12 Exercises To Improve Hip Mobility & Undo Hours Of Sitting
Improve Your Hip Mobility And Reduce Aches and Pain
These days it can be incredibly easy to spend too long sitting, be it a desk job or too much time driving. This tends to lead to tight hips and for many this can create restriction along with all sorts of niggles and pain. In this modern computerised world, our body doesn’t tend to do as much movement through its ranges of motion as it should. Which can lead to hip restriction, lower back pain, knees problems and this can prevent you from moving correctly.
My goal as a trainer is to help you be able to spend more time doing the things you love and be able to move your body in a way that you choose. For many, though frustrating physical problems hold people back from doing hobbies they love through to playing with their kids.
Your hips are a huge movement hub of your body, so when they get tight its no wonder they can cause havoc elsewhere in the body. However, when we move our body correctly and nourish our hips with correct stretches and exercises we can create more potential for strength, power, and athleticism.
That’s why I have put together this article to help provide you with some great stretches to help bring back some balance into your hips and prevent any niggles in the future.
If we don’t use it we lose it.
Our body needs consistent exercise through our hips to stay mobile, strong, and healthy. Even small restrictions can have frustrating and painful consequences. That’s why finding a routine where you can work on your hip mobility consistently will really pay huge dividends to prevent issues down the track.
This series of 12 hip stretches will help loosen the major muscles that are tight on most people and is great to do as a routine each day. In this video, I run through each of the exercises and then below you will find a photo and description of the exercises.
The key to any stretching or exercise regime is that you are consistent at it and the more consistent you are the more benefit you will gain. I would suggest doing this daily to really see any improvement. Stretching improvements, in general, are from simply training the muscles to better tolerate the stretched position you are placing them in. It’s about consistency and the more you do it the more you will learn to relax and your muscles ease off from that natural tendency to hold tight. The body has a natural stretch reflex which tightens muscles and is protective. By stretching routinely you are working on convincing your body that nothing bad happening and the body can relax in these new stretched out positions.
Improve Hip Mobility with each of these 12 Exercises
With each of these stretches aim to hold initially for 20-30 seconds and release, then move into it again for a further 20-30 seconds. Over time try and increase that holding time to a duration of approx 1-2 minutes. Feel free to take breaks within that though to shake it out and release.
1. Key Hole Stretch
Lie on back with both knees bent.
Cross one ankle over the opposite knee.
Then reach through to take a hold of your shin or thigh.
Then pull everything in towards you to feel a stretch through your glutes and ITB. To intensify this you can lift your chin and chest up towards your knees and curl everything in together.
2. Seated Twist
Sitting down, cross your left leg over your right.
Press down through your big toe on your left leg and anchor both seat bones.
Then turn your head around towards the back as you lift up tall through your spine.
Feel this stretch into your glutes and ITB.
3. Reverse Cow Pose
Lay down on your back and cross your right leg over your left.
Close them up so they are super snug with no gap between them.
Then reach up towards your feet and pull your feet towards the floor as you flatten your back down onto the ground. If you can’t reach your feet you can use a couple of belts or a towel to wrap around your feet and grab a hold of.
4. Butterfly stretch
Sit up with feet together and pull them in towards your groin.
Press your knees down toward the ground.
You can use your elbows to press into your legs and move your groin closer to your heels.
5. Frog Pose
Start on hands and knees, bringing your knees as far apart as is comfortable.
Line your heels up with your knees with your toes pointing out.
Rock back and forth in that position and then press back your seat bones towards your heels.
6. Kneeling Lunge
Set up by placing one knee on the ground, with the other leg stepped out in front.
Tuck your tail under you and squeeze your glutes.
Keep the chest tall and the hips square while you reach hand overhead.
To make the stretch harder, you can pull the back knee up off the ground.
7. Half Lotus
Sit on your bottom with your legs cross, then place your right heel on top of your left thigh.
Flex your foot and tip forward from your hips.
8. Hindu Squat
Place your feet hip-width apart and pointing forward. Then drop down into a deep squat with your elbows between your knees.
9. 90/90 knee drops
Sitting on your bottom extend your bent legs in front of you making them into 90-degree boxes.
Then swing your legs over to the other side while sitting back onto your bottom
Do this a few times to loosen them up and then sit up and turn towards your back foot and hold.
10. Pigeon Pose
Start with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle. The back knee can be as bent or extended as is comfortable for you.
Rotate the back hip toward the front heel, and then toward the back foot.
Keep the chest up tall, and only bear as much weight as you can comfortably.
11. Hamstring stretch
To stretch the hamstrings lengthen both legs out in front of you and lift up your seat bones and sit them back a touch.
Then tip forward from your hips and reach towards your toes.
Lean forward slightly to feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Be sure to keep your core engaged.
12. Wrapped Leg Supine Twist
Wrap your legs up by placing your left leg over your right while laying on your back, then let them fall over to the right side while still remaining wrapped up.
If this is to much you can unwrap them and just let them stack above each other.
Lift your head and turn away from your legs and draw your shoulders down towards the ground.
As you practice you’ll notice that some of the stretches will be easier to perform than others and over time as you work through all the different stretches you will begin to feel your hips loosen up and notice how much deeper you can get into the poses.
Our hips are incredible structures that allow us to be mobile and strong. They are a power hub of our body and so taking care of them is a must. The more you take care of them the better you will be because of it.