Between work, school, and relaxation time, most of us are guilty of sitting down for most of our days, which can lead to pain and stiffness in the hips. Regular stretching can reduce that discomfort. Here are five effective hip stretches to implement into your daily routine.
Stretch your hip flexors with a bridge
The bridge is a simple full-body stretch that specifically targets your hip flexors and abs.
Lie on your back with your legs bent. Rest your feet feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart, and rest your arms and hands gently on the floor beside you.
Push down into the floor through your heels, and raise your buttocks off the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles for extra support in your lower back. Try to make a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, but don’t hyperextend your lower back.
Hold this elevated position for 10-30 seconds. Your upper body, including your shoulders, neck, and head should be comfortably resting on the floor. Try it for 3-5 repetitions.
Mobilize your adductors with the butterfly stretch
Sit on the ground, bend your legs, and touch the soles of your feet together. Let your knees fall to the sides, and try to bring your heels as close to your body as you can. Hold it here, or lean forward into the stretch, using your elbows to push your knees toward the ground.
Work toward a position that’s a deep stretch in your groin area and inner thigh. Keep your back in a neutral position — don’t arch it or slouch over. Hold the butterfly stretch for 10-30 seconds, and repeat for 3-5 repetitions.
Work on hip flexibility with the figure four stretch
The figure four position is a deep stretch that targets the outsides of your hips and your glute muscles, specifically the gluteus medius.
Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your right ankle on your left knee and draw it toward your chest by hugging your left leg. Repeat with your left ankle over your right knee.
You should feel this stretch in your glute and hip. Figure four works best when you hold it for longer, so try to go for 30-60 seconds.
Loosen stiff hip joints with a pigeon pose
Pigeon pose is a more advanced version of figure four. It also targets your hips and glutes.
Begin on all fours in a tabletop position: hands in line with your shoulders and knees aligned under your hips. Step one foot forward and place your knee on the ground in front of you, as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Let the other knee extend back into a lunge.
Drop your back knee to the ground, keeping your hips straight, pointing forward. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Shake out soreness with a lunge and spinal twist
A lunge together with a spinal twist is a great full-body stretch that can loosen your hips and back. To do this move, start by standing with your feet together.
Then, take a big step forward with your left foot to land in a split stance. Lower your body into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right thigh and hip.
Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left. You should feel a stretch throughout your back and a deepened stretch in your right hip.
Getting started with stretching
Stretching regularly is one of the best things you can do for your body to preserve health and functionality. If you need help getting started with a stretching plan, call Premier Spine and Sports Medicine today or request an appointment online.