Want to improve your hip mobility for stronger kicks and better stances in karate? Here’s how to do it.

Improving mobility in your hips requires fixing any muscle imbalances that are present. A four-step corrective exercise process can help with this, as follows. (Note: I follow this same process in my video on foot and ankle mobility. You can watch it here, and read the article here.)

  • Step 1 – Inhibit the overactive muscles with a foam roller.
  • Step 2 – Stretch the overactive muscles.
  • Step 3 – Strengthen the underactive muscles.
  • Step 4 – Perform an integrative exercise targeting both overactive and underactive muscles.

Keep in mind, the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex is a complicated part of your kinetic chain. There are more than 30 muscles that attach in this area. For now, we’re just going to focus on a couple of muscles that are commonly associated with limited mobility in your hips: the adductors and the gluteus medius. This hip routine should take you no more than 5 minutes.

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Following the corrective exercise sequence as outlined above and in the video, you can improve mobility in your hips by doing the following:

  • Step 1Use a foam roller on overactive/tight adductors for 30 seconds.
  • Step 2Stretch overactive/tight adductors for 30 seconds.
  • Step 3Strengthen underactive/weak gluteus medius via wall slides (10 per leg).
  • Step 4Perform an integrative exercise, side lunge to balance, wherein the adductors and gluteus medius muscles work together functionally and effectively (5-10 per leg).

Following this 4-step corrective exercise process will improve flexibility in the overactive muscles, increase strength in the underactive muscles, and “retrain” all of these muscles to work together in a balanced and functional way.

Please note: tightness and/or weakness in other muscles not mentioned above can also contribute to poor mobility in your hips. The ones mentioned are the common culprits and a good starting point. You can use this as a standalone mini-workout or as a warm-up for your karate training. Just be sure to practise regularly for best results. 🙂

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You’re reading How to Improve Hip Mobility for Karate by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!