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What is a good way to loosen my hips before soccer practice?

As a soccer player, your hips have to be able to easily move in multiple planes of motion (front to back, side to side, and in a rotational pattern). They also need to be able to move efficiently in concert with the knee and ankle. Two good dynamic movements that can accomplish both of these goals include leg swings from front to back and leg swings from side to side. Performing the front to back leg swings helps loosen the hips, ankles, and knees in a front to back motion, also known as the saggital plane of motion. When performing the the leg swings from side to side, you loosen your hips, ankles and knees in a side to side motion, also known as the frontal plane of motion. These two kinds leg swings require you to incorporate a rotational movement into your hips, ankles, and knee because you are having to cross your leg across your body. Therefore, you will be loosening your hips in the transverse plane of motion as well as the frontal and sagittal planes. You can perform each of these exercise for 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitons. Keep in mind that if you know you have tight hips, it is a good idea to first perform foam rolling to the hip flexor and adductor complex, holding the tender spot for 30 seconds.  Next, perform a static kneeling hip flexor stretch and a static adductor stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. These flexibility techniques will help to relax and increase length in the hip muscles, helping you perform the leg swings more effectively.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.