In order to perform large lower body exercises well, you need strong and healthy hips.
If you want flexible and strong hips, you have to actively practice exercises that question your coordination, balance and stability. Ideally, choose those that guide your hips through active internal and external rotation.
This creates space for the femoral head in the acetabulum of the hip and improves your alignment so that you can safely lift heavy weight.
Here are three active hip openers that use the internal and external hip rotation as primary movements. Use this as part of a prehab or warm up routine before your next lower body workout to keep your back and knees safe and happy.
Side Lunge with Twist
This is fantastic for opening your hip flexors and adductors.
- Make sure you are turning on your back foot as you transition from side lunge to rotation. This will rotate your hip internally and stretch your hip flexors.
- When you put a hand over your body, the hip flexors create a deeper stretch, and you get a large stretch through the lats.
Cossack Squat into Low Lunge  This movement develops the whole body coordination needed to hit a full squat.
- Rotate the straight leg hip outward by pulling your toes back and pressing your heel down.
- Try pushing a hand against your inner thigh. In this way you can deepen the movement.
- Make sure that the heel of your squat leg does not lift off the floor when you squat. Concentrate on pushing your knee outward.
- When you move into the low lunge, twist the straight leg hip inward and stretch it out to reach a "hip down" position.
- As a bonus, you can bend your knees back and grab your ankles to give your quads and hip flexors an actively supported stretch.
Airplane and crescent moon with twist
This fires up the gluteal muscles, creates space in the hip and trains the muscles from the feet to fire and stabilize your body.
- Grab two blocks, dumbbells, or kettlebells that you can reach to keep your torso parallel to the floor.
- When you fly from the plane into the crescent, turn your leg outward and open your upper hip so that your body is pointing to the side.
- The goal is to stack the upper leg on top of your lower leg while your core remains engaged.
- When you step off the plane into the twisted crescent moon, twist the inner hip of your lower leg so your body is facing the floor.  Concentrate on driving your knee outward to maintain the stability of this joint.
- The transition between these two poses takes place slowly while maintaining balance and coordination.
- If you do this without shoes, the arch of your feet will be strengthened. This will help you exercise to prevent your foot from over pronating (collapsing) when lifting heavy weights.
Open Your Hips
Fix your hips, fix your back pain