Thaddeus Mobility Blog 3.1

Mobility 3.1: Hip mobility

After covering the basics of mid-line stability and the prerequisites to effective mobility work in the previous mobility seminars, we dedicated this session to the prime mover of the leg; the hip.

How many times have you finished a workout with some heavy lifting, whether it be squats, deadlifts, cleans or snatches when afterwards something around the knee, hip or lower back didn’t feel quite okay? Chances are, it are not bad genes, your shoes, dinner or last night’s sleep but comprised hip mobility and poor movement mechanics which are to blame for the discomfort.

The hip joint consist of the socket (acetabulum) which is part of your pelvis, and the head of the upper leg bone (femur). There’s a lot of soft tissue connecting these two bones, a strong and thick hip capsule, ligaments and a few hands full of small and big muscles. The one cue everybody has heard to create stability in this joint is “knees out!”, which basically creates torque and tensions a lot of this soft tissue to form a stable connection. Without creating this stability in the hip, you will never be able to perform at your max.


The hip joints and the surrounding musculature

In order to address hip mobility, we introduced four quick and easy tests that are a correlate for hip mobility. They do not 100% purely test hip mobility, but give you a pretty good idea of what’s up. You basically test:

– The ability to extend your knee, after you flexed your hip with a bent knee while supine (lying on your back)
– The ability to flex your hip with an extended knee while supine.
– The ability to flex your knee with an extended hip while lying face down.
– The active ability to rotate your hips while sitting.

These tests, your performance on them and any compensation or lack of mobility is the recipe for a good mobility session and ultimately increased performance. Ask your coach or one of the many Mainport CrossFit-members who attended the seminar to walk you through it.

It might be the fix for your problems with squat depth, butt winking, impinging the hips during overhead squats, “dancing knees” or a muted hip which plateaus your PR in any pulling motion.

We’ll have some of these aspects returning in next week’s warm-ups, and you are always welcome to drop in early or stay a little longer and play around. Again, two minutes is the bare minimum if you want to see any structural changes in soft tissue. Try it, ask around and improve. Remember: if you don’t feel or see change, there is no change. Let’s get some new PR’s!


Thaddeus Knops first studied human movement sciences, before taking up sports physiotherapy and manual therapy. Since December 2013 he gets his ass handed to him every single WOD. After completing the Level 1 course, he will now occasionally share his thoughts on performance enhancement through anything other than a regular WOD.


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