As Colombian chanteuse Shakira once warbled, hips don’t lie. No matter how heavy you can lift or how fast you can run, if you neglect your hip flexors and the necessary steps it takes to keep them loose and limber, you’re sure to know about it.
Some key signs of tight hips include instability, a lack of overall mobility, hip and knee discomfort, and the debilitating back pain experienced by as many as 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives.
Simply taking the time to properly stretch your hip flexors adequately each day can help reduce all of those by an enormous margin, letting you move and feel like someone 10 years younger (provided you don’t have any structural damage, that is).
But which tight hip stretches should you be incorporating into your daily routine? Let’s take a look at some failsafe methods to loosen up tight hips.
1. Butterfly Stretch
This hip-loosening stretch is a must during your post-workout recovery cool-down session or first thing in the morning. Of course, you can pull it out anytime your hips are feeling tight or a hip-flexor test shows that your alignment is off.
To perform this stretch, sit on the floor, extend your legs straight out, and pull the soles of your feet together. Then, try to move your heels as close to your body as you can, while leaning forward and keeping your back straight.
To achieve a deeper stretch, put your elbows on your thighs and push gently. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds to get the full benefit.
2. Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a great way to stretch and loosen tight muscles, tendons, and ligaments. To use a foam roller to help your hip flexors, get in a forearm plank position on the floor and place the roller under one of your hips. While letting the other leg stay on the floor to the side of the roller, roll up and down for 30 seconds to work through any tightness.
3. Sitting Stretch
The beauty of this tight hip solution is that you can even do it while sitting at your desk or watching TV.
To perform this stretch, sit in a chair and keep your back straight. Put your right ankle on top of your left knee then lean forward until you feel a stretch, without pushing too far. Hold this position for about a minute then repeat on the other side.
4. Yoga on Recovery Days
Staying active on recovery days with a session of yoga is one of the best ways to avoid the signs of tight hips. This kind of moderate physical activity can also help improve general flexibility and will ensure that you maintain an active mindset. Poses to try for looser hips include the half-pigeon and the lizard pose.
5. Movement Breaks
Even if you do regular yoga and complete all the top hip flexor exercises while cooling down after a workout, you can’t expect your hips to stay loose if you ignore them for the rest of the day.
This is why one of the most effective tight hip solutions is also the simplest – taking movement breaks for five minutes every hour or so of inactivity. This small change can make a big difference to the tightness and positioning of your hips.
The Best Ways to Loosen Tight Hip Flexors
All too often we neglect our joints and flexibility in favor of building muscle or losing weight.
But the pain and other issues that can arise from consistently tight hip flexors should be enough to remind you not to neglect them anymore.
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