Mobility Matters: Why improve your hip mobility and how to maintain a healthy hip joint.
By RMT Stephanie Yankovich
Hip, Hip, Hooray!
For many, September is a month of change as the season transitions from the long, hot days of summer to the cooler, shorter days of fall. The autumnal equinox was traditionally the time to honor the harvest but metaphorically, it often refers to the ‘harvest’ of our goals and it’s a good time to reflect on the intentions we set or planted at the beginning of the year, and see how they’ve grown and evolved. With the noticeable changes in daylight and temperature, and the return to school and work, it’s common to find oneself sitting more and moving less.
The change in seasons can be a great opportunity to change up your fitness routine and add some mobility exercises and stretches to help counteract our inclination to be more sedentary in the cooler months.
One area of our bodies that can be particularly affected is our hips. Many of us experience an increase in tightess when we sit for longer periods of time and when we’re less mobile. Sitting isn’t the only cause of hip tightness and there are many factors that contribute to decreased hip mobility or even pain with hip movement. The hip is a ball and socket joint that moves in all three planes of motion. Our hips are complex joints and there are numerous muscles that contribute to our hip movement. To improve your hip mobility and maintain a healthy hip joint, it’s helpful to work on flexibility, stability and strength.
A good starting point to improve your hip mobility is to start with flexibility (the ability for your joint to move through a range of motion). In the case of your hips, that joint loves to move through a wide range of motion (ROM), so let’s give it what it wants!
Fall Mobility Exercises: 90/90 Stretch + Lying Hip Rotations
Here are 2 great foundational hip mobility exercises to add to your existing fitness routine, to help increase your mobility, or as a preventative measure when you know you’re going to be sitting for longer periods of time.
Mobility Exercise #1 – 90/90 Stretch:
Sit on the ground and start with both knees turned to 90 degrees in front and behind you. Right knee in front, left knee behind.
Keeping your back straight while hinging at your hips, slowly bring your chest towards your front knee as you exhale. Do not round your back. You should feel a stretch in your gluten and the side of your hip.
Lean back over your rear leg while you exhale. If your left foot is back, turn your left shoulder, lean back, and rotate until you can place your left hand on the floor beside your foot. You should feel a stretch in the front part of your left hip.
This stretch will help to improve your hip flexion and help to increase both your internal and external rotation.
Complete the stretch holding the forward and back positions for 30 seconds and then switch legs, moving your left leg forward and right leg back, then repeat.
Mobility Exercise #2 – Lying Hip Rotations:
Lying Hip Rotations
Laying on your back, bring your right knee towards your chest, keep your ankle flexed (dorsiflexion).
Gently rotate your right knee and thigh out to your right, opening your hip and slowly lower your bent leg towards the floor.
Straighten your leg, keeping your ankle flexed, and slide it towards your body.
Slowly draw your knee back towards your chest to finish the movement.
Repeat 3 times then switch to the other leg.
The complete movement looks and feels a little like the kick you do when doing the breast stroke.
This exercise takes your hip joint through its full range of motion. It can help maintain the overall health and integrity of the joint and increase the ROM.
If possible, perform these movements daily to help prepare your joints for a workout or to recover after a long day seated at your desk. Make sure to move in and out of each posture carefully and remember that all exercises should be pain free, so if you experience pain during the movement, stop the exercise.
Hopefully these exercises will bring you relief this Fall. Contact RMT Steph at Therapy Lounge if you have any questions, or if you wish to book a treatment.
Fall Essential Oil Spotlight + Self Care: Breathe Easy with Easy Air
With a minty, fresh aroma, Easy Air Essential Oil is thoughtfully created with a series of oils that offer a cooling and invigorating sensation to the skin and creates an unforgettably clear, airy aroma. It can be used both aromatically and topically for its stimulating yet relaxing scent, whether that’s a part of a relaxing massage or to bring peaceful aroma into your home through diffusion.
This blend contains the pure essential oils of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemon, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Ravensara. Many of these oils have been studied for their abilities to support the respiratory system and also for their abilities to protect against environmental threats.
~ Maintains feelings of clear airways for easy breathing
~ Has an invigorating, cooling sensation on the skin
~ Protects against environmental threats
~ Helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats
~ Promotes restful sleep
Easy Air Essential Oil Uses:
~ Deep Breaths: For a moment of stillness at any point of the day, place 1 drop of Easy Air Essential Oil in the palms of your hands, cup your hands over your nose, and inhale slowly and deeply. Then brush your fingers and hands though your hair. Volia!! Natural hair diffuser!! You can also apply Easy Air to the bottoms of your feet for an invigorating aroma to start the morning.
~ Stimulating Shower: Add 3 drops of Easy Air Essential Oil to shower floor for an aroma that promotes vitality.
~ Seasonal Aroma: When seasons shift, diffuse Easy Air Essential Oil blend in your home for an invigorating aroma to maintain an energized environment amidst dreary weather changes.
~ Fresh Environments: Diffuse Easy Air Essential Oil for an invigorating and minty aroma in the mornings to help you ease into the new day.
~ Diffusion: Diffuse on its own or experiment to create your own unique aroma. Easy Air blends well with other invigorating and uplifting aromas, such as Peppermint and Wild Orange Essential oil.
To Diffuse: Use 3-4 drops of Easy Air Essential Oil in the diffuser with filtered water.
Fall Diffuser Blends:
2 drops Easy Air
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Easy Air
2 drops Tea Tree
2 drops OnGuard
3 drops Easy Air
2 drops Balance
2 drops Easy Air
3 drops Wild Orange
Snore No More
3 drops Easy Air
2 drops Eucalyptus
3 drops Easy Air
3 drops Serenity
~ Relaxing Bath: After a long day combine 3 drops of Easy Air Essential Oil with 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath for a soothing sensation.
~ Chest Rub: Easy Air Essential Oil can be applied topically to the chest, back, or bottom of feet, at nighttime to promote a restful sleep.
Topical use: When used topically, dilute 1 drop with 5-10 drops of carrier oil to minimize skin sensitivity.
Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas. Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying.