As women, our hips are a crucial part of our body. We use them more than we know! I recently had, what I thought was, lower back issues. When I went to a physical therapist, she assured me that it was actually my hips, and that my issue was very common in women. I began to wonder how many women have this problem and think it is their lower back as well. The reason for my hip pain was for two main reasons: I was not building flexibility and strength in my hips, therefore other body parts were trying to do the work that my hips should have been doing during different exercises and daily activities. One thing lead to another and it made for a really tight (and painful) hip-joint.
This lead to two realizations. One, I always knew the importance of stretching, but it wasn’t until I went through a consequence of not stretching that I realized how CRUCIAL it really is. Two, it is so important to strengthen our hips as well, and it actually coincides with strengthening your glutes and abs as well because those muscles are near by (small but also crucial) helping our hips with the movements they need to do. Therefore, we should be stretching daily, and strengthening a couple times a week to keep ourselves from any pain or injury. Have I convinced you yet?
If so, I’m sure, like me, you’re wondering what the best ways to do these things are. The picture I am posting with the post is the easiest and very efficient hip stretch. When people lunge they tend to lean forward and feel super flexible, but that will not open up the hips. There are cues to this stretch that I want to share with you, so that you too can correctly gain flexibility in your hips.
Hip opening lunge cues:
- Tilt hips so that they are facing forward, so that upper body is upright.
- Lean into the lunge while keeping the proper upright posture.
- Do not arch back, spine should be stable and straight by engaging abs (drawing belly button in towards spine)
By doing this you should feel a stretch in the hip of the side where your knee is on the floor. Do this once a day for a week and tell me if you feel the difference when just going about your day! I also just shared a hip strengthening exercise you can do in the gym as well (on the most recent video).