adidas / December 2022

How to Increase Hip Mobility

Increase your hip mobility in this commonly tight area to experience more flexibility and comfort in your everyday life.

The Benefits of Improving Hip Mobility

Aside from your shoulders, your hips are one of the most mobile joints in the body. These powerhouse joints support your pelvis and core, forming a solid foundation that allows you to walk, run, jump, and so much more. "Hip mobility is important because your hips are your engine," said Dave Connor, a professional trainer at the adidas gym in Portland. "They're what allow you to do virtually every athletic movement and generally just make your life more livable."

Learning how to improve your hip mobility may seem daunting if this is a perpetually tight area for you. Many people suffer from stiff and inflexible hips due to sitting for extended periods and getting little exercise. "Lack of movement causes poor hip mobility," said Connor. "Whether that means sitting or standing at your desk all day, regardless, it is not moving enough in various positions." You can work to increase your hip mobility by incorporating the ten strength and flexibility exercises below into your fitness routine. A mix of dynamic and static stretches and strength-building moves, it's a great starting point for improving hip mobility.

10 Hip Mobility Exercises

Chapter 01: Dynamic Warm Ups


01: Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie flat on your back with both legs extended out in front of you.
  2. Interlace your hands behind your right thigh and pull it toward your chest.
  3. Extend that leg straight up, hold and then bend it back down.
  4. Repeat this movement a few times, and then switch legs.
Great For: Stretching out your hip flexors, thighs, and glutes.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 6–8 reps per side.

02: Supine Straight Leg Raise

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended out in front of you.
  2. Extend your arms out, so they form a T-shape.
  3. Gently lift both of your legs toward the ceiling.
  4. Keeping your left leg raised, gently lower your right leg down, so it’s hovering a few inches off the ground.
  5. Bring your right leg back up and repeat the same movement on your left leg.
Great For: Strengthening your core and building strength and flexibility in your quads and hips.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 10 reps per side.

03: Quadruped Hip Circles

  1. Start on all fours. Ensure your hands are aligned with your shoulders, and your knees are aligned with your hips.
  2. Lift one knee off the ground and rotate it in a forward circular motion at your hip, raising your knee up and away from your body with control.
  3. After a few forward circles, begin circling backward.
  4. Lower your leg back to the ground and repeat this movement on the other side.
Great For: Opening your hips and increasing flexibility and stability.
Suggested Reps:  2–3 sets of 6–8 reps per side.

04: Straight Leg Kicks

  1. Start standing with your feet together.
  2. Step and kick one leg straight up while extending the opposite arm.
  3. With the next step, kick the other leg up, switching arms.
  4. Only kick your leg up to a comfortable point and prioritize good back posture over a higher kick.
Great For: Stretching your hamstrings and calves and strengthening your hips and quadriceps.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 10 reps per side.

Chapter 02: Hip Mobility Stretches


05: Butterfly Stretch 

  1. Start in a seated position with the soles of your feet together.
  2. Place your hands on your ankles and use your elbows to press your knees down to the floor gently.
  3. Keep your spine long, inhale to prepare, and slowly lower your torso forward as you exhale, pausing when you feel the stretch.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds or more.
Great For: Stretching and opening your hips while also improving blood circulation.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 20–30 second holds.

06: 90/90 Hip Stretch

  1. Sitting on the floor, place your right leg directly out in front of you with your knee flat on the ground and your foot flexed.
  2. Shift your weight and position your left leg beside you with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Your knee should lead straight out from your hip, and your shin should continue the straight line from your front leg's flexed foot.
  3. Keep your back straight during this exercise. Breathe deeply to relax into this stretch.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  5. To get to the other side, shift your weight onto your glutes and rotate your knees, so you're pointing in the opposite direction.
Great For: Increasing your hip mobility and reducing lower back pain.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 20–30 second holds.

07: Cossack Squat

  1. Start standing in a wide stance.
  2. Shift your weight to the right side of your body and lower into a squat. Keep your left leg straight and your foot flexed.
  3. Keep your back straight and your core engaged. Hold.
  4. Push back up to standing and repeat on the other leg.
Great For: Strengthening your lower body and improving the range of motion in your hips, knees, and ankles.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 6 reps per side.

Chapter 03: Building Strength


08: Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Start by standing about 2 feet in front of a knee-level bench or chair with your back facing the bench.
  2. Lift your right leg behind you and place it on the bench with your laces facing down.
  3. Squat with your standing leg until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Push up through your front foot to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps on this leg, then switch, putting the left foot on the bench.
Great For: Increasing the range of motion in your hips and strengthening your core and glutes.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 6–8 reps per side.

09: Single-Leg Deadlift

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
  2. Shift your weight onto your right foot with your knee slightly bent.
  3. Maintain a neutral spine as you hinge your hips forward to bring your torso parallel to the floor.
  4. Lift your left leg as you hinge and hold for a beat.
  5. Come back up to standing, lowering your left leg back to the floor.
  6. Repeat for the desired amount of reps, and then switch legs.
Great For: Improving your balance, hip mobility, and core strength, while also targeting your glutes and hamstrings.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 6–8 reps per side.

10: Lateral Step Up

  1. Start standing to the side of the box.
  2. With the foot closest to the box, step up, pushing through your foot to lift yourself to a standing position.
  3. While stepping up, raise your other knee to your chest.
  4. Hold for a beat, and then, with control, step back down to the ground.
  5. Repeat this move a few more times, and then switch legs.
Great For: Working your glutes, quads, and hamstrings while also stabilizing and strengthening your core.
Suggested Reps: 2–3 sets of 6–8 reps per side.

Let’s Get Mobile

Your hips are the center of movement in your body, so the less restricted and stronger they are, the more potential your body has for power, agility, and overall athleticism. Start slow and be consistent when learning how to improve your hip mobility. Consider building a routine out of these exercises and stick with it. "If you're just starting, just be consistent," said Connor. "Once a week is better than no times a week. If you're already established, more is better." So the next time you're at the gym, working out at home, or have a free moment, take a breath, stand up, and show your hips some love and attention. Remaining dedicated and consistent on your journey to increase your hip mobility is what matters most.
adidas / December 2022