Have you ever felt you couldn’t exercise like you wanted to because back or knee pain was limiting your range of motion?
If so, you could be limited due to tightness in your hips.
Below, we will cover the main reason for hip tightness and give you helpful exercises and stretches to keep your hips loose and supple, so you can exercise and move your best.
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More Sitting Means Tighter Hips
Today, the majority of US workers grind away at desk-related jobs. According to Business Insider, 86% of American workers sit at a desk all day. If you’re one of them, your hips may be affected.
You see, long bouts of sitting can lead to a shortening and weakening of the hip muscles, which can severely restrict hip movement and cause major problems like back, knee, and hip pain.
It can also expose you to a greater risk of injury. A study featured on the PubMed Central website relates how Norwegian researchers found that sedentary men had a 150% greater risk of hip fracture than those who participated in recreational sports for at least 3 hours per week. In essence, sitting creates a greater danger for your hips that playing sports.
Open Up Your Hips With These Moves
Fortunately, mobility in your hips can quickly be restored and you can get back to doing the things you love without any limits.
Below is a list of movements that will help loosen your hips and restore flexibility fast:
1. Wide Legged Splits
From a standing position, open your legs wide and bend forward with your hands touching the ground. Slowly move your feet further away as far as they can go, keeping them flat to avoid stress to the knee, and make sure the heel is wider than the toes. For those who can keep going, try touching the ground with your elbows.
2. Butterfly stretches
You’ll remember this classic stretch from gym class. Sit on the ground with both knees bent, feet together, and open them to the side as if they were a book. The goal is for the knees to touch the floor, but only go as far as you can. For an added stretch, bend forward and touch the floor with your hands in front of you, but be careful not to compromise the posture. A straight back is key to this exercise!
3. Head To Knee Pose
Sit on the floor with both legs extended. Bend one knee in and with a tall spine, reach for your foot with the arm of the same side on the extended leg. When stretching, try to have your forehead touch your leg to really target the thigh. Repeat on the other side.
4. Pigeon Stretch
For this stretch, lay face down on a yoga mat and get into a plank position. Bring your right knee to your chest while pulling your right foot up towards your left chest (so that your right leg below your knee is at least at a 45 degree angle or almost parallel with the top of your mat). Your left leg should remain straight. Lower down and sit the weight on your right buttocks.
Maintain this position for the duration of the stretch and try to keep your hips aligned. If this is too difficult, start out with a lunge until you develop enough flexibility to do this move. If you can go further, reach forward for that added stretch. Repeat on other side.
5. Reverse Lunge w/Knee Drive
Stand upright with both feet together. Bring one leg back into the lunge position. Stretch for a few seconds and bring it back up, but instead of standing back in the starting position, bring the back leg up to your stomach and hold for a bit. Then, go back to the lunge. Repeat for a few reps and then stretch the other leg.
6. Ball Knee Tucks
For this exercise, you will need a large exercise ball. If you do not own one, then a chair will do. As long as you have something that will keep your feet up for this stretch. Start in a push up position with feet on the ball and body level. From this position, tuck your knees in towards you chest while avoiding rocking your body. Repeat for a few reps.
7. The Clam
This exercise requires you to lay on your side with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Open your legs with the knee on top going as far as it can, and then slowly lower it back in place. Repeat for a few more reps and then do the same for the other leg.
Lay on your side, feet together and knees slightly bent. Raise the knee on top as far as it can go, and put it back into place. Repeat for a few reps and do the same for the other side.
These stretches, if done consistently, will ensure your hips stay loose so you can enjoy better overall mobility.
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In closing, don’t let tight hips limit your workouts or your life. By adding the above exercises to your workout routine, you will help prevent the knee pain, back pain and other issues that are caused by tight hips. Again, be sure to get your free resistance bands before this offer ends!
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Here’s to having healthy hips and mobility!