I’ve talked before about the importance of mobility and flexibility throughout the body. But today, we are going to talk about the importance of maintaining flexibility in your hips.
In today’s world, most of us sit at a desk all day and sitting for extended periods every single day will inevitably create tight hips and impair mobility.
Dangers of Tight Hips
- Muscle Imbalances – The front of your hips, your hip flexors, are the muscles that will tighten and shorten while you are sitting for hours each day. While you are sitting, the back of your hips, your glutes, and your hip extensors, are being overstretched. But just because they are being tightened and stretched respectively, doesn’t benefit either of them. They are also being weakened because of the lack of use of each muscle group.
- Back Pain – With overstretched glutes and hip extensors and tight hip flexors, your pelvis will start to be pulled out of place into a forward, unnatural tilt. This tilt and tight muscles will also start to pull at the muscles in the lower back, one of the most common complaints from those with severely tight hips.
- Poor Balance and Posture – Because the hip flexor is a major stabilizer of the pelvis when the hip flexors are weak, it can impair your balance as well as cause poor posture.
Taking time each day to stretch out your hips can help counteract the hours you spend sitting at a desk. Not to mention, increasing mobility in your hips can also help increase your strength and power in your workouts.
Yoga tends to be one of the most popular ways for individuals to gain flexibility in their hips, due to the numerous hip-opening poses. These poses are some of the best hip openers you will see in many yoga classes.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
1. Thread the Needle Pose
Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Cross your RIGHT ankle over your LEFT knee as if making a figure “4”. Keeping your hips grounded and your lower back pressing into the mat, pull the LEFT knee in towards the chest, threading your RIGHT hand between your legs.
Clasp your hands underneath your LEFT knee to help pull the knee deeper into the stretch. Focus on keeping the RIGHT knee open to really stretch the hip. Breathe deeply and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side.
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