You're under pressure. Deadlines are around the corner. You need to send just one more email and then you'll be free to go for the day!
Does this sound like you?
If it does then you probably know what it feels like to have tight hips that are upset at you for not giving them the movement they want. It happens to pretty much all of us at some point in time!
Well it's time to stop neglecting your hips like this. They don't like it and they're not afraid to tell you about it!
Let's face it... HIPS DON'T LIE! (cue the Shakira music )
But it doesn't have to be this way. With a little attention and the right movement you can keep your hips happy and not worry about being punished for sending that one last email.
Sitting at a desk doesn’t have to be a concern when you mix in some motion throughout the work day. (Check out our previous blog on this topic by clicking here Sitting is NOT the New Smoking)
Are you ready to feel nice and loose when you wrap things up for the day and head to the gym? Then you most definitely want to give these extremely effective yet simple and easy to do movements a shot!
Almost everyone has seen the traditional hip flexor stretch, which is sometimes called the runner's stretch or the lunge stretch.
Well, this one is focused on picking up where the traditional one fell short. With a couple easy modifications this new way can get that 'feels so good' response much more effectively! (Just like everything else we do here at FlowForce Rehab )
All you'll need a small bit of space and you've got all you need to take full advantage of this movement.
Get down on one knee so that your upper body and the downside leg make a straight line.
Keeping your body nice and upright, reach the arm on the side of your downside leg up and place that hand behind your head.
Then, while in this position, take a big deep breath and follow it up with a large exhale. When you let out your breath allow your pelvis to slowly rock backwards like you're trying to tuck your tail under and squeezing your glutes
You should feel a real nice stretch at this point in the front of your hip.
Instead of forcing yourself into it, gently rock your hips forward and backward while keeping your back nice and upright.
You should feel yourself taking the front of your hip in and out of a nice gentle stretch.
Do this for about 8-10 nice shallow reps and then repeat it again on the other side.
There are a variety of different really cool names for this awesome movement, but I prefer to keep things a bit more simple and just call it the Hip Opener.
In part 1 we'll go over the easy way of doing this one and then in part 2 we'll go into a more difficult version. (FYI, they can BOTH be pretty darn tough!)
This is an excellent movement for not only your hips, but also your entire lower body, all the way down to your FEET!
Get into a position similar to that of a lunge, except lean forward at your hips a bit so your upper body is in line with the rear leg.
From this position you're going to pretend that your front leg is made of stone, and you're not going to let it move except at the hip joint!
Keeping a solid front leg, rotate your entire body around your front legs hip by pivoting on the toes of your rear foot.
Pretend that your front leg and pelvis make a book. You're simply opening the book from the hip and then closing it as much as you can.
Try to keep your shoulders and pelvis in line with each other so you're not twisting from your back. It's okay if you do, but trying not to twist through your back will make this movement a bit more fun!
If you can keep your front leg nice an solid like we talked about earlier, you're glutes will be in for a nice treat with this one!
Try doing this nice and slow with as much control as possible for about 6-8 reps on each side.
In this more advanced version of the hip opener you'll be doing the same movements as you did in part 1, except this time you're rear foot will be off the ground!
The same rules apply here as they did in part 1. Except this time you're going to lean forward a bit more and slightly elevate your rear foot off the ground.
Try to keep your front leg as solid as possible and attempt to limit any knee or ankle movement. Also, attempt to keep your upper body and elevated leg in line with each other.
Just like you did in part 1, keep your front leg solid while moving your entire body around your hip joint as if you're opening and closing your pelvis like a book.
You thought your glutes appreciated part 1? Well, they'll love you even more if you can do this one slow and controlled!
Repeat this on both sides for 6-8 reps (if you can ).
This is by far my favorite movement of all from this list. Which is why I saved the best for last!
Enter THE DEEP SQUAT!
Now before we move forward with this move it's important to understand that not everyone will be able to drop it like its hot down to the floor. And that's perfectly normal! (More on this in another blog)
Over the years we all adapt to what mother nature has given us. So, if you can't get a$$ to grass then don't beat yourself up about it. Do what feels comfortable for you and enjoy the me time!
First, get into as deep a squat as you can while still being comfortable.
Then grab your hands together and reach forward as far as you possibly can and try to stretch your spine out as much as possible. You should be able to feel a nice stretch in you back and shoulders from here.
***If you have back pain with forward bending, this first part may not be a great idea for you. If you find it makes your back unhappy make sure to skip straight to part 2***
Then, bring your upper body to an upright position and place your elbows on the inside of your knees.
From this position, slowly and comfortably pry your hips open one at a time using your elbows.
Go back and forth between positions 1 and 2 and explore the ranges of motion in both about 3-4 times each.
Use one of the moves from this set every 20-30 minutes or so if you can. This should be plenty of movement to keep your body feeling nice and loose if you're currently dealing with stiff hips.
It's much better to do less reps more often throughout the day than a whole bunch of them all at once. So make sure you take micro breaks throughout the day and treat your body to the movement it deserves!
These movements are meant to make you feel good! So be nice to yourself and don't force them to a point where they are unpleasant.
If at any point you experience pain or discomfort then stop and let your healthcare provider know about it.
Here at FlowForce Rehab we absolutely LOVE helping you FEEL GREAT and ready to TAKE ON THE WORLD!
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The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.