Flex Those Hips: Unlock Strength and Mobility With The Drinking Bird
If you want flexible, strong hips that can move through a full range of motion, you need to practice hip mobility exercises. In this post, I'll walk you through a fantastic hip mobility drill called the drinking bird that will improve your hip flexibility, stability, and strength.
The drinking bird may look simple, but it's an excellent full body balance exercise that engages your core, glutes, hamstrings, and more. "When we hinge to the hips and extend the hips, where our body is perfectly balanced, meaning we're not twisting and bending ways that we're not supposed to, and we're doing it on one foot, we're having to create flexibility and stability in all the planes of motion through our hip musculature," says fitness expert John Doe.
Here's how to do it:
Stand on one leg with your hands on your hips. Keeping your back flat, hinge at the hips and lower your torso towards the ground. Go down as far as you can without rounding your back. Squeeze your glutes to return to standing. Make sure to keep your hips facing forward the entire time.
For beginners, start with a staggered stance to get used to the movement. Over time, work towards doing the full drinking bird balance on just one leg. If you need support at first, use a wall or chair nearby.
Aim to do 1 minute on each side daily. Doe says, "When you're consistent with this, and you're doing it every single day, remember this only takes two minutes. You're gonna develop so much strength. Flexibility, balance coordination, stability, mobility, all that good stuff in your hips."
Why is the drinking bird so effective? According to Doe, "When we stand on one foot and we hinge to the hips, we're doing all three planes of motion, and we're practicing that on just one leg, strengthening the hips' ability to have strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination all at the same time."
By moving through that sagittal plane (front to back), lateral plane (side to side), and transverse plane (rotational), the drinking bird hits the hips from every angle. This builds mobility you need for everyday life.
As Doe says, "Make sure to come back to this video often. Practice this and work your way towards that one legged drinking bird if you wanna have amazing feeling hips." Flexible, strong hips don't happen overnight. But with consistent practice of hip mobility exercises like the drinking bird, you can unlock new levels of strength and range of motion.
Try adding the drinking bird to your warm up or cool down routine. Over time, you'll feel amazing freedom and control in your hips that carries over into everything you do.