Tip: Use Kettlebells for Hip Mobility

Tip: Use Kettlebells for Hip Mobility

Kettlebells are undoubtedly one of the most effective pieces of equipment for the development of strength and conditioning. But most don’t yet know the effectiveness of kettlebell mobility drills to improve motion and movement rapidly.

If you want a comprehensive hip mobility program, check out my Hip Mobility Overhaul!

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90/90 Breathing Hip ER/IR with Kettlebell

Hip internal and external rotation ranges of motion are imperative for daily life functions as well as for performance.  The hip needs to be able to access hip internal and external rotation for squatting and deadlifting.  If there is a limitation in either direction, the body will compensate typically at the knee, lumbar spine, or other area throughout the kinetic chain.  In addition to squatting and deadlift, hip internal and external rotation in important for general mobility.  If the brain senses that there is a limitation in motion at a particular joint, it is going to cause adjacent joints to have to compensate and in turn can cause pain and dysfunction.

90/90 Breathing Hip ER/IR w/ Kettlebell mobility is a great movement for improving hip internal and external rotation.  By implementing the kettlebell into the movement, it forces the body to have to stabilize the core to provide a stable base for the hips to internally or externally rotate upon.  When you rock forward into hip external rotation or backwards into internal rotation, take a deep breath and breathe your air out to help relax into more mobility as well as teach your diaphragm and trunk to stabilize in this “new” mobility.

Dean Somerset has mentioned on multiple occasions that by improving core stability through various anterior and frontal plane exercises, this in turn can improve hip mobility.  By implementing the kettlebell and forcing the core to stabilize, this can improve hip rotation.


Kettlebell Kneeling Adductor Mobilization

Adductor mobility is also important in squatting, deadlifting, Crossfit, as well as Olympic lifting.  Decreased adductor mobility can cause issues throughout the kinetic chain as well as decrease force production by the lower body or impair force transfer from the lower to upper body or vice versa.  As mentioned before for hip internal and external rotation, lack of adductor mobility can potentially cause pain and dysfunction at adjacent joints.

This kettlebell mobility movement works to improve adductor mobility.  Adductor mobility is imperative for squatting, deadlift, and lunging variations.  Making sure to keep a neutral spine, holding a kettlebell, rock back until you feel a stretch through the straight leg adductor.  Just as with the 90/90 Breathing Hip ER/IR w/ KB, the kettlebell forces the trunk to stabilize to allow for a stable base for the adductor to move off of.  Also, implementing a breath at end range will also reap the same benefits as mentioned before.


Goblet Squat Eccentric Isometrics

There may be no better exercise to improve the squat pattern than eccentric isometric goblet squats. Let’s explain how this kettlebell mobility exercise works by breaking down the two components to this movement.

First, goblet squats shift the center of gravity forward because of the kettlebell being held in front of the body. This anterior shift allows the athlete to easily sit back and maintain a neutral spine. The goblet squat will quickly fix many athlete’s who have difficulty squatting and serves as an amazing warm up for more experienced squatters.

Eccentric isometrics are an amazing technique for building control of mobility. The entire movement is performed with the athlete really focusing in on hitting and maintaining proper positioning. I typically prescribe a 5 count eccentric (lowering), with a 3 count pause in the bottom position, and then an explosive concentric (return to standing).



Kettlebell Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Mobilization w/ Overhead Press

Decreased hip flexor mobility (rectus femoris, TFL, psoas, etc) can wreak havoc on spine and lower extremity mechanics when it comes to weight training, sport, and daily life.  Far too often when people attempt to stretch their hip flexors, they are cranking their lumbar spine into extension, jamming the anterior rim of their acetabulum with their femoral head, and stretching more than just their hip flexors.

The Kettlebell Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Mobilization w/ Overhead Press covers the necessary aspects for an effective hip flexor stretch.  Start by squeezing the trail leg glute and keeping your ribs down towards your belt line.  While maintaining this neutral spine position, press the kettlebell overhead.  Once overhead, take a deep breath while maintaining a neutral spine.  If you do not feel a stretch, gently move your hips forward. By squeezing the trail leg glute and maintaining a neutral spine, this places the pelvis in a neutral position and in turn produces a more effective hip flexor stretch.


Hamstring “Flexibility” with Diagonal Loaded Active Straight Leg Raise

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#kettlebell #mobility drill to improve active straight leg raise and hamstring "flexibility". So often perceived hamstring tightness actually comes from an athlete's inability to control the pelvis. This drill activates the anterior core to stabilize the pelvis prior to the leg raise and will instantly clear some "mobility" limitations. One of several #kettlebellmobility drills myself and @andrewmillettpt will be sharing in an upcoming article. Thanks to @modernmanualtherapy for this drill. —————————————————– TheBarbellPhysio.com Improving the worlds of athletic performance, injury prevention, and rehabiliitation. #CrossFit #mobility #fitness #weightlifting #functionalmovement #charlottefitness #thebarbellphysio #BulletProofMobility #heavysquatsfixeverything #masterthesquat #physicaltherapy #physiotherapy #ClinicalAthlete

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The active straight leg raise (ASLR) is one of the most effective assessments of hamstring flexibility and core control. With the athlete lying on their back, they actively raise one leg as high as possible while maintaining knee extension on that side and an extended leg on the other. If the raised leg reaches an 80 degree angle, core control and hamstring flexibility is considered normal. If failed, a dysfunction either in hamstring flexibility or pelvic control is present. The Diagonally Loaded ASLR is a great tool for creating rapid changes in this pattern.

To perform this exercise, an active straight leg raise is performed on one leg while the opposite arm holds and actively presses upward while holding a kettlebell. The kettlebell hold activates the core musculature, stabilizing the pelvis into a better position for performance of the straight leg raise. Instantly, “flexibility” will be improved.


This Kettlebell Mobility Article Was Co-Written With Andrew Millet

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