Among the hundreds of joints in your body, the hips just might be the most essential for quality movement.
“Mobile, stable, strong hip joints are the keystone to both avoiding injury and achieving optimal function,” says Dean Somerset, CSCS, an Edmonton-based exercise physiologist who specializes in injury prevention and rehab.
When the hips are working well, you move them in a wide variety of ways as you exercise or go about everyday tasks.
These days, however, optimally functioning hip joints are a rarity. Sitting for hours at a time has left many people with hips that are inflexible, unstable, and weak. This can cause pain and immobility in the hips. (Learn more at “Healthy, Happy Hips”.)
But the bad news extends beyond just the hips themselves. “Injuries in the lower back and knees often result from hip joints that aren’t strong enough or don’t move well,” says Somerset.
Try the following mobility moves for better function and improved performance. Do them once a week for every decade you’ve been alive (four times per week if you’re in your 40s, for example), even on days when you aren’t doing any other type of exercise.