3 Exercises to Improve Hip External Rotation

One of the primary goals of the early off-season is to re-establish full joint range of motion and control.

A consistent (i.e. daily) focus on hip mobility work during the season can help players maintain their range of motion throughout the year; however, for players that are NOT consistently doing this work, it’s normal to lose 10-15 degrees of hip rotation during the season.

With this in mind, I asked @fittywithschmiddy to share 3 exercises to help improve hip external rotation. This is a great supplement to the 3 exercises to improve internal rotation she shared a few weeks back, so if you missed those, check out this link: 3 Exercises to Improve Internal Rotation

Notes from Emma:

1️⃣ Always Start with Controlled Articular Rotations as an assessment and warmup for joint care (see previous video).

2️⃣ 90/90 Base Position Hip External Rotation PAILS/RAILS.

Here we can either:
a. Open up capsular space
b. Improve control of current range of motion through positional isometrics

Protocol: Lean forward to find stretch on posterior side OR find a position you want to increase control. Hold a passive stretch for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, start a PAILS effort: Drive down into floor with ankle to knee, building up to 75-100% max tension for 10s. Then transition to a RAILS effort: Attempt to lift your ankle off the ground and hold to find more external rotation and hold for 5s.

✅ Start with 2 sets of 2 cycles of PAILs/RAILs on each side.

3️⃣ 90/90 Hip External Rotation Passive Range Holds

Protocol: Use your hand to help pull your foot as high as you can (without pain) while maintaining your posture. Let go, and try to actively maintain that position. Hold here as long as you can and then slowly lower the foot down.

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6 reps/side.

4️⃣ Hip External Rotation Hovers

Protocol: Here we are adding active control to the capsular space we just worked hard to open up in the previous exercises. Similar position to the previous exercise, but now we’re using the block as a target to move the foot over. The higher the foot, the more external rotation at the hip.

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps of 5-second holds per side.

Give these a shot, and as always, feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it (or tag a friend that needs some hip mobility work) so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. For more information on how to assess movement and integrate specific strategies to improve mobility and movement quality in training, check out Optimizing Movement. Don’t have a DVD player? Send me a note through the contact page after you checkout here Optimizing Movement and I’ll get you a digital copy of the videos!

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