Instantly Open Tight Hips With These 5 Stretches
1. Happy Baby
This calming hip opener also stretches your lower back.
· Begin lying flat on your back. Bend both knees, and hold the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs.
· Gently use your upper-body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
· Stay here for five deep breaths.
2. Extended Wide Squat
This relaxing stretch targets both hips at once while opening up your lower back.
· Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, and lower your hips down toward the ground. If your heels don’t touch the ground, roll up a towel or the back of your mat, and place it under your heels for support.
· Bring your palms together at your heart centre, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees. This will help to open your hips even further.
· After five breaths, release the hands to the floor and walk them away from your feet to increase the stretch in the hips and lower back. Hold for another five breaths.
3. Open Lizard
The hip flexors, the muscles at the front of the hip, can become extremely tight just from sitting. This intense stretch targets that area as well as the outer hips.
· Come into a lunge position with your right knee forward. Lower your left knee to the floor, and rest your hands on the ground under your shoulders.
· Slowly lower your right knee to the right so you’re resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep your arms straight, pressing your chest forward to increase the stretch.
· Hold like this for five breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
4. Wide-Legged Split
To stretch your hips, hamstrings, and inner thighs, do a Wide-Legged Split.
· From Wide Squat, place your hands on the floor in front of you and inch your feet apart, making sure to keep your heels wider than your toes. Keep the soles of your feet flat on the ground at all times to protect your knees.
· As your hips get lower, you can prop yourself up with your forearms, and then move down to your shoulders (as shown). If your shoulders are on the ground, turn your head to the side, and rest your cheek on the ground so you don’t bruise your chin.
· Stay here for five deep breaths, then walk your feet back together. If this pose is a bit more stretch than you can muster, try the seated straddle stretch.
Stretch both hips at the same time with Butterfly pose.
· Sit on the ground, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book. Use your leg muscles to press your knees down toward the floor.
· Lengthen your spine, drawing your belly button inward. Relax your shoulders, and gaze either in front of you or toward your feet. Stay here for five breaths, and then slowly fold forward, drawing your torso toward your legs. Remember to try to keep your spine straight.
· Rest your hands on your feet, pressing your knees down with your arms, or if you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you. Stay here for another five breaths.