Hip Mobility for BJJ athletes is important to perform optimally and reduce injuries. However, most athletes never consider their hip mobility as potentially limiting their training.
Currently, Mobility is a big buzz word within the sports performance realm.
Mobility implies having control throughout an entire range of movement. More specifically, being strong at the beginning and end of a movement pattern.
This article briefly talks about the importance of hip mobility for BJJ athletes. A lot of techniques, especially from the guard, require adequate hip mobility. As a results, the more strength and control through a range of movement you have, the better. Consequently this makes some techniques easier, more effective, and can reduce risk of muscle strain injuries.
When overly simplified, the hip moves in combinations of 4 foundational movements:
Flexion (Leg going forward).
Extension (Leg going backward).
External Rotation (Leg position when performing an arm triangle as shown in image above).
Internal Rotation (Opposite of above).
When assessed, many athletes lack complete hip mechanics. More specifically, a loss of full internal and external rotations.
HOW MUCH ROTATION SHOULD YOU HAVE?
Normally, athletes should have a hip rotation window of 90 degrees in total.
External Rotation should be 50 degrees or more.
Internal Rotation should be 40 degrees or more.
Missing hip rotation? As a result, you could have sub-optimal hip mechanics and increase your risk for injury.
Avoiding injuries is great, even more so, improving your hip mobility can have immediate positive impacts in your BJJ game.
One example, as mentioned previously, is the ability to easily put on a triangle choke from guard. With more external rotation hip mobility, the technique becomes easier to put on effectively, and is less stressful on the knee ligaments.
Your hip has to externally rotate to get into position for the choke. However, if hip mobility is limited, specifically external rotation, compensated movements can occur. Often, as a result, more stress is transferred to the lateral knee ligaments, increasing risk of acute and over-use injuries. These injuries commonly affect your Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), Patella Ligament, and other muscles/tendons around the knee.
For those of your with chronically tight hamstrings, back pains, and knee pains, a lot of problems often come from incomplete mechanics at the hip joint.
Try improving your internal and external rotation to see if it helps clear some ongoing pains, and ultimately improves your BJJ game.
To conclude, I will teach you one of my favorite drills to improve hip mobility.
Remember, mobility isn’t just being flexible. You need complete expression of movement, being strong throughout the entire range.
This drill can improve range of movement, however, strengthening the muscles in the new range of movement is important. Adding strength will produce lasting effects and ultimately improve your mobility and stability over time.
To Perform this Hip Mobility Drill for External Rotation, follow these steps: 1. Use a heavy exercise band
2. Put it high into hip
3. Walk out, having the band pull laterally on your hip and work through different hip rotational movements.
4. Spend 2-3 minutes on each hip, repeat 2-3 times throughout the week prior to training.