10 Moves To Ease Tight Hips
You don’t need us to tell you that sitting does a number on your hips, turning them into achy, angry landmines. The big problem, though, isn’t just the discomfort in the sides of your thighs—it’s the chain of pain that dysfunctional hips can create (sciative nerve pain being one of them).
"When one joint isn’t working as it should, the rest of the body suffers," says Bruce Mack, a trainer and cofounder of MBSC Thrive Functional Training. Over time, those problem hips throw your normal movement patterns out of alignment, increasing your risk for back and knee pain.
Keep your hips in peak condition with these 10 simple exercises.
MORE: 12 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses
Sit on the floor and loop the middle of a resistance band under the sole of one foot, holding one end of each band in both hands. Lie back and lift both legs toward the ceiling, legs in-line with hips. While keeping both legs straight, slowly lower the leg without the band to the floor. Slowly lift the leg back up. Do 8 reps, keeping your core tight. Switch sides and repeat.
Tip:If you don’t have a resistance band, you can do this move with a dumbbell instead. Hold the weight with both hands over your chest with arms extended. While keeping both legs straight, lower and lift one leg for 8 reps, then repeat on the opposite side. As you become stronger, you can perform the exercise without weight, keeping your arms by your sides.
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Balance on one foot with opposite knee bent and raised to about hip height, arms by your sides. Lift your arms overhead, bringing biceps by your ears. Hinge at your hips, bringing torso parallel to the floor and extending lifted leg behind you at hip height. Keep both knees slightly bent. Hold for a count of 1, then return to start, balancing on one foot. Do 8 reps on each side.
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Place a short resistance band around your legs so it hits just below your knees. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. From here, take 10 small steps to the left, 10 forward, 10 to the right, and lastly 10 backwards (moving in a box shape). Repeat the entire series 2 more times, once with the band just above the ankles, and another with the band wrapped around your toes (you’ll be standing on the bottom of the band for this one).
MORE:Toning Moves With Exercise Bands
Sit on a foam roller with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean torso back and place right hand on floor, shifting weight into right hip and crossing right ankle over left thigh. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Use your supporting foot and hand to roll from the bottom of the glutes to the pelvic bone. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.
MORE:9 Best Solutions For Knee Pain
Lie facedown with the inside of your left thigh resting on the foam roller. Keeping your core tight, move the roller back forth along the inner thigh, stopping a few inches before you reach the knee. If you find an area of increased discomfort, hold and rotate the hip to work that area. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
MORE:Strengthen Your Inner Thighs By 30%
Straddle the foam roller as shown, so that your back knee is on the floor and the front leg is extended with heel on the floor. Keeping both knees slightly bent, press your front heel into the floor and your hips back, feeling a stretch in the back of the front leg. Hold for about 10 breaths or 45 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
MORE:Stronger Knees In 3 Moves
Kneel on the floor with both hands on the foam roller. Straighten one leg out to the side, then press hips toward the heel of the bent leg to feel a stretch in the inner thigh of the extended leg. Try to maintain a flat torso (no rounding of the spine.) Hold for about 10 breaths or 45 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
MORE:3 Yoga Poses For Sore Muscles
Start in a runner’s lunge with your hands on the foam roller (the roller should be flat on the floor). Lower your hips to the floor, keeping the front knee bent at a 45-degree angle and straightening the back leg behind you. Try to maintain a flat torso (no rounding of the spine). Hold for 10 breaths or 45 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.
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Get into a half-kneeling position, with your front knee bent at 90 degrees and positioned directly over your ankle; your back knee should be directly under your back hip. Place the foam roller vertical and just inside the front leg, placing your hand on it for support. Hold here for 10 breaths or 45 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.
Tip: It's important to make this an “active” stretch to get the full benefit.
Video: Pelvic Floor Release Stretches (NEW) | FemFusion Fitness
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