And mine are screaming at me.
I’ve been running and spinning a lot more than usual, and my hips are definitely feeling the pain. To help ease the discomfort, I’ve incorporated a lot of hip work in my yoga classes this week. Call me selfish, but everyone can benefit from some good hip stretches. 🙂
So many things are connected to your hips – like your torso and your legs – all very important components. If you work on opening and relaxing the hips, not only do your hips start to feel better, but your back will benefit, circulation in the legs will improve, runners – your stride will benefit, and it helps relieve stress and tension.
Here are a few of my favorite hip opening stretches:
Take your right shin across the top of the mat, bending your right knee – right knee toward right wrist and right ankle toward left wrist. Don’t worry about your right hip making contact with the mat, but if it’s elevated, set a rolled blanket, firm pillow, or a block underneath it. Flex your right foot like you’re pressing it against a wall. Your hips should be square to the front of your mat. Option one – sit up and press into your hands to feel the stretch. Option two is to come to your forearms or lay down over the front shin reaching your arms away from your body. Breathe here for 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
Bound Angle Pose
Bend your knees, pull your heels in toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. If needed: use your elbows to gently press down on your inner thighs to deepen the stretch. Sit in this pose for 10 deep breaths.
Reclining Cow Face Pose
Lie on your back and cross your right knee over your left. Bring your heels out to the side as you hug your knees in. Depending on your body, you could hold your knees, shins, ankles, or even the pinky side edge of both feet. Keeping knees stacked, gently guide your feet toward your body, working on getting your shins into one long line. Bend your elbows and flex your feet. Stay here for 10 deep breaths, then repeat on the opposite side.
Don’t force the stretch. Hip ligaments are strong. Ease into these poses and let your hips open gradually, in their own time.
If you’re new to hip stretches, try to stay in each pose for just 5 deep breaths.
Be good to your hips, and stretch!
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