6 Exercises for Hip MobilityTuesday, January 29th, 2019, 8:00 am
Today, people sit—a lot. Many of us work eight or more hours per day at our desks, resting in our chairs. Then, we go home and spend another few hours snuggled into our couches, scrolling through streaming options.
And, all this inactivity is affecting our bodies in various ways—including our hips. Our hip joints can stiffen due to the decreased use of our legs, and that can lead to back pain.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to fix the problem—exercise and stretching. Below, we’ve compiled a few moves that will help you stretch out your hips and ease the strain on your back. Plus, increased hip mobility also improves your ability to hike, jump, dance, play sports, and even tone your legs, since looser joints allow for deeper lunges and squats.
1. Lateral Lunge
Take a large step to the right, placing your feet further than shoulder-width apart and pointing your toes forward. Lean to the right, as far as you can. Your left leg will straighten out, and your bottom will push slightly back. Hold for several seconds. Then, switch to the left, leaning as far as you can in that direction and straightening your right leg. Repeat from side to side.
2. Knee Grab
Stand up straight and grab one leg, bending at the knee. Place your hand on your shin and pull your thigh toward your chest as much as you can. Hold for several seconds. Then, switch to the other leg.
3. Deep Squat
Begin in a standing position, with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outward. Keep your spine straight and start to bend your knees, pushing your bottom back slightly. Keep your knees in line with your feet as you lower your hips below your knees. Hold the position for five breaths. Support yourself with a chair or wall if needed.
4. Runner’s Lunge
Start in the plank position, placing your hands and the balls of your feet on the floor. Keep your body straight and your hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your left foot up to rest just outside your left hand so that your knee comes close to your left shoulder. If you can, rest your elbows on the floor. Hold this position for 15 seconds and return to plank. Repeat the movement with your right foot.
5. Reverse Lunge
Begin in a standing position, and step back with your left leg. Bend your left toward the ground so that both of your legs form 90-degree angles. Return to standing position, and repeat the motion on your right side.
6. Frog Stretch
Get on your hands and knees, and then move your knees as far apart as you can without causing discomfort. Rest your elbows on the ground, and touch your heels to ground, as well, with your toes pointed outward. Don’t force the movement past your comfort zone. Rock forward and back in this position a few times, and then rest in the stretch for about a minute.
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