There’s no two ways around it — we’re sitting more. It’s well documented how modern humans are sitting more than ever and thus experiencing damaging consequences. This, unsurprisingly, can lead to tight hips and shortened hip flexors, making you feel more stiff and less flexible.
Making matters more concerning, Byrdie notes that women are more susceptible to tight hips than men. But, it’s important to do more than just stretch out tight areas, we have to strengthen them to prevent further injury. First, ensure that your muscles are warmed up by doing a few sun salutations from yoga or a few jumping jacks. Then, you can make your way into your hip flexors.
Try a variation of a yoga pose called runners lunge; start by moving into a downward facing dog with your body representing an upside-down V-shape. Lift your right leg towards the ceiling, then step it forward between your hands. Heel-toe your foot outside of your right hand as you drop your back leg to the ground, untucking your back toes. You can remain up on your extended arms or slowly make your way to your forearms if it isn’t uncomfortable. Take it slow and make sure to focus on your breathing as you open up this area of the body, then stretch the other leg. You can also do this stretch with your back leg lifted. If you do this, just make sure to keep your front knee directly over your ankle to avoid hyper-extending it, Yoga Journal notes.
Try a few standing poses
Another way to lengthen your muscles is by taking standing poses. Byrdie suggests a standing quad stretch after you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time to help improve your range of motion and release tension. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and tuck your tailbone towards your spine. Bend your right knee and pull your foot towards your right glute, pressing into your hand with your foot, Byrdie explains. Breathe deeply for at least a minute, then switch sides.
It’s important to give your hips space to extend, like they do when you’re standing. Think of a counter to the scrunched position your hips are in while you sit. For instance, you can take a foam roller and place it underneath your quads while you’re laying down with your arms stretched in front of you, elbows bent. As your legs rest back behind you, gently roll yourself back and forth on the roller, Healthline recommends. Bending one knee at a 90-degree angle will stretch your hips even deeper as you roll.
Hip pain doesn’t have to hold you back, just make sure to take care of them as often as possible.
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