Close to all of us spend most of our lives sitting, be it in a car, at our desk-jobs, at home on the couch, on the ‘throne’, and more. But we forget what happens when we do that too much. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, each day, our hips become tighter, less flexible, and less mobile too.
Here Are 3 Danger Of Tight Hips:
Sitting too much makes the front hip muscles overstretch, become tighter, shorter, and less flexible, and hence weak.
The body’s glutes, stretchy hip muscles, and pelvis, get pushed forward and form an abnormal tilt from its original position, thereby pulling the lower back muscles and causing pain.
Poor Balance And Posture:
The flexible hip muscles are what keep the pelvis in place, so when they become weak, it makes your whole spine imbalanced and gives you poor posture.
These and many other reasons, are why you need to stretch and strengthen your hip muscles as a countermeasure for those 8 to 9 hours of sitting you do per day.
Yoga being the most opted for option to flex those hips, here are 5 hip-exercising poses to try each day, making sure to hold each pose for about 30 seconds each:
1. The Number ‘4’ Pose
First, lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor.
– Then, cross your right ankle and let it rest on your left knee, making a ‘4’ like shape with your legs.
– Throughout this pose, your hips and lower back need to be pressed onto the floor.
– Then, try to bring your left knee towards your chest.
– Thread your right hand between those legs and clasp them together under your left knee, to pull the knee further into the stretch. All the while, make sure your right knee is kept as is to really stretch the hip.
– Take slow deep breaths in and out. Hold the pose and repeat for the other side.
2. The Happy Baby Pose
Lie on your back and then pull both your knees to your chest.
– Put your palms on the soles of your feet, near the arches and spread your knees apart wider than shoulder-width.
– Meanwhile, ensure that your back is still resting flat on the floor below, as much as possible.
– Next, press your feet into your palms and make them attempt to pull your feet down, but your feet need to resist the motion. This endurance pose helps stretch out your lower hip muscles.
– Hold the pose and take slow but deep breaths.
3. The Flapping Butterfly Pose
– Sit on the floor, with your back erect, knees bent, and hands on the floor on each side.
– Put the soles of your feet together, as they rest on the floor, with your knees pointed outward, to either side.
– Hold your feet together with both your hands, and pull the touching heels of your feet further inward, towards your crotch, as much as you can, till you feel a limiting stretch in your inner thighs.
– Using the power of your leg muscles, flap your bent legs like it were the wings for a butterfly about 5 times and then release.
4. The Seated Pigeon Pose
Sit on the floor in a cross-legged pose.
– For the next step, use your arms to gently help you move your left ankle and place it on top of your right knee.
– This way your inner thighs will be set below, with your left leg on top.
– The tighter your hips, the more your right knee will be elevated from the floor below.
– The more you practice this pose, the more your hips will flex and more your knee will be closer to the floor.
– To add a challenge to the pose, try propping your body up with your hands and swinging in the air.
– Hold the pose and repeat with the right leg going up this time.
5. The Moon Praise Pose
Begin the pose with the classic runner’s pose at the start-line of a race, with one leg stretching behind, the other leg standing in a 90-degree angle to the ground, with the knee raised, and finger tips touching the floor below.
– After this, take your hands off the floor, keeping it at chest level, and adjust your posture so your hips are pushed a bit lower.
– Take your arms up and put your palms together, stretching your upper arm and abdominal muscles upward.
– Make sure your back leg is stretched out well, and keep sinking your lower body closer to the floor and adjusting your hips accordingly so you feel a deeper stretch of the pose.
– Hold the pose and repeat it with the other side.
Try practicing at least 3 of these poses after a long day or as part of your morning workout routine, to stretch those knots in your hips, keeping them fluid in motion, and strengthening those inner-thigh, pelvic, and lower back muscles.