Often due to sitting at a desk for hours every day, hip pain is a common issue among adults. Stretching can provide some relief by opening up the hips, encouraging flexibility, and helping with mobility. Stretching helps extend tight muscles and, over time, improves their reflexiveness of them. Stretching can also reduce joint pain.
The hip flexors should be the focus of any hip-opening routine. By performing appropriate hip flexor stretches, you can significantly improve your day-to-day. Several stretches can help restore mobility to the hips and open you up.
1. Leg Lifts
While technically an exercise, leg lifts do stretch the hips. You want to start this exercise on all fours. Extend one of your legs straight back, so half of your body resembles a pushup pose. Squeeze the glute and hamstring of the extended leg and lift it toward the ceiling. Hold the leg in the air for a few seconds before slowly lowering it back to the ground. You can repeat this on each side, counting to a specific number of reps. You will also want to keep your back straight and your abs tight during the exercise.
2. Bridge Pose
The bridge pose is essentially a horizontal pelvic thrust, which is excellent for opening your hips. You will start this stretch lying on your back with your soles on the floor and your knees bent. You want your arms stretched at your sides. Lift your glutes from the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders are aligned. Hold the position for 10 seconds before slowly returning to the start position.
3. Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch opens the hip flexors, inner thighs, and back, encompassing the entire hip region. You start in a seated position. You to sit with the soles of your feet together. Tighten your abs and keep your spine tall. Using your hands, grab each foot, placing your elbows at your inner thighs. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, lower your torso, keeping your spine long. Hold for 30 seconds when you feel it.
4. Yogi Squat
The yogi squat opens the inner thighs and hips. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and angled outward. Crouch into a squatted position with your tailbone between your ankles. Your hands should be in a prayer position at the chest. Your elbows should be pressed against the inner thighs. As you hold your hands firmly and press your elbows against your thighs, count to 30.
5. Happy Baby Pose
The happy baby pose is an excellent stretch for the hips, spine, and legs. Start by laying on your back. Bend your legs and bring your up. You can use your index and middle fingers to grab your big toes. Pull the toes down, bring the knees closer to the shoulders, and press the elbows into the knees. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
Tight hips are a common and uncomfortable problem, likely a side effect of desk jobs and similar activities. Thankfully, stretching is a good way to relieve some of the joint pain and improve flexibility and mobility. The above exercises are an excellent place to start, but there are more hip flexor exercises to explore.