3 Exercises to Open Your Hips [VIDEO]
We spend most of our time sitting down.
On average we sit for 8-10 hours a day. Whether we are:
Driving and commuting
Working at our desk
At the computer
At home relaxing
Even reading this article
Your hips don’t lie.
When we repeat this seated sedentary pattern for this long, the structures in our hips become weaker and less mobile. Our glutes can become less engaged and because we lack movement here, our bodies will make up for it in other areas. The lumbar spine commonly overcompensates for this.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Banded Lunge Stretch
The band directs the stretch to be more effective, but can be done without if you don’t have one.
Secure the band slightly below knee height on a fixed point (we used a heavy squat rack).
Step through the other end with one leg so that the band is just under your gluteal crease.
Step backward with this leg until there is enough stretch, drop the knee, keeping your hips aimed forward. You should be in a lunge shape (you can place something soft under your knee like a rolled up towel for comfort).
Brace the spine by tucking your tailbone underneath and drawing your belly button to your spine. Push your hips forward by squeezing your glutes; you should feel a stretch through the front of your hip on the banded leg.
For added stretch bring your torso into a more upright position whilst maintaining squeezed glutes and braced spine.
Move in and out of this position, taking it deeper as your tissues warm up, with a long hold in the bottom of the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds to finish. Repeat both sides.
2. Pigeon Variation
In a lunge position (without a band), bring your front foot across the body in line with your back knee.
Keeping hips pointing forward, bring your front foot onto it's outer 'knife edge' and lower the knee sideways toward the floor to stretch some of the hip muscles. Make sure to flex your foot toward the knee to protect your knee.
Move in and out of this position and hold for 10 to 30 seconds in the lowest position to finish.
3. 90/90 Get Up
Sit on the floor, bring the shin of one leg to lie parallel in front of you.
Bring the knee of your second leg up the side to meet the foot of the opposite leg to form the starting position.
Keeping your shoulders level, squeeze your glutes to rise off floor as tall as possible, making a triangle with your shin at the bottom and your thighs the two sides. Use your hands to assist you off and back onto the floor as necessary.
When back in the starting position, keep your feet in the same position as you swivel your knees to transition to a seated position with both sit bones on the floor. Repeat to the starting position on the other side. Again, use hands to assist yourself through the transition as needed.
Give these a go and let us know how you get on! Don’t forget to share the love to help others with their hips!
Author: Carsten Waterworth