Most Effective Stretches for Tight Hips


Pigeon

pigeon-stretchA basic yoga pose, Pigeon is one of the most effective hip openers because you can focus on one hip at a time.

  • Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended behind you. Pull the right heel in toward your left hip, or if your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
  • Stay here with your hands resting on your right thigh or your hips, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee. Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension for at least five breaths.
  • Repeat this pose with the left knee bent.

Double Pigeon Double-Pigeon

Double Pigeon offers a very intense stretch for your deep glutes.

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your left knee, and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your right knee, and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.
  • You may find your top knee to be high up toward the ceiling. It’s OK, it just means that your hips are tight, so just stay where you are and breathe.
  • To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.
  • Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your left knee is on top.