Increase Hip Mobility with 90/90 Positions
The 90/90 Positions for Healthier Hips
If you spend much time hunched over at a desk, sitting in a car, or on a couch, you probably have lowered hip mobility. Chances are you don’t even notice it because you don’t feel it in your hips. However, if your lower back has been hurting after a long day at work or you have had trouble squatting all the way down to pick up a bag of groceries, chances are your hips need some attention.
Our hips and the muscles around them are the base for most of our bodily movements. Unfortunately, daily life and aging can make our hips less functional than we’d like. Sitting for long periods throughout the day stiffens the hips and can make them weaker from prolonged positioning.
This is not good for us, and not ideal for the workhorses of our body. It’s important that we try to take some time each day to remedy the issues many of us have with tight, dysfunctional hips.
This drill will help you improve your internal and external rotation range of motion in the hips. These are two areas we also often forget to improve range of motion. We tend to focus more on the front of the hip (people think of hip flexor), but neglect the internal and external rotators. I’ll describe in this article the 90/90 hip external and internal rotation stretch to improve hip mobility and help alleviate lower-back stiffness.
To get into the 90/90 positions, your lead leg should be directly in front of you, bent to 90 degrees. Line it up with your heel. The trail leg should be to the side also be bent to 90 degrees, with the heel lining up with the back leg.
Extend your back when you are in this position. Try to get your belly button to hover over your knee. If you lean forward keeping your chest up high, you’ll get a deep stretch in your lead leg. What you’re stretching here is the gluteus minimus muscle, piriformis and external rotators of the hip.
While you move forward to stretch that area, push the knee and ankle of the trail leg behind you into the ground. This will help you get a good stretch on your internal rotators (think groin area) of the hip. Make sure to take deep belly breaths as you are in this position. BE SURE NOT TO force the range of motion at all and back off when needed.