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3 exercises for hip relief

stretches, hips, tight hips, stretching hips, foam roller, foam rolling, personal trainer, south jersey, fitness

Top 3 Ways to Stretch the Hips for Hockey Players Using Foam Rolling

If you’re a hockey player, for that matter. We understand the struggle of dealing with tight hips. Hours spent skating weekly, driving from game to game, and traveling across states can put your legs through a beating. Consequently, you may experience lower back tightness or tightness in the groin, often stemming from tightness in the hip region. Here are three quick stretches to help loosen up your hips and improve mobility, specifically tailored for hockey players.

Foam Rolling: Why It Helps the hockey athlete

Placing the foam roller directly under the tailbone/hips helps alleviate pressure on the hips and enables a wider range of stretching. This is particularly beneficial for hockey players, whose hips tend to be in Anterior Pelvic Tilt due to the skating motion and stance.

Stretch 1: Leg Sweeps

With the foam roller under your hips, keep the knee extended and toes flexed to emphasize the groin. Perform leg sweeps in a circular motion, gradually increasing the size of the circle with each rotation. You may feel tightness being released, often accompanied by a “cracking” sensation. Take your time with this stretch, aiming for 5-10 reps clockwise and counter-clockwise.

Stretch 2: Lying Knee Pull (Hug)

After completing leg sweeps, shake out your hips and keep one leg extended on the ground. Hug your other knee to your chest and hold for 10-15 seconds to feel the stretch and allow the joint to relax. Slowly extend the hugged knee, shake out your legs, and repeat with the other leg. Perform 1-2 sets or as needed.

Stretch 3: Lying Hip Tilts

Begin by lying on the foam roller with your stomach facing the ground. Tilt one hip at a 45-degree angle onto the roller, while the other hip faces the ceiling. Use your bottom leg and arms to roll up and down on the hip flexors, focusing on areas of tightness. Apply pressure to the roller for 10-15 seconds to release tension. Roll after releasing and repeat as necessary, then switch to the other hip.

No Foam Roller, No Problem

If you don’t have a foam roller, you can still try these stretches, although you’ll experience a deeper stretch with the roller. Additionally, there are other bodyweight exercises to loosen up the hip/pelvic area, such as the Figure 4 Stretch and Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch. Stay tuned for next week’s article for more on these stretches specifically beneficial for hockey players.


Written by:

Darrid Watson, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

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