In combat sports such as BJJ and muaythai, the hips play an important role in maneuvering and controlling positions. The more control you have in each position, the greater your chances of winning the match. Let’s look at some strengthening and stretching exercises required to boost hip health, which in turn will help with your training and performance.
Stretches: These stretches not only help with stretching tight and short muscles, they also work to increase mobility at the hip joint. This will allow for improved range of motion, as well as increased muscular control at increased range
1) Lizard stretch
Start in a 4 point kneel position, make sure your shoulders are above the wrists. Bring 1 foot forward, immediately outside and next to your hand. The other leg should be stretched out straight behind you, with the knee on the ground. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
2) Pigeon stretch
Immediately after the lizard stretch position, simply bring your front foot and cross it underneath your body. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds
As with all stretches, do perform these on both sides!
Strengthening: These exercises work specific hip muscles to ensure maximum hip stability and strength while you are on the mat
1) Side plank leg lift
This exercise has been shown to provide the maximal amount of contraction for the gluteus medius muscle, important for hip stability. Ensure that you maintain a neutral body position while performing this exercise. 10 reps of leg lifts while in the side plank position, nice and slow.
2) Single leg bridge
This exercise has been shown to provide the maximal amount of contraction for the gluteus maximum muscle, important for hip thrusts. You probably do hip thrusts very frequently during training, which is why we need to increase the load by doing single leg bridges. Make sure that the elbows do not push into the ground so that all the force is going through the hips. Work up to 10 reps of 10 second holds, nice and slow.
For a detailed assessment of which muscles you need to strengthen, come down to FaMA every Wednesday between 6pm – 7pm to see our very own physiotherapist!