Do you spend large parts of your day sitting down at work, in your car or on your couch? The most likely answer is yes, with the majority of us often finding ourselves in a seated position for lengthy periods.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause the hips and surrounding muscles to become tight from being held in a shortened position. Not only can tight hips be uncomfortable, they can also affect other parts of your body like the glutes, core and lower back. This can not only lead to a higher risk of injury, but can impact your ability to perform exercises like the squat and lunge.
Your hips are the center of movement for your body, so the healthier and less restricted your hips become, the more potential your body has for strength, power, and athleticism.
Whether you’re a runner, triathlete, powerlifter, footballer, or general gym-goer, working on your hip mobility will help to improve performance and safeguard you against injury. Give these five exercises a go pre or post workout, when you wake up, or at the end of your day to loosen your hips and feel the benefits!
To get into the 90/90 position, your lead leg should be directly in front of you, bent to 90 degrees. Line it up with your heel. The trail leg should be to the side and also be bent to 90 degrees, with the heel lining up with the back leg.
Have the centre of your chest lined up with your front thigh bone. Keeping the spine tall and chest lifted, begin to project the chest forward over the front knee.
Tip – To increase the power of the stretch, direct your chest towards the centre of your front shin, and progress over towards the front ankle.
Start with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle. The back knee can be as bent or extended as is comfortable for you.
Rotate the back hip toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot. Keep the chest up tall, and only bear as much weight as you can comfortably.
Tip – For a deeper stretch, walk your hands forward and lower your upper body towards the floor. You can rest your forearms and forehead on the floor.
Hip Flexor With Quad
Begin in a kneeling position on a yoga mat. Take one large step forwards so that you are in a low-lunge position, ensuring that your left knee is not further forward than your toes.
Grab your right foot with your hand and push your hips forwards so that you feel a stretch along the front of your right leg.
Tip – To increase the intensity, use a bench behind your back leg rather than grabbing it with your hand.
Sit up with your feet together, moving the knees down toward the ground.
Hold your feet with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees, ensuring you keep your back straight.
Tip – To deepen the intensity, move your feet closer in toward your hips.
Lie on the back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Rest the ankle of the right leg over the knee of the left leg.
Pull the left thigh toward the chest, resting both hands on the back of your left thigh, and hold the stretch.
Tip – Each time that you exhale, draw your knee further into your chest and press your right elbow into your right knee to increase the stretch.