Loss of flexibility creeps up on everyone. One day, it is easy to do all sorts of motions for a community soccer team or with the kids. The next, one can barely move. How did this happen?
If one has problems with tight leg muscles, thighs, or back, some simple daily stretches will help improve the issue. The hip stretches listed below will help keep mobility up and keep one feeling healthy and active.
HIP FLEXOR STRETCHES
SEATED BUTTERFLY STRETCH
This is a common stretch pose. Sit on the floor or a mat with the legs folded in front. The soles of the feet should be touching. Keeping the back straight, bend forward from the hips until one feels the tension. Hold the positions for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position. It is easier to hold the position if one grasps the ankles and uses them for support. Do not push yourself too far as it is possible to cause yourself injury.
The pigeon pose is excellent for opening up the hips. Begin on all fours and bring the right knee forward and place it behind the right hand. Position the ankle in front of the left hip. The right leg should be perpendicular to the rest of the body. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
WEIGHTED HIP EXTENSION
This stretch lengthens hip flexors and strengthens glutes. Lie on your back and bend your knees while keeping the soles of the feet flat on the floor. Place a comfortable weight on the lower part of the abdomen and hold it there. Raise the butt and lower back off the floor while keeping the feet, upper back, and head on the ground. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise is like the weighted hip extension, but it does not require weight. It is a perfect follow up for the weighted hip extension because the hip flexors will be tired from the previous exercise. Just lift the butt and lower back off the floor like before and hold.
HIP JOINT STRENGTH EXERCISES
Water aerobics is excellent for strengthening the hips. The resistance of the water works as efficiently as a weight but allows for more movement. Also, the natural buoyancy of water puts less strain on the joints.
Walking in or out of water is excellent for strengthening worn hip joints. One must wear proper walking shoes to prevent joints from injury. Start short and slow to begin with and slowly increase the pace and distance to improve strength.
SEATED HIP EXTERNAL ROTATOR
Sit on a bench or chair, lift the left leg straight to the front. Rotate the right leg at the knee and bring the inside of the right foot underneath the left leg. Hold for 2 seconds. Repeat the movement 10 times before switching to the other leg. One can use an exercise band around the rotating foot to help hold the exercise.
STANDING HIP FLEXOR
For this exercise, one will need an exercise band. Place one end of the band around an anchor and the other end around the right foot. To start, turn away from the anchor and slowly lift the knee to the chest while keeping the back straight. Repeat 10 times with each leg. As one gets stronger, they can step further away from the anchor to increase resistance.
Performing these simple hip stretches daily or weekly will increase flexibility and strengthen the hips. A higher range of mobility and greater strength makes the probability of injury less.
Give them a try today!