Hyper-mobile Hips

Hyper-mobility is common in a lot of females and addressing it properly is necessary to avoid injury and ensure efficacy in lifting. Today we’ll focus on hyper-mobile hips; this occurs when the female lifter is able to externally rotate beyond normal ranges of motion to the point that her knees are severely outside of her toe angle. If this occurs over time, it can result in lateral knee issues and even “snapping hip syndrome”.

The first thing that needs to be looked at is the toe angle of the squat. If the lifter has her toes pointing out farther than 20 degrees, then she needs to bring her toe angle in to about ten degrees. Toe angle is dependent on mobility, and higher mobility lifters will benefit from a more forward knee position (more on this in tomorrow’s post). If her toe angle is 30 degrees or greater, than the angle facilitates the excessive external rotation in the hip. The first step is bring the toe angle in to about “ten degrees from forward position”.

This may fix the issue by increasing torque to the point that she can’t excessively externally rotate the hips (torque is explained tomorrow), but if not then it needs to directly be addressed. The lifter must be taught that her knees need to track in the same angle as her toes. This gives her a reference point for where her knees should go, especially when “knees out” has probably been drilled into her head. “Knees out” is vague in that it means “get the knees out more than where they are right now”. Having the knees out is important, but mindlessly using the cue can help produce this “over external rotation” issue that causes problems and injury. “Track the knees over the toes” is a specific, descriptive phrase that tells the lifter where to put her knees. A usable, concise cue to use after explaining the concept is “track knees”.

The lifter may require a few drills, un-weighted squats, or light squats to practice this refined technique. If she is unable to do it properly with heavier weight, then the weight obviously needs to be lowered. It’s not just the “skill” or “technique” that we are changing here; it’s the distribution of force and how the musculature applies that force. In other words, the musculature necessary to do this properly must be developed from chronic training. If she has been doing it wrong for a period of time, her structures will have developed within the context of an improper ROM, and now she has to develop them in a good ROM. Any serious problem with knee angle on the squat (whether the knees are too far in or out) will probably require at least several weeks of “treatment squatting” — lighter weight squatting that focuses on the proper mechanics so that the musculature develops with the optimal ROM.

The video below explains everything above while showing the various positions. It also includes two effective mobility methods that a female with tight hip external rotators and abductors should use if she is having trouble with internal rotation. Having a lack of internal rotation is only natural if the external rotators are excessively tight due to pulling the femurs out beyond the toe angle. Tight internal rotators would have a negative effect on split positions in Olympic weightlifting as well as general athleticism and agility.

7 thoughts on “Hyper-mobile Hips

  1. the image on that video before hitting play is out of control. It’s kind of a “come at me bro” type look but with the hip position it’s very “come at my scrote bro” too.

    I chuckled.

    video was very helpful too. thanks.

  2. Interesting read and nice video, couldn’t imagine having that kind of mobility in my ankles; on a side note Justin you look bigger from the last video I watched of yours, maybe its a tighter shirt, but your upper body looks more jacked.

  3. I am hyper mobile and get sore and tight in exactly the spot you showed. I’m going to video from the front tomorrow and pay attention to where my knees go. Thanks for this!

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