The Problem with Tight Hips
By Sara Butler
Your hips may not be something you think about on a daily basis, but you probably should. After all, problems with your hips can impact how you feel almost everywhere else on your body. If you work out but don’t exercise and strengthen these muscles, it can have a big impact on your mobility. Here is what you should know about your hips and how you can make them stronger!
How Tight Hips Cause Problems
If your hips are tight and weak, then it can cause pain in not just your hips, but your knees and back too. If the muscles in your hips, including the flexors, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus are weak and short, then it will cause issues not just with pain, but with your posture. It can also set you up for injuries to your knee, foot or ankle.
Most people have shortened hip flexors from sitting all day long and don’t even realize it!
What Should You Do
The first thing you need to do is loosen those muscles. If you have a desk job and do a lot of sitting it is imperative that you work on lengthening your hip flexors. Even if you work out, if you don’t make an effort to stretch your hips then they can become tight from working out.
To help stretch out your hips you should:
- Get a chair or use a counter for support.
- Get in the position of a kneeling lunge, positioning your left foot in front and your leg bent at the knee at a 90-degree angle.
- Press your leg forward a couple of inches until you feel a stretch in the opposite hip.
- Hold the stretch for several seconds, long enough to take two deep breaths.
- Switch legs and stretch the other side.
More Stretches for Tight Hips
There are several more very easy stretches you can do at home to open those hips up. You can do:
- The Happy Baby – For this lie down on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Grab the outside edge of each foot with your hand, keeping your arms outside of your legs. Rock back and forth from one side to the other, just like a happy baby!
- The Wide Squat – For this one stand with your feet out just a bit wider than your hips and bend your knees, lowering your hips to the ground. Bring your hands together in front of your chest and press your elbows to the outside of your knees. Hold for five seconds, stand up, then squat again to repeat.