By: Michael Nix
When one thinks of fitness, words like strength, speed, and stamina come to mind. Thinking of these words is totally fair as they are all very important in the world of fitness. However, there is a term that is often forgotten. This term is joint mobility. Although it is often forgotten, this does not diminish its importance. Joint mobility allows one to develop the speed, the strength, and the stamina. From children to adults, the value of good joint health cannot be stressed enough. Joint mobility is crucial for an athlete because as the joint stretches, more power is being generated. It is equally important to the couch potato because the more range of motion for the joint means less pain for everything around it. At the center of all of the joints in our body are the hips, which is where we are going to put our focus today. Good mobility through the hips is extremely important, not just for the hips themselves, but for the entire body.
Why are the hips so important?
There are many answers to why the hips are important. First off, the hips are in the middle of everything. Often times, pain in the low back or an injury to the knees can be the result of tight or weak glutes and hip flexors. If they cannot properly do their job, then the body naturally compensates which puts stress somewhere that is not designed for it such as the lower (lumbar) back. Another reason why the hips are so important is the fact it is such a dense area. The size of the muscles and bones in the hip should be enough to tell us that the hips were designed to generate a lot of power. If we limit the strength and mobility of this joint, we are wasting the potential power they have to offer. Stretching and strengthening the hip musculature not only improves that area specifically, but it can help the body as whole.
What causes the hips to lose mobility?
The main reason why the hips lose mobility is actually pretty simple: we sit way too much. We have all heard this countless times. What we do not know is what is actually happening as we sit. The glutes are not being used and thus weakening. The hip flexors, which are located on the front side of the hips, are shortening and thus losing their mobility. Another way that we can take away from the mobility of the hips is by not using them properly. Often times people lift items with their back. Whether it is a bag or a child, we often resort to using our back to lift items which leads to lower back issues. This is because the lower back is part of the core and has the task of stability more so than the task of lifting. If we can allow ourselves to stand more frequently and focus on using the strong muscles in the hip to lift, we can greatly improve not just the mobility of our hips, but our whole body’s movement in general.
Call To Action
The hips, as mentioned before, are loaded with the potential for power. It would truly be a shame if we did not take full advantage of that potential. By gaining knowledge of the importance of hip mobility, hopefully you will try to incorporate stretching into your daily routines. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for posts on different exercises to help improve the hips. The hips are a massive area in relation to the rest of the body. Therefore, it is vitally important that we take advantage of their power. In addition, we need to allow them to work through their entire range of motion. If the hips are healthy there is a very good chance that the rest of the body will be healthy as well.