These Poses Can Loosen Up Your Hips!
Tightness in the hips is not a pleasant feeling. When your hips are tight, you typically feel pain in the form of lower back pain and muscle stiffness. Hip tightness is usually the result of sitting for long periods of time, at your desk or couch. When you sit for a while, your hip flexors and rotators become tight and your glutes become weaker. This combination has negative effects on our ability to walk, maintain proper posture, and the ability to keep our spine stable. If you don’t take keep your hips moving, you’ll reduce your range of motion over time.
The following yoga poses target your tight hips and will loosen them up with continual practice. Be sure to pass these poses onto your friends who could benefit from them.
This calming hip opener also stretches your lower back.
- Begin lying flat on your back. Bend both knees, and hold the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs.
- Gently use your upper-body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
- Stay here for five deep breaths.
The hip flexors, the muscles at the front of the hip, can become extremely tight just from sitting. This intense stretch targets that area as well as the outer hips.
- Come into a lunge position with your right knee forward. Lower your left knee to the floor, and rest your hands on the ground under your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your right knee to the right so you’re resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep your arms straight, pressing your chest forward to increase the stretch.
- Hold like this for five breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson
Stretch both hips at the same time with Butterfly pose.
- Sit on the ground, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book. Use your leg muscles to press your knees down toward the floor.
- Lengthen your spine, drawing your belly button inward. Relax your shoulders, and gaze either in front of you or toward your feet. Stay here for five breaths, and then slowly fold forward, drawing your torso toward your legs. Remember to try to keep your spine straight.
- Rest your hands on your feet, pressing your knees down with your arms, or if you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you. Stay here for another five breaths.
A basic yoga pose, Pigeon is one of the most effective hip openers because you can focus on one hip at a time.
- Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended behind you. Pull the right heel in toward your left hip, or if your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
- Stay here with your hands resting on your right thigh or your hips, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee. Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension for at least five breaths.
- Repeat this pose with the left knee bent.
To your health and wellness!