Tennis Ball Mobilization- back of the hip

This post is a continuation from yesterdays post on how to stretch out the back of the hip (click here to review it). In this post we're going to use a tennis ball to try and break up any soft tissue restrictions that might be in there. The goal is to anchor down one end and then to slowly stretch the muscle out against it.

Key Points:

1) Go back and read the massage post on the back of the hip. There are a few landmarks that you'll need to be able to find and identify.

Namely, you'll need to be able to find three bony landmarks (the greater trochanter, the PSIS, and your sit bone). The most important is the greater troch (#2 in the picture above). All of the muscles in the back of the hip attach here and then fan out over the back of the hip from #1 and #3 in the picture above.

From these landmarks, you'll be able to find the three main parts to the "fan" of muscles in the back of the hip- 1) the piriformis (green line), 2) the gemelli/obturator (purple line), and 3) the quadratus femoris (red line). To truly loosen up the back of the hip- you need to work on all three!

2) Start easy when laying down on the tennis ball. You may not be able to start by laying fully on your side and that's fine. You can start in the middle position between your side and back and work your way up from there.

3) When doing a rep, slowly bring your knee to your chest. You may not be able to do so all the way with the tennis ball in place. Just slowly move it through the motion you have and then rotate the leg as shown in the video. As your mobility improves, so will the amount of motion you have.

3) Try to perform 10 reps for each of the three parts of the "fan".

4) Same warm up rules apply. Try to do this either following a workout or warm up the area with the foam roller first. Especially if you’re coming back from an injury or this is a problem area.