Hip Mobility Exercises for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete
by Carmelo De Leon, DPT
Regardless of your level in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), hip mobility is a crucial component to keep you healthy and training on the mat. Without the necessary mobility, adjacent areas may have to overcompensate, namely the low back and knees. If playing off of your back is your style, the hip is going to require a surplus of internal and external rotation, otherwise the knee will have to make up for that lack of rotation. If the knee could sufficiently rotate, heel-hooks would not be so dangerous. Sure, the back can rotate, but nowhere near the level that the hip should. These areas already suffer due to desk jobs and leg-lockers, so let’s not make hip mobility - or lack thereof - another culprit.
90/90 Hip External Rotation: Movement 1
Sit on the ground with 1 leg forward bent at 90 degrees at the knee and 1 leg behind bent at 90 degrees at the knee. Lean forward and bring your stomach towards the front knee. If possible, use your hands as little as possible for support.
90/90 Hip External Rotation: Movement 2
In the same 90/90 position on the ground, lift your back heel off the ground and, keeping the ball of your foot on the ground, bring the back knee towards the ceiling. Keep your hip facing as forward as possible - all rotation should be coming from the hip.
90/90 Hip Internal Rotation
Sit on the ground as upright as possible with 1 leg forward bent at 90 degrees at the knee and 1 leg behind bent at 90 degrees at the knee. Keeping the back knee on the ground lift your back foot towards the ceiling as high as possible without leaning forward. Do not expect this foot to lift high off the ground.
Try these mobility exercises out and let us know what you think.