Hip mobility plays an important role in the way we walk, jump, run, and even just transition from sit to stand. For this reason I often find myself teaching stretching patterns to open up the hip. Stretching helps improve the mobility of both the front and back of the hip. Also often, clients ask me if they should be stretching by holding a position for 30 seconds, or bouncing into it, or just moving through a full range. The answer is, it depends.
Stretching a joint to its end range and just holding is good for after an activity but as a warm up it can be harmful and cause pain. I recommend a more dynamic, active range of motion stretch such as the one posted here. I like these stretches because it moves through more than plane of motion. This means that we can gain mobility at the front, outside, inside, and back area (buttock). If you have difficulty moving through the full range modify the movements to smaller ranges and gradually, without pain, increase the range. You should not feel sharp, shooting pain. You may feel aches, pins and needles and this is a sign of radicular nerve pain that can come from the hip or the back. When you feel these symptoms back off on the amount or range you are moving. If the symptom continues contact your physician and/or another qualified clinician such as your (cough) physical therapist.
I suggest doing these stretches for at most 15-30s as tolerated. You can do them 3x on each leg and you can do them several time a day but at least two times a day, combined with strengthening and massage, can get you to a healthier and happier hip and back.
If you are finding pain when doing this exercises click here --> Contact Us for an appointment.