Try these nine hip mobility exercises to fix lower back pain at its root.
Back problems are an epidemic in our modern-day society, with over 8% of people suffering from frequent, severe low back pain. (1)
Unless you’re suffering from a specific injury to the vertebra or muscles of the lower back, there’s a good chance that your back pain is stemming from tightness and immobility in your hips. Our hip joints play a huge role in the stability of the torso and in movements like walking, running, skipping, and jumping. When we sit around too much, the hip joint becomes stiff and less mobile. The lower back muscles then need to overcompensate, and this extra stress leads to tightness and strain.
Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.
Get The FREE Mobility Guide To Fix Your Pain Today!
When you start doing exercises that move the hip joint in all directions, you can increase the mobility in your hips and take the stress out of your lower back, thus relieving pain.
If you suffer from lower back pain, make it a goal to fit these nine hip mobility exercises into your morning routine. These exercises require no equipment and can be done from anywhere!
Leg Swings | 15 reps per side
Start by bringing fresh blood into the hip socket with this dynamic exercise.
- Stand with your left hand resting on a wall, table, or the back of a chair for stability. Place your right hand on your hip.
- Lift your right leg straight out in front of you. Then, inhale to swing the straight leg down and back behind you.
- Exhale to swing the leg forward again, then repeat for 15 reps. Switch legs.
Leg Circles | 20 reps per side
Here’s another dynamic exercise to warm up the hip joint in all directions. You can start with smaller circles here, and work up to bigger ones.
- Remain standing with your left hand resting on a wall, table, or chair. Place your right hand on your hip.
- Shift your weight into your left foot and lift your straightened right leg.
- Circle the right leg clockwise for 10 reps, then circle it counter-clockwise for 10 reps.
- Switch legs.
Squats | 10 reps
This exercise improves the flexion and extension mobility of the hips.
- Start standing with your feet hip-width distance apart and your toes pointing out slightly at 45-degree angles. Reach your arms straight overhead and engage your abs.
- Inhale to bend your knees and sit your hips back and down to come into a squat. Try to lower your hips as close to the ground as you can.
- Exhale to drive through your heels to stand all the way back up. Squeeze your glutes at the top and press your hips forward.
- Repeat for 10 reps.
Windshield Wiper Legs | 20 reps
This easy exercise brings fresh, oxygenated blood to the hip joints.
- Sit with your knees bent and your feet on the floor a little bit wider than hip-width distance. Place your hands down behind you and lean back into your palms.
- Lower your knees down to the right. Then, lift them back up to the center and lower them to the left.
- Continue “windshield wiping” side-to-side for 20 reps.
Reverse Tabletop | 10 reps
The hip flexors attach to the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back, so when they are tight they pull on the spine and cause pain and discomfort. This exercise releases that tightness.
- Continue sitting with your knees bent and your feet on the floor hip-width distance apart.
- Place your palms down behind your hips with your fingers pointing towards your heels.
- Press into your palms and feet and lift your hips up to come into a reverse tabletop. Try to engage your lower abs and lift your hips up in line with your shoulders. Hold for a moment, then slowly tap your hips back down.
- Repeat for 10 reps.
Alternating Runner’s Lunge | 5 reps per side
Stretch out tight hip flexors that strain the lower back with this exercise.
- Start in a high plank position. On an exhale, step your right foot outside of your right hand. With your abs engaged, lower the hips down and forward to feel a stretch through your hips.
- Inhale to step your right foot back to meet your left, then switch sides.
- Alternate side-to-side for five reps per side.
Surfer Squat | 5 reps per side
This stretch improves the lateral mobility of the hips.
- Stand with your feet wide and your toes pointing out at 45-degree angles. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest and engage your abs.
- Lunge into your right leg, sitting your booty back and keeping most of the weight in the heel. Lunge as low as you can while keeping a straight back.
- Exhale to stand back up to center, then switch sides.
- Alternate side-to-side for a total of five reps per side.
Supine Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
This relaxing stretch relieves tightness in the outer hip muscles to help keep the lower back feeling spacious and tension-free.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
- Pick up your left foot, interlace your hands around your left thigh, and hug it in towards your body to feel a stretch through the outer right hips.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Inverted Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
Practice this stretch to improve internal rotation of the hip joint, releasing tension in the outer hip and hip flexors.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Heel-toe both feet over to the right about one foot. Then lower your knees to the left. Your right knee should be in line with your right hip.
- Then, cross your left ankle on top of your right outer thigh and flex both feet. Gently push up into your left ankle with your right thigh to keep the stretch active. If this causes any pain or pinching in the knees, skip this step.
- Reach your arms overhead and grab opposite elbows with your hands. Relax here for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
If you enjoyed these hip mobility exercises but want to take your pain relief to the next level, try the Release Rebalance Method! Our mobility program is proven to overcome low back and hip pain in just 9 minutes a day. If you’re sick of aches and pains but don’t have time to train and rehab like a full-time athlete, click HERE to see how this fix could work for you.