Simple Exercises to Get Tight Hips


Tight hips seem to be a common problem for almost everybody — from runners to cyclists, from desk bound bloggers to dancers. Give this area a little extra love with this sequence of eight hip-opening stretches to increase your flexibility, reduce discomfort, and prevent injury. Try the series in the order listed here, or pick your favorites to incorporate into your workout routine.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help your hips. Exercise helps maintain range of motion and strengthens the muscles that support your hips. Stretching the muscles and tendons that surround the joint also can help ease pain from some hip problems and reduce the risk of some injuries.






1. Hip Rotations:

hip-rotations1

How to Do:

  • Sitting on the floor or mat with your right leg out straight, place your left ankle over your right leg. Your ankle should be next to your knee.
  • Using your left arm for balance by placing your left hand on the floor behind you.
  • Use your upper-right arm to slowly and gently push your left knee further towards the right
  • You should feel the stretch in your hip, as well as in your spine
  • Switch legs and repeat the routine.

2. Forward Lunge:

Reverse dumbbell lunge

How to Do:

  • Kneel on the ground. Raise your lead knee at a 90-degree angle and place your lead foot in front of you.
  • Place your hands on your hips. Keep your trailing knee down and press the top of your trailing foot on the ground.
  • While keeping your torso erect and pelvis squared, move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips and the top of your back leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch leg positions and repeat the exercise.

 

3. Glute Bridge:

glute-bridge3

How to Do:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your feet close to your butt.
  • Engage your abs, which will flatten your low back to the floor and tilt your pelvis slightly.
  • Pressing your heels into the floor, lift your butt, followed by your lower back and then your mid-back up as if you were peeling them off the floor, suggests Ross.
  • Lift until your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees in line.
  • Keep your abs engaged throughout the lift.
  • Slowly lower back down the floor in reverse order. Do 10 reps.





4. Frog Stretch with Rotation:

frog-stretch-with-rotation4

How to Do:

  • Start by kneeling on the ground, walk your knees out as wide as possible, and relax forward by placing your forearms down on the ground.
  • Your lower legs should be in line with your knees and you want to turn your feet out so that the insides of your feet are against the ground and your toes are pointed out to the sides.
  • Do not let your heels come together behind your butt or you will lessen the stretch.
  • In this position, push your butt back toward your heels as much as possible while keeping your knees wide.
  • You may not be able to sit back that much, but just push back as far as you can to feel a nice stretch in your inner thighs and even around the back of your legs.

5. Pigeon:

pigeon5

This pose will get the blood flowing along the hips and pelvic region. Take your time with this it can be particularly hard on beginners. Concentrate on slowly getting comfortable with the stretch.

How to Do:

  • Start on a mat. Fold your left leg on the ground beneath your hip and at the same time stretch out the right leg behind you.
  • Rock back and forth in a slow deliberate manner to produce a good stretch.
  • The further you lean, the deeper the stretch on this one.
  • Repeat the routine on the other side.

6. Seated Internal Rotation:

seated-internal-rotation6

How to Do:

  • Begin in a seated position with feet flat on the floor.
  • Move to a modified hurdler/pigeon stretch, with the left knee pointing out from the hip at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Roll to a seated position, keeping the feet flat on the floor and the knees wide.
  • Sit as tall as possible and pull the hips toward the heels.
  • Roll to the right side and assume a modified hurdler stretch, with the right knee pointing out from the hip at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Move from side to side in a dynamic flow, holding each side for three to five seconds. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.

7. Half-kneeling Hip-flexor and Adductor Stretch:

half-kneeling-hip-flexor-and-adductor-stretch7

How to Do:

  • Begin in a half-kneeling position on a cushioned mat, with the right foot forward.
  • Tuck the pelvis and keep the spine in neutral alignment.
  • Hold this hip-flexor stretch for five to 10 seconds.
  • Move the right foot lateral to the body, keeping the knee aligned with the center toe.
  • Sink the hips toward the knee. Hold this adductor stretch for five to 10 seconds.
  • Perform 10 repetitions of each stretch.

8. Butterfly Stretch:

butterfly-stretch8

How to Do:

  • Sit on the floor in a classic yoga stretch with both knees spread out as wide as possible and both feet touching.
  • Ensure you keep your spine straight; you can provide much needed support for your torso by placing your hands on the ground behind you.
  • Move the knees in a flapping motion until you feel the muscles and joints loosening.
  • Do the dynamic motion for about eight movements then hold the position at the tightest point of the stretch.
  • Use your hands or elbows to push down on your thighs for 30 seconds.





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