I have been wondering for the longest time how to increase
hip range of motion.... there is a picture on the exercise description
of exrx.net... the man is performing full
squats with incredible hip flexibility. How is that kind
of range of motion achieved? I have been full squatting for years
and still can't get my hips to flex that much... I don't know
who to contact on this site, perhaps you can put me in contact
with someone who knows the man in the picture or who has some
insight into this?
it is possible for the spine to adapt to less than ideal hip
flexibility in healthy individuals, it is generally recommended
that a full squat be performed with adequate hip flexibility
to avoid the posterior pelvic rotation at the lowest position.
Flexibility may be limited by muscular, joint, or body segment
girth constraints. A comprehensive qualitative assessment can
be performed to determine an individualized flexibility program.
Dynamic flexibility under a load, rather than static flexibility,
will be more applicable to squat range of motion. This can be
achieved by having an experienced squatter examine the subject's
technique during a free hand squat with arms forward or a squat
with a light weight. See Deep
squats may be appropriate for certain athletes who require
strength and joint stability in these lower positions (like performing
Olympic style weightlifts). A parallel
squat may be sufficient to achieve many individual's conditioning
goals. Keep in mind, too great of flexibility may not necessarily
be a favorable attribute for all sports (See Stretching
Keep in mind, full range will vary from person to person.
For example, an individual with large calves and thighs may not
even be able to achieve a parallel position since their calf
and lower hamstring would be smashed together in this position.
One should only perform full range for their particular range
of motion. Even a three quarter squat may end up challenging
some people's flexibility. See,
Ankle, knee, and hip flexibility are potentially limiting
factors in safely performing the full squat (below parallel).
The soleus or ankle joint may be suspected if the heel cannot
be kept on the floor while the knee travels forward in the squat
position. See dorsiflexion
When assessing the knee's range of motion during the squat,
the relative position of the leg should be noted when the knee
and lower hamstring are compressed together.
The flexibility of the hip joint can also be assessed during
the squat. As the subject performs the full squat, the point
of when the pelvis turns under (posterior rotation) should be
noted. The compression of abdomen against the upper thigh may
be a limiting factor for some individuals.
If the pelvis posteriorly rotates prematurely, further assessment
can be performed to determine if the flexibility of the gluteus
maximus or the adductor magnus is deficient.
To assess the adductor magnus, the subject would lie supine
on a mat. The assessor would slowly move the bent knee toward
the subject's arm pit (on the same side). The angle of the hip
when the pelvis begins to posteriorly rotates should be noted.
To assess the gluteus magnus, a similar test would be performed,
except the hip would first be externally rotated so the bent
knee points outward. Then, the lower would be slowly moved toward
the subject chest. Again the angle of the hip when the pelvis
begins to posteriorly rotates should be noted.
Dynamic flexibility movements (i.e. deep squats with body
weight or empty bar) can be performed immediately before squatting.
Static stretching for the gluteus maximus and/or the adductor
magnus (depending on assessment above) can be performed immediately
following a weight training session.