I created this high-box/step flow to fully mobilize the entire hip complex, alleviate back & hip pain, plus prep the body for stepups, lunges & all single-leg training. It’s also one of my go-to pre-walk/run warmups because of its focus on fixing imbalances between sides & gait realignment. I highly recommend wearing knee sleeves for best results. The knee sleeves provide support & warmth plus a flexion-gapping effect that mobilizes the joint capsule to make your knees more bendable.
Spend 2 minutes in each of the following positions in the exact order listed, switching sides halfway for all single-sided positions:
Deep Stepup Contractions
Glute/Hip Rotator Mobility (Piriformis)
3-Way Hamstring Mobility
Use elongated inhales through the nose into the belly and full exhales through the mouth for best results.
For the Front-Leg Emphasis, focus first on shifting your weight onto the toes and driving your knee forwards to improve ankle mobility. Then flatten the foot and get after the hip with side-to-side oscillations. Push the knee outwards to loosen the groin (or adductors). Finish with some lateral bending to ease tension in the high hip flexors, obliques & spinal stabilizers.
For the Back-Leg Emphasis, the key is to place as much of your weight onto the grounded foot as possible. Focus first on mobilizing the toes, foot & ankle. Then shift to mimicking leg extensions to activate the quads & peel open the hip flexors (squeezing the rear glute helps maximize hip extension). Finish with T-Spine rotations to open up the chest & upper/mid-back.
For the Deep Stepup Contractions, treat it like a deep single-leg (or pistol squat) using the toes of the trail-leg for self-assistance. Lift with the glutes and drive the lead foot underground to maximize lower body activation. Then pull yourself back down using the hip flexors. Exhale through the mouth going up. Inhale through the nose going down.
For the Glute/Hip-Rotator Mobility, mimic the pigeon shape from yoga and add forward and backward movement to release the piriformis. When this area gets tight, it pinches the sciatic nerve causing sciatica symptoms. Gently push the leg outwards to hunt all the tight corners.
For the 3-Way Hamstring Mobility, focus on moving at the hips, not the lower back (or lumbar spine). Use side-to-side flossing to release all 3 components of the hamstring complex: inner, outer & middle. Add some contract/relax for best results, squeezing the quads and actively driving the heel into the box. Pull the toes back to further relieve neuromuscular tension.