advise foam rolling before these warm ups if that's part of your warmup routine. In general you want to ease into these gently; do not force it. The intensity should stay below a 7 out of 10.

Hip Mobility Drill A (aka Captain Morgans) 

This is one of my favorite stretches to do after foam rolling. The focus is to spend about 1-2m on each side and take your hips through all three planes of motion. My clients call these "Captain Morgans" because you kind of look like a drunk pirate when you do them. Keep it at a 6-7/10 in terms of intensity and incorporate an arm reach to get your lats too. Gently pulse back and forth so that in addition to stretching the muscles around your hips you're also helping to move your femur in the hip socket to lubricate the joint.

Hip Mobility Drill B (no fancy nickname yet)

After foam rolling and Captain Morgans sometimes this drill really helps loosen up the hip joint by gliding the femur more actively in the hip socket and stretching the inner thigh muscles. For this one, keep your extended foot "glued to the floor" from your big toe to your heel and focus on sitting back as far as you can and walking forward as far as you can on your hands without letting that extended foot move from its spot. Ideally you'll keep your back leg straight but only if it doesn't put too much pressure on your knee.

Hip Mobility Drill C (aka Sexy Walruss)

This is a variation of Drill B where you externally rotate your extended leg so that you try and point your toe toward the wall behind you, pivoting on your heel. Then as you walk your hands forward you shift onto your extended toe, look behind you over your shoulder and gently sink into that extended hip getting a good stretch. This is a great combo for internally/externally rotating your hip, stretching your hip flexors, stretching your adductors and also warming up your core and upper body. One of my favorite clients has named this move the "Sexy Walrus" because that's how we look when we do them. :)