Hip Mobility: Three Places To Put A Ball

By Ange

Hip stiffness is anecdotally one of the most common issues we see with working without members. Although this is due to a variety of factors, time spent sitting and poor movement mechanics in an open-foot stance (toes pointed out).

Why sitting is bad for our glutes?

When we spend a large portion of our day on our butt, the layers of tissue (facia, muscles, skin, tendons, etc) become stuck together and are resistant to sliding and contracting properly.

Stop turning out your feet to run and walk!

As a kid, it got drilled into me to turn my feet out when I walked… I did have (and still do) have a slight pigeon toe but if you are standing, walking or running around with your feet turned out… you are not doing your glutes any favours. With your thigh bones externally rotated (and feet angled outward), you force your piriformis and hip rotators to become jammed on and trapped in a shortened state. The end result is that your external hip rotators refers pain in other areas of your body and a lot of full range movements are impossible. This could also be causing a tight pelvic floor, which comes with its own host of issues, such as pain during intercourse, incontinence or reoccuring UTI’s

The solution?

You need to use a medium to hard ball to break up the tissue and to encourage the tissue to unglue itself and move more freely. There are three areas it is beneficial to get rolling and a couple of techniques you can use.

Technique One: Pressure wave

Using this technique you will roll the ball over relaxed tissue and create a pressure wave by slowly rolling over the target area.

Technique Two: Smash and floss

Using this technique you will place the ball on the area that is the most painful part of the knotted tissue. Once you have applied the smash, you will move the limb to ‘floss’ it in various directions.

Technique Three: Contract and relax

This method is similar to PNF stretching. You contract the muscle tension by engaging the muscles at the end range for 5 seconds, before releasing the contraction and moving into a new end range position.

Three places to put the ball

Work through mobilising the tissue by placing the ball into the side of the glute, high into the glute (with legs elevated) and side of hip. Spend 2 minutes on each cheek, in each position. If you find something nasty (aka painful), spend a bit more time on this spot.

  1. Glute smash and floss
  2. High glute smash and floss
  3. Side hip smash

Want to try something cool?

If you need evidence that this actually works, spend a few minutes mobilising one side before standing up and squeezing your glutes as hard as possible. You will find that the side that you rolles contracts with a lot more force than the other! WOW! You are now instantly stronger, you are welcome!

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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