Whether it's from running, other sport/exercise or from sitting at a desk for long lengths of time, many of us have tight hips. Here are 6 stretches to release tight hips - a good compliment to my last post, 5 Exercises to build Glute Strength and why you should do them, as it's beneficial to have a proper balance of strength and length in the hip region in order to perform your best in your sport or in daily life.
Take the left foot back into a high lunge. Soften the left knee so you can slightly tuck the tailbone and engage the left glute.
To add on and get into the hip flexor a little more, take a side bend over to the right (the front leg). Repeat on the other side.
Take the left foot back and turn the toes out slightly, ground the heel. Hinging at your hip crease, fold over the front leg, keeping the spine long. Breathe into the back of the front leg while turning the right outer hip back slightly.
Repeat on the other side.
Half Lord of Fishes:
Sit with the knees bent. Slide the left foot under the right leg to the outside of the right hip. Step the right foot over the left leg to the outside of the knee/thigh. Lift and lengthen your torso as you hug that right knee in with your opposite arm. Then twist towards the inside of your right thigh. You should feel a nice stretch in the right outer hip/glute area.
Repeat on other side.
From ½ Lord of the Fishes lower the right knee on top of the left, stacking the knees, feet on outside of hips. Sit evenly on your sit bones with the hips level. Keeping the spine long and hinging at your hip crease, fold over your legs.
You can also try this shape lying on your back: just cross one leg over the other - curl up to grab your shins/ankles. Slowly lower the head and chest back down on the mat. As you gently press your shins downward, also pull them slightly apart.
These shapes really get into the outer hip area. Repeat on the other side.
One of my favorite series.
A. Lying on your back, bend one knee into the chest and place the strap around the ball/arch of the foot. Slowly extend the leg up towards the ceiling until you feel a stretch down the back of the leg. Hold the strap low enough so your shoulders rest on the mat.
B. Take the strap in the same hand as the leg and reach the opposite arm out to the side. Let the leg fall open to the side. Feel the stretch in the inner thigh/hip.
C. Soften through the knee to draw the leg back through center and switch hands with the strap. Draw the leg slightly across midline until you feel a stretch in the outside of the leg now. Keep pressing through the heel and pinky edge side of the foot.
Hold each position for 5 or so breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Lying on your back with the feet flat and knees bent, bring the bottoms of your feet together and let the knees fall open.
Let your legs slowly settle and sink downward without trying to force anything.
As always, this is just my own opinion based off of my experience and knowledge at this time. There's always more to learn and consider - not all shapes work for everyone so please honor and respect YOUR body and your level of training and do what is best for you.
Which one is your favorite?
Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy!