Sure, we know that stretching is important to give our muscles a break and heal from all the vigorous activity we put them through during workouts, but which parts of the body do we normally focus on? Hint: legs and arms. The hips are oftentimes overlooked and understretched, which is unfortunate because they are designed to take on a lot of force. Stretching the hip flexors allows them to reach their full range of motion. If you’re not utilizing your hips’ full range of motion, a lot of the load they could potentially carry will instead fall onto your lower back, which creates problems over time. Check out these eight hip stretches to help put the hop in your hips.
1) Butterfly Stretch
This stretch serves to stretch not only your hip flexors, but your hamstrings as well.
- Begin in a seated position on the floor. Bend your knees to the sides, holding the soles of your feet together with your hands
- Slowly pulling through your back, bend at your waist and bring your chest to as low as you can go. Hold this pose breathing in and out for 30 seconds.
2) Crossover Hip Stretch
This stretch feels so good, you’ll dream about stretching out while sitting at your desk!
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight. Keep your hips level and your lower back down on the floor. Bend your left knee, placing left foot flat on the floor.
- Cross your right ankle at your left knee. Grab the back of your left thigh and hug your legs towards your chest. Place your right elbow on the inner portion of your right knee and push it slightly to the side. Breathe deeply and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
3) Deep Squat Stand
Get your quads, glutes and hamstrings stretched out with this deep stretch!
- Stand tall with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend forward at your waist to grab your toes with your hands. Drop down into a deep squat while keeping your arms straight, elbows inside your knees, back flat and chest up.
- While holding your toes, raise your hips back and straighten your knees until you feel a good stretch in the back of your legs. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds. Continue for the remainder of the set