Hip Prep

By Kelly Starrett

In Coaching, Exercises, Videos

January 09, 2010

Video Article

“Pigs on ice skates” and “groiners”—two keys to a great warm-up for the hips.

During a visit to CrossFit Santa Cruz, physical therapist and affiliate owner Kelly Starrett helps a group of athletes warm up their hips in preparation for a workout featuring squatting.

Kelly starts with some basic air squats before incorporating very light stretching and moving on to dynamic movements that slowly warm up the joints and increase the range of motion. A squat walk (the aforementioned pigs on ice skates) and some jumping lunges from the plank position (groiners) continue the progression, which also includes a few mobility drills incorporating an imaginary fence.

The session wraps up back in the squat, which probably feels a whole lot better with warm, lubricated muscles and joints.

Starrett is the owner of San Francisco CrossFit and a doctor of physical therapy.

5min 57sec

Additional reading: The Burgener Warm-Up by Mike Burgener and Tony Budding, published Jan. 1, 2007.

Free Download


14 Comments on “Hip Prep ”


wrote …

exellent. thanx kelly.


wrote …

thanks Kelly!


wrote …

Yep,nice work,thanks


wrote …

This is what im looking for, thanks!


wrote …

Keep the Kelly stuff coming- very useful.


wrote …


Pigs on ice skates. check
Groiners. check
Active squat. Push the knees out. check
Hands overhead and squat using jumping position and feet together position. check
Hop over and under fence. check

Insanely awesome warmup. absolutely

Would be really, really tight without K-Star? indeed



wrote …

It is always good to be reminded not to dump out the water from my pelvic bowl. K Star is such an amazingly poetic resource. We incorporate stuff from his posts on the Journal into our training every time they come up. Am heading to an East Coast Mobility Cert ASAP.

Thanks CFJ!


wrote …

"groiners" Military calls them 'Mountain Climbers' SEAL Teams call them 'chase the rabbits' So if you ever see them anywhere else they are all the same.


wrote …

Ginormous... it's a technical term...

K-Star Rocks


Aaron Shaffer wrote …


I'm a Crossfiter of 2.5 years. I can do all Crossfit workouts without joint pain. But when I run anything over 3mi I get pain on my right knee, IT band. In high school I had to stop running 5k's (even though I was down to 16:35) because the pain was so sharp. Doc said it was ITBFS. I've had cortisone injections, done pool running, done the rehab drills prescribed by the doc, done all the ITB stretches prescribed by the doc, had another doc give me orthotics... but nothing worked. So now I just do CrossFit and never run over 2mi.

Something tells me there is a better solution out there, but I can't seem to find it! It hasn't been mentioned in the journal yet but I know it's a common problem for runners. Any chance, please please, that we'll see you in a video addressing ITBFS?


wrote …

Kelly, Great stuff...I've been looking for some good isolation stretch/warmup please keep them coming.


wrote …

I used these drills with one of my athletes who has some severe mobility issues. He is a 53 year old former competitive cyclist...strong as an ox, but the guy can't move. To top that off, he's got an iron rod in his left thigh.

After doing these drills, he did a WOD with an 800m in it. He came in so much faster than I expected, and running with such a more natural gait than he had before, that I literally yelled out "Dan, what the hell happened?!"

A few days ago, after the same drills and some self myofascial release, he ran over 800m for the first time in over 15 years – a 5k, with no pain in his hips whatsoever. He's 100% sure he couldn't have done this a month ago.

Outstanding stuff Kelly!


wrote …

Awesome video

Aaron Shaffer... I am a Triathlete having wicked wicked ITBFS woes. I can't run over 15 minutes without pain. I would like to see a CrossFit article discussing ITBS / ITBFS also.


wrote …

Aaron, I had ITBS too. I tried every Internet solution I could find, gave up and went to a sports massage therapist who did myofascial release. It seemed to really loosen things up and with daily self-myofascial release, ice and ibuprofen, I'm cured - I later ran a 28 mile trail race with no pain. Another key was ice massage on the tendon attached to the lower end of the IT band. I'd suggest a good sports massage therapist - ask a local endurance runner for a recommendation. I actually started with a foam roller before going to the massage guy, which helped some, so you can try that. My $0.02.

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)