In the fall quarter of 2015, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris White designed a flow sequence for our athletes here at Cal Poly. This 5-6 minute sequence quickly became the catalyst for some incredible gains in the weight room, and a record-breaking 2016 season for our Track and Field team. We have seen such positive results from the flow that all 22 of our varsity teams now use it for their warm up prior to a lifting session. Many teams have adopted it as an integral part of their preparation before practice. 
Don’t let the title “Hip Flow” fool you. This routine is about more than just the hips; it’s a full-body warm up and joint mobilization sequence. When creating the flow, Coach White started with the hips, but also paid special attention to the thoracic spine to help unwind our athlete’s bound-up bodies.

The Cal Poly Hip Flow

The Cal Poly Hip Flow was designed to transition smoothly from one exercise to the next. It not only caters to the individual, but can also be an effective way to get big groups warm for the training you have ahead. 
The following is the sequence of exercises in the flow: 
  1. Hip circles x 3 (each direction)
  2. Tall reach
  3. Downward dog x 3
  4. Left foot up and step through
  5. Hip distractions x 6
  6. Worlds greatest/lunging thoracic rotations x 6
  7. Cossacks x 6 
  8. Blocking hip rotations x 6
  9. Downward dog x 3
  10. Right foot up and step through
  11. Repeat steps 5-9
  12. Downward dog x 3
  13. Thoracic bridge x 6 (each side)
  14. Wide stance push back/downward dog x 3
  15. Wide stance thoracic rotations x 6
  16. Wide stance push back/downward dog x 3
  17. Sweep left leg through with chest folds x 6
  18. Sweep left leg through with chest folds x 6
  19. Downward dog x 3
  20. Table top stretch x 6
  21. Downward dog x 3
  22. Walk feet into squat
  23. Left elbow pry x 6
  24. Right elbow pry x 6
  25. Both elbows with shifting 
  26. Stand up and kick out
  27. Kneeling dorsiflexion x 60 sec
  28. Kneeling plantarflexion x 60 sec

Make the Flow Your Own

As stated in the video, we have added exercises as the teams have progressed. After practicing this sequence for a while, feel free to slip in other movements that are appropriate for you. You can also add more time to certain exercises like we have done with the ankle mobility exercises at the end. Typically, we increase holding time by 15 seconds. Most of our teams hold each for 90 seconds.
We’d like to thank Max Shank, Andrew Read, and Peak Performance Project (P3) for their influences during the creation of this routine. Enjoy!
More Ways to Mobilize for Maximum Performance:
Teaser photo courtesy of Chris Holder.