A few weeks ago, we covered the hip flexor. And while it is super important to keep the hip flexor muscles stretched and opened, it’s just as important to work the other areas of our hips to keep them moving without stiffness and to allow for all of our muscles to work in harmony. If the hips are tight, it will start to show up in other areas of our body that end up compensating for the tightness of the hips.
Here are 5 poses that are great for opening the different areas of our hips. Hold each pose for anywhere from 1-5 minutes. Do both sides and don’t be afraid to use props. Take a few moments at the end to just relax and breathe in savasana.
Happy Wednesday. 💕
Questions? Please ask 😊
Reclined Pigeon at the wall. Picture 1.
You will start at the wall here. Once you are on your back, you can play around with how close you will need to be depending on your hips. Bring one foot into the wall and take your opposite ankle and place it on top of your thigh. Scoot forward if you need more of a stretch, scoot back if it’s too intense. You can use your hand on your thigh to deepen the stretch here as well. I’m not using a mat here but use whatever or however much padding you need to make it comfortable for you.
Bound Angle pose at the wall. Picture 2 and 3.
After your pigeon on both sides, you can stay and start to draw your feet together. Depending on the flexibility of your hips your feet may be further up the wall or closer to your groin. You can also use blocks under your thighs for support as well as using your hands to press into the thighs.
Standing forward fold with feet crossed. Picture 4 & 5.
This pose is great for moving into the outer hips or the IT bands. You will stand and begin to fold at your hip crease. This muscle is tight for most people so if you have a block handy, have it ready in case you need it. You can also use a foam roller or something a little taller to support you if they are really tight. If you are more flexible in this area you can fold further toward the ground and use the floor for support. Switch sides. Remember as you are moving through all of these hip openers, one side will more than likely be tighter than the other so adjust accordingly.
Pyramid pose. Picture 6 & 7.
From a standing forward fold you will step one foot back. Have your block ready to use under your hands if you need the added height. Remember as you are moving into this pose, you DO NOT need to have your front leg straight. Move into it until you start to feel the stretch in your outer hip. In the first picture, I have my hand in my hip crease. This is to pull my outer hip back toward my back foot to keep the hips aligned, and to get the most out of this stretch. As you feel ready you can fold further into the pose.
Happy Baby. Picture 8.
This pose is restorative and a great way to stretch the hips as well as the muscles through the back of the body while resting the muscles of the front of the body. If this pose causes you issues as you are lowering into it, you can take a blanket and fold it up to place under your thighs and above your calves. This will help release tension in the knees as well as the muscles in the back and hip area. It is also wonderful to use a bolster to rest into. You can have your knees further apart as I’m doing in this photo or you can have them closer together to rest into. Experiment to see which one feels best for you.