A routine based on stretching is widely acknowledged as the best way to prevent sports accidents, as this type of movement unwinds and strengthens the body. Still, it can also be pursued as a standalone activity, as its benefits are many. When doing so, targeting specific body parts at a time is essential. One lesser acknowledged region is that of the hips.
Top 5 Hip Stretches
If you plan to take up a daily routine and read more about hip stretches, it’s important to perfect a few moves in this category. Their main purpose is to unwind the hip region, but the right routine will relieve tension in more areas of the body as well. Here are five exercises to add to your stretching routine for this purpose.
1. Knee to Chest
The knee to chest stretch is a classic exercise for relaxing the hips. To engage in it, extend both your legs and lie on your back. Then, pull the right knee towards your chest and ensure that the left one stays straight on the floor. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. If you can handle more pressure, keep your body like that for two minutes maximum.
Your lower back should be firmly pressed down during this so that you avoid placing any unnecessary strain on it. After the 30 seconds to two minutes have passed, switch sides to repeat with your other leg. If performed correctly, this easy movement will unwind your hips, as well as your hamstrings and lower back.
2. 90/90 Stretch
After warming up with the simple knee to chest, it’s time to move on to something a bit more intricate. The 90/90 stretch involves sitting down with one knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Start out with your right one and keep your corresponding foot flexed. Allow the leg to rest flat on the floor while placing the left knee to the left side of the body.
Your foot should face behind you and remain comfortable throughout. With the right butt cheek on the floor, try moving the left one as close to the ground as possible as well. Depending on how tight your muscles are, you might not be able to do that too much, but the essential thing is to try. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to two minutes, then repeat on the other side.
3. Crescent Lunge Knee-Up
The crescent lunge knee-up is another excellent stretching exercise to engage the hip flexors, according to Runner’s World. Bring your left foot forward while sitting in a high lunge to begin, and keep the knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Your hips should be square and your toes need to face forward for the proper position to be achieved.
Extend your arms upward and lift the right knee towards the chest. Once you return to your initial position, you have completed one rep. It is recommended to do 10 reps on each side to notice improvements in mobility and flexibility. After all, you are strengthening and unwinding both the hip flexors and the glutes at the same time.
4. Skating Squat
Position your legs a bit broader than hip-width apart, then send them back in order to bend the knees for squatting position. While rising, shift your weight on the right leg in order to extend the left one as if you were gliding on roller skates. Then, return to the squatting position and repeat on the other side.
Alternate between sides in the skating squat for one full minute. By doing so, you will not only engage the hip flexors, but the glutes as well. This type of multipurpose stretch is thus beneficial for long-term results to be achieved.
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5. Supine Lateral Hip Opening
Finally, to completely relieve tightness at the level of the hips, perform six to eight reps of supine lateral openings. To begin, have your right knee bent while the corresponding foot is flat on the floor. This should be done while lying down. Extend the left leg and shift onto the hip by pressing into the right foot to get into the starting position.
In order to open the left hip, squeeze your glutes on the right side. When you feel a stretch, pause. You have completed a full rep. As previously mentioned, six to eight reps are necessary on each side to make the most out of the workout. When your left side has become limber, switch the action on the right.
Stretching the hips is a relaxing activity that has many physical benefits when pursued correctly. Not only will you diminish the risk of accidents in the long run, but you will also strengthen this region, as well as other muscles in the body. For this reason, adopting a regular routine is recommended and encouraged. So, what are you waiting for?