Fit Minute: Staying hip with Lighthouse Fitness

Lighthouse Fitness Owner Kim Crowley demonstrates the standing modification of a hip flexibility workout. Photo by Ryan Vermette

Getting in and out of a car, standing up from a desk, and walking or running. All of these movements require hip mobility… a lot of it. Whether you are hopping on a Zoom meeting for work, or watching a newly released movie from the comfort of your own home, many people have been doing a lot of sitting since the beginning of the pandemic. Lighthouse Fitness owner Kim Crowley said hip mobility is an under-discussed effect from everything being done remotely.

“Especially the last three years, everybody is sitting so much, so those hip flexors are completely compressed and people are having trouble just daily walking,” she said. 

To fix that issue, Crowley demonstrated a hip mobility workout that will help make daily actions, like getting into a car or lifting your leg off the ground, easier.

The exercise is adaptable from a seated exercise to balancing on one foot, Crowley said.

The first moderation involves sitting in the chair.

“I recommend having a seat, sit as tall as you can with your feet flat, and we’re going to be picking one foot up off the ground, Crowley said. “You want to think about lifting the knee as high as you can in kind of a circular motion.”

She noted that those with less mobility  can make small circular movements with their foot just above the ground, but those with more mobility can make large circular motions. 

The next moderation entails standing up, with one hand placed on a chair or an elevated object if you are just starting out.

“Try to make your feet as wide as your hips,” she said. “If they get too close, then you are going to be off-balance. We’re going to lift and come around with that hip. You’re going to feel a little squeeze in those abs when you lift too.” 

Lastly, you can enhance the difficulty of the workout by letting go of the chair, and go even further by not letting the foot touch the ground during the exercise. 

While this hip mobility workout extensively works the muscles in and around the hip, some core muscles also come into play.

“As you lift upwards, you’re going to be using your abdominal muscles, and you’re going to be using your hip flexors here, and then your quads are going to lift as well, and glutes are going to be working,” Crowley said. “It’s a whole hip and leg activation, and it really is one of those all encompassing ones.”

Crowley also said that if you are standing, your entire leg will be activated as well. 

Crowley recommends doing 20 repetitions on each leg. Like most exercises, she says to go further if you can or feel comfortable, and to stop if there is any pain.