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Hip/Core Mobilization

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A few folks wanted to take a look at some of my off ice routines...  I'll put some stuff together here. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, physical therapist, or in any related industry.  I've put together this stuff through some research, trial and error, and talking to various health professionals.  Some of my ideas may not be correct, and I am not claiming to be an authority on the subject.

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For most of us on this board, hockey has more or less fallen in priority on our totem poles as we have grown up and entered the workforce.  Those (like me) with kids have another added challenge of balancing time and energy.  Over the past couple years, I've put together a bit of a short routine to help.  The nice thing is this can be hammered out before bed while watching an episode or two on Netflix.

This is all really a combination of some stuff I've found from Maria Mountain (IG: goalietraining) and Dillon Kelley (IG: dkthemobilityguy) - so if you find this stuff helpful, definitely shoot them a follow as they helped me find some core principles. 

Basic Premise:

This post in particular is going to focus on the core, hip, and glute mobilization as it is something I struggled with after a couple knee injuries sustained in my early 20s.  When I hit 30, my hips seemed to become cranky and my range of motion was extremely limited. I've still got a ways to go to get them to where I was playing competitively, but I'm feeling much better these days and don't suffer from sore hips or knees, even after demanding skates.

Things to keep in mind before we get into the routine.

  • When stretching, the key is to breathe.  Two beats in and three beats out.  You are sort of retraining your brain to accept that your stretch is your new range limit.
  • Slow and controlled movements, especially during the exercises.  You are learning and training your body to recruit more muscles in that local area to help you when you need them.
  • Focus on form during the exercises. A mirror helps.  Make sure your hips and shoulders are square.  No cheating as that negates the purpose of the work.
  • Premise here is to go from a work to a stretch mode.  Once you get the muscle warm, you can stretch it and try to get more range out of it.


Leg swings, 3 ways.

  • Resistance bad around ankles
  • One leg on balance pad, opposite leg swings foreward and back 5x.
    • Do try to balance on the pad without dropping off. 
    • Obviously put a foot down or grab your balance back if you're about to eat shit
  • Now do it side to side
  • Now swing our legs at a 45 degree angle in front
  • Switch legs.

Pigeon pose

  • One leg bent in front of you 90 degrees or as close as you can get.
    • You should get a nice stretch both in your glute on your front leg and your hip flexor on the back leg
  • Back leg is flat behind you.  For added stretch, pull the back leg toward your back, use a yoga strap if you need help
  • 20 sec hold, repeat 2x and alternate
  • Hard to explain so here's a pic
    • image.png.cfd4f93d8bbb81e3deea92861fa94369.png
  • And here's the extra credit version.  Still unsure if the circle game hand motion in front does anything
    • image.png.e0c13fd3d742d62bb83eb65bdc9f483a.png


  • Band around knees, lie sideways. 
  • 10x/side, alternate sides.  Repeat 2x.  Make sure your glutes are going..
    • image.png.848cc54df9140afd49662b024324509e.png

Kneeling hip flexor stretch

  • One knee down on balance pad, other leg is bent 90 degrees.
  • Get some light tension going in your glutes with a little forward pressure, flatten your back foot but don't lean. 
    • Chest and shoulders should be perpendicular to the ground.
  • Repeat 2x, switch legs
  • Quick pic as this one's important to do right.  Both legs should be at 90 degrees
  • If you want to get a little more range in here, you can add some torso twists
    • image.png.a020fb52168da51bf6e87705e527e464.png


Single leg glute bridge

  • Really good one.  If you skip almost everything else in here, this is the one you want to keep.  Great for isolating your glutes
  • Flat on back, one foot flat on ground.  You'll be pushing with this one.  Other leg straight up in air.
  • Push up with your flat foot so your butt and back come off the ground.  Hold 2 sec.  Repeat 10x.  Alternate sides.
    • image.png.bc64322e74ee6b34c7d138676b0e4753.png

Groin stretch

  • Knees apart shoulder width or wider (if you can).  Feet flat on ground.
  • Drop to your elbows, get at it in the groin area.  Make sure your back is flat.
  • Throw in some hip circles to see if you can get a little more stretch and range out of it.
  • 30 sec, repeat 2x

Kneeling Clamshells with resistance bands

  • This is a bit of a burnout exercise, it's gonna suck.  Basically a kneeling version of the clamshell above.  Resistance bands around your knees.  This is all glutes and core so make sure they're on.
  • One knee is down on the balance pad - this knee will remain stationary, chest and shoulders up.  The other knee will open and come back like a pendulum
  • Your goal is to balance on the pad with one knee while opening and closing your opposite.  Super slow and controlled.  Each rep should run 5 sec or more.  5x each side, alternate and repeat 2x.
    • image.png.db22d9dd0caa1319924a974b8c8020f2.png


  • My personal favorite...and the one I hate the most.
  • Make sure your butt is flat on the ground. 
  • For your internally rotated hip (that's the guy's left leg in pic below) you can try to raise your foot off the ground and hold
  • Hold 20 sec, flip to the other side.  Repeat and flip 2x.
  • Advanced version of this (which I got from dkmobility) - drive your internally rotated hip into the ground and hold that tension for the full count, then slowly release into a stretch.  You should feel some gain
    • image.png.cc8f2ddb95e1a5f669d246aa5e216f71.png


I'll generally wrap with some Maria Mountain butterfly challenge stuff and call it a day.




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Excellent post. I enjoy learning more about other routines and movements. The more you know...

For those, like me, that have digressed so far from normal hip ROM that any 90-90 pose or movement leaves you leaning hard in the opposite direction of the 'rear' leg: Sit your front leg sit bone on a yoga block making sure that the sit bone of the rear leg is NOT - it should be floating. Getting some altitude will allow you to first get into the proper position, but more importantly, altitude will allow you to breathe, contract, hold and release your contraction as intended. Over time, you may not need the block. 

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