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CrossFit and Squat Mobility: The Hip

The ability to squat is a functional and pertinent aspect to every day life. It becomes even more important for CrossFit athletes and weight lifters. These athletes are squatting all the time! But sometimes our ability to squat to normal depth is limited by tightness/restrictions in one or multiple joints in the lower extremities (hips, knees, ankles).

In this short blog today, I am going to help you address mobility limitations with your hips! Now, the hips can be a complex topic due to it’s varying planes/degrees of movement and its abundance of muscle attachments. We won’t be diving in to all the minutia of it’s anatomy and complexities. Simply put: during a squat, the athlete needs hip flexion and relative hip internal rotation towards the bottom of the movement.

So how much hip mobility do you need to squat properly? Watch the two videos below for self assessment or have a “super friend” assess your hip mobility for a squat:

Did you notice some limitations with your testing? No worries, Let’s fix it! Below are 3 of my favorite mobility exercises to improve hip mobility as related to squatting.

With the banded hip IR exercise, I recommend 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

I recommend you re test with an air squat after each exercise to see which one helps you improve your squat the most. Feel free to use these hip mobility exercises to stretch and warm up the hips for squat day in the gym!

Please understand this is a “shot gun” approach for improving your mobility. If you continue with limitations or you are having pain with your squat, I recommend you see a physical therapist for a complete evaluation and get on a customized game plan!

Make sure you follow me on facebook, instagram and youtube for further tips!

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns!

Andy Johnson PT, DPT, OCS

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