Restore the Core – Step 3 Mobilize the Hips


By:  Chris Kelly CSCS (NSCA), CES, PES (NASM)

This information is from Chris Kelly’s eLearning continuing education course:
Restore the Core: Integrated Core Training for Real World Function.  See the full course for additional core assessments with video, and several core exercises and progressions with videos.
Part 2 of the Core Series is Core Complete Training: A Systematic Approach for Aesthetic Core Development by Chris Kelly.


Five Step Process for Restoring the Core
Much like a weight belt, the abdominals tighten around the spine to provide support during exercise or daily tasks such as bending over and rotating. Contracting the abs in this fashion is known as an abdominal brace.

Step 3: Mobilize the Hips

In looking at the body as an integrated unit, consider that certain joints are built to move while others require stability. While the goal of bracing is to tone the muscles around the spine to decrease or prevent motion of the torso, we want to gain movement at the hips (the joints directly above and below the lumbar spine) and thoracic spine to allow normal movement to occur.   This task can be accomplished through mobility drills for the hips and thoracic spine while maintaining an abdominal brace in various standing positions.

Because new clients often lack knowledge of coordinated movements, the phase one series begins against a wall. Pressing in to the wall allows the client to balance while pressing in to the wall to maintain abdominal bracing and normal breathing.

Exercises in this phase are simple in nature and intended to mobilize the hips and t-spine in multiple planes of motion. As the client gains proficiency in both bracing and movement, move off the wall for phase two progression by engaging in more complex and integrated movements. For each phase, perform each drill back to back once for 10 reps or 20-30 seconds each.

See Sample Video for Hip Mobilization:


About the Author
Chris Kelly is an experienced fitness journalist, speaker, and strength coach. With over ten years in the fitness industry, Chris’s experience spans from work in rehabilitation settings to strength and conditioning for athletes.

As a fitness speaker, Chris has authored numerous seminars and workshops focusing on back pain and restorative core training along with a variety of related topics. He holds fitness certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Chris received a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. Johns University in Queens, New York, and a master’s degree in journalism with a specialization in health and science from Columbia University in New York City.

An experienced health writer, Chris has also written extensively on fitness, healthcare, and nutrition. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including Exercise for Men, Prevention, Health, and the Boston Globe.

Copyright Fitness Learning Systems Inc. 2016

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