Have you been working on your hip mobility for months (or even years) and still feel like you aren’t getting anywhere? Maybe you have given up on tugging on your hamstrings, forcing your foot to your butt, and holding your breath in pigeon pose 😕 Now is the time to switch up your routine!
In this post, I will guide you through five exercises to help you finally see a change in your flexibility. A few key points before we get started:
• Consistency and effort are still important here if you want the best results.
• Be mindful of your posture through the day. If you sit or stand all day with your butt tucked under or your rib cage basically hanging out in your pelvis, your habits might out do your hard work spent stretching
• Breathe with intention! Not only during the exercises but also throughout the day, emphasizing movement in the belly and rib cage.
• start in a low lunge position, with your front foot placed to the outside of your hands
• bring your elbow down the the mat, or as close as you can, pause a few seconds
• with the same arm, twist and reach up to the ceiling/sky until you feel a stretch in both the front of the thigh of the back leg and in the side waist
• Repeat steps 2 &3
• Perform 3 sets, 1 minute on each side, 4-7x/week
2️⃣ 90/90 HIP ROTATION STRETCH
• start sitting on the ground one leg straight out in front and the other in the back, both knees bent to 90 degrees
• Keep a slight arch in your lower back so this stretch isolates your hips and not your back. Slowly and gently lean forward until you feel a generous stretch in the glutes and hamstrings of the front leg. Maintain your form and your breath. Hold 1 minute.
• come back to the start, then turn to the back leg and continue rotating until you feel a firm but gentle stretch deep into the front/groin of the back hip. Lean back if you need to in order to maintain the stretch. Hold 1 minute
• perform 2-3 sets on each side, 4-7x/week
3️⃣ FROG STRETCH
• Start on all fours on the mat
• Gradually begin to move your legs wider until you feel a tolerable, yet strong stretch in both inner thighs. Maintain your form and your breath.
• Return to a neutral position on all fours.
• perform 3 sets, hold 1 minute, 4-7x/week
4️⃣ HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
• Start in a kneeling lunge position, with a pad underneath your knee. Tuck your tailbone under slightly by tilting your pelvis back to prevent arching in the lower back
• to increase the stretch into your quads and hip flexors, bring your foot up towards your butt and rest it on the wall. Keep your chest upright.
• to increase the stretch again, raise your hands up overhead. Be careful to keep your ribcage from flaring and your lower back from arching.
• perform 2-3 sets, hold 1 minute each side, 4-7x/week
5️⃣ JEFFERSON CURLS
• Stand at the edge of a step, begin in a neutral posture and holding a medium set of dumbbells (picture 1).
• slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time, starting from the neck. (Pic 2) keep your knees straight, a slight bend is okay. Let your shoulders relax. The dumbbells will work with gravity to assist you on the way down.
• continue rolling down until you cannot reach any further, pause a few seconds. (Pic 3&4) your knees should still be straight. Your hands might pass the front of the step as you increase your range of motion.
• slowly return to standing, rolling back up one vertebrae at a time.
• repeat 10 times, perform 2-3 sets, hold 30 seconds on the 10th rep of every set, 4-7x/week
•increase weight of dumbbells as your range improves
Within a few weeks, you’ll be bending and twisting like a kid again. Of course, if any of these stretches aggravate or cause any pain, back off and seek the help of a mobility specialist or physical therapist. Improving your mobility will help you optimize your performance, and even counteract those long days in front of a computer that many of us are going through amidst COVID days. Interested in additional mobility techniques? Contact us today!