The muscles around our hips are the basis for most of our body’s mobility. Coaches and trainers cite limitations in the hip joint as the most common dysfunction they see in clients on a daily basis. Poor hip mobility leads to faulty movement patterns, as the body seeks to compensate for it’s weaknesses. These faulty movement patterns often lead to injuries and pain.
Despite working out regularly, the majority of us spend our day sitting at work or in car. We’re unable to recruit our glute muscles properly and have to rely on our knees and low back for stability. This instability is most evident when we perform a squat. Our knees will cave inward, our backs round, our chests fall forward, and we’re often unable to squat below parallel.
There are solutions to improve hip mobility. Perform movements that challenge the hip range of motion, while engaging the core to stabilize the pelvis. As you learn to better control the core and pelvis, mobility will drastically improve and be transferable into function.
One exercise that is beneficial is the goblet squat hold. The goblet squat hold is simply an isometric hold at the bottom of a goblet squat, but it can be extremely effective in improving your hip mobility. This drill is effective due to the intent that comes with it. Using a moderately heavy weight, lower into the bottom of the squat with the elbows just inside the knees, resting on the medial side of the vastus medialis. Keeping the feet straight, use your elbows to drive your knees outward increasing the stretch on the adductors. Don’t forget to breathe in deeply through the nose and forcefully out through the mouth during the entire drill to enhance the stretch. Aim to hold this stretch for roughly 10 breaths.
The goblet squat hold may be the most powerful mobility exercise specific to the squat. By holding a weight in front of the body, you’re able to better sit back into the squat, maintain a neutral spine and pelvis, and reach lower squat depths.