Does your job require you to sit at a desk or in a car all day? If so, your hips are probably as tight as a pair of designer skinny jeans after a Thanksgiving meal. When you spend a long time sitting, your hip flexors remain in a shortened position. This is what causes your hips to be “tight”. Not only are tight hips uncomfortable, but they also can lead to other kinds of issues. Tight hip flexors make it more difficult for your glutes (the opposing muscle group) to contract. When your glutes don’t fire as forcefully as they should, surrounding muscle groups try to pick up the slack. Consequently, you increase your risk for injury. Tight hips can also lead to lower back pain due to overcompensation.
The Solution: Hip Stretches
The bad news? It’s time to start incorporating some hip stretches into your exercise routine. I know not everyone likes to stretch, but it’s a necessary evil. The good news is that you have a TON of hip stretches to choose from. Here are two of my favorites!
Reclined Knee to Chest
- Lie down on a yoga mat.
- Bend your right knee and bright it toward your chest.
- Let your left leg remain on the floor, extended long.
- Hug your right knee with both arms.
- Rest your head on the floor and close your eyes.
- Hold pose for 1 minute and then switch to the other side.
- Lie down on a yoga mat with your back on the floor.
- Cross your left knee over your right quadricep (thigh) and slowly start to bend your right leg.
- Now, gently pull your right leg toward your chest by holding onto the back of your leg.
- When you feel a gentle stretch, pause.
- Hold this position for 1 minute and repeat on the other side.