Bodybuilders and mobility exercises? Yeah. Despite their considerable size, bodybuilders are surprisingly mobile. After all, you can’t lift heavy weights for a living without having some degree of mobility.
As a fitness writer and trainer, I’m constantly looking for a balance between spending time at my desk and practicing what I preach in the gym — prioritizing movement. But while I can be found tossing dumbbells around my local CrossFit class (see what happened when I trained like a top UK CrossFit athlete), finding time to relax and stretching is a whole different ball game.
With that in mind, I decided to take matters into my own hands and lay down on one of the best yoga mats to enhance my recovery routine with quality hip mobility exercises and stretches. And what better person to turn to than bodybuilder Obi Vincent, an athlete from mobility and recovery app Pliability (opens in a new tab)which focuses on teaching yoga, rehabilitation, mindfulness and more.
Check out these stretches that help tight hip flexors, or read on to find out what happened when I put this bodybuilder recovery routine to the ultimate test.
Mobility exercises: why are they important?
Mobility exercises play a vital role in keeping your joints healthy, allowing you to perform activities using your full range of motion. this is crucial to keeping your body stable, safe and injury-free during exercise. But people confuse flexibility with mobility.
According to the International Sports Science Association (opens in a new tab)flexibility refers to your muscles ability to ‘lie down passively through a range of motions, such as performing a hamstring stretch. On the other hand, mobility is the ability of your cut to actively move through a range of motion, like how far you can open your hip, for example. Mobility also factors in your motor control, which is key if you’re wielding a dumbbell overhead.
Whether you’re an avid gymnast or prefer to perfect your deadlift indoors, work on your mobility and Flexibility can improve your athletic performance and help you lift more weight, move better, and become more efficient as an athlete. What’s not to like?
Obi Vincent’s mobility exercises for hip flexor pain
Vincent is one of the UK’s leading fitness content creators and sees mobility flow as a crucial part of his routine. “The beauty of training and movement is that we can see that changing every day,” he says.
“For me to perform well, practicing my mobility is a non-negotiable part of my training. The mobility flow I provided is perfect for pre, post or non-training days and can easily be incorporated into any training plan. »
1. Tibia crossed sitting while traveling
This stretch strengthens the back muscles, knees and ankles and opens the hips, groin and outer thighs. Extend one leg if cross-legged is not feasible.
- Start seated
- Cross your legs so that your right shin is in front of your left shin
- Lean forward so your back rounds and your head hangs freely
- Walk your hands as far as you feel comfortable
- Bring your hands back, then slowly lean back on your elbows to reverse the stretch, and gently lift your chest and hips
- Pass between the two
- Switch legs every 10 reps and repeat. Hold for up to 1 minute to make it a passive stretch.
2. Seal / Sphinx
This pose lengthens the abdominal muscles and hips and strengthens the spine.
- Start by lying face down
- Place both hands just outside your chest
- Supported on your forearms, lift your chest towards the ceiling
- Let your head relax as you lift your chest and let your abs soften towards the floor
- Hold for up to 1 minute.
3. Dragon Stance
This stretch mobilizes and stretches your hips and quadriceps to prevent any tightness.
- Stand upright, then step forward into a lunge position with your back knee rested
- Reach both hands up and lift your spine, then push your hips forward while keeping your core tight
- Avoid overextending your back
- Step away from your back leg until you feel a stretching sensation in the hip flexor.
- Hold for about 20-30 seconds. Change 2-3 times on each side.
4. Sumo squats
This pose activates muscle groups throughout your lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, calves, and lower back muscles.
- Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips, toes pointing
- Crouch as far as your mobility allows
- Press your elbows inside your knees and press your hands together in a prayer position
- Let your hips sink into the floor while keeping your chest up and your heels firmly planted
- Avoid turning your knees inward. Roll on the ball of one foot then shift your weight to the other foot. Keep moving between the two.
5. Rolling Pigeon Pose
This pose will help release the hips, glutes, and lower back muscles and improve flexibility.
- Start on all fours, then cross your right leg forward with your heel just behind your left wrist and your right knee behind your right wrist
- Extend your left leg behind you, then place your hips forward
- If your butt isn’t touching the floor, place a block or cushion underneath for extra support
- Slowly lower your chest forward onto your leg
- Try to maintain a 90 degree angle with your front leg. If you feel pressure in the knee or have trouble maintaining the 90 degree angle, slide your front foot closer to your body to feel the stretch deeper in your hip.
- Spend 1-2 minutes on each side, moving between pushing your chest towards your knee for 10 seconds and releasing
- Practice tucking the toes of your back foot under and rolling over the ball of your foot.
Just Tried This Bodybuilder’s Mobility Exercises For Hip Flexor Pain – Here’s What Happened
Tight hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, and a weak core contribute to common injuries like lower back and knee pain because other (overused) muscles have to take over. And since many people lead sedentary lives or work while sitting down, it’s easy for these muscles to become weak, underused and tight, increasing the risk of injury.
In an effort to get some exercise in the day, I unfortunately neglect mobility drills before training and stretching after training (I know, bad form for a PT). I consider myself lucky to have fairly open hips, but I sometimes experience pain in my hip flexors and struggle to achieve a full range of motion in my back squats (when the body is loaded backwards and works the back more).
I decided to give these hip flexor mobility exercises a try to find out once and for all if they could help me. I first performed this mobility routine dynamically, moving between each exercise for three rounds. I then grimaced for three minutes by stretching, passively. Throughout, I focused on my breathing (well, I tried) using each exhale to descend further into the stretch. But did it help?
Well yes. But practicing this routine as one time won’t do much. To research (opens in a new tab)suggests that stretching only has a short-term effect on our muscles, so you’ll want to include this routine regularly if you want long-term benefit. That said, I noticed a better range of motion in my squat (my only criteria for this routine) and surprisingly, less pain. Time will tell how helpful these mobility exercises are for me, but I’m already noticing freer movement and also enjoying the 15 minutes of mindfulness I can dedicate to myself.
Next: Just Tried This Yoga For Knee Pain Workout and that lower back stretch is amazing for back pain.
Obi Vincent is one of the UK’s leading fitness content creators who has developed global appeal due to his unique blend of fitness and strength training. Flexibility has several smart mobility flows that use a combination of yin yoga, specific movement flows and stretching to reduce the risk of injury and tightness and optimize your body for performance.
#Bodybuilders #Mobility #Exercises #Hip #Flexor #Pain #Heres #Happened