For people who sit a long time at work, the hip flexors and rotators become tight, and the glutes become weak. This combination negatively affects our ability to walk, maintain proper posture, and the stability in our backs (low back especially). Here are some great stretches to take with you anywhere you go. Now go “Get Hippie With It!
1. Pigeon – One of the most effective hip openers because you can focus on one hip at a time. This pose also helps to relieve stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
2. Lizard – The hips can become extremely tight just from sitting. This stretch targets that area as well as the outer hips to make you feel better throughout your day.
3, Frog Pose – From a standing position, squat down and lower your hips toward the floor while keeping both feet connected to the ground. Separate your knees wider than your torso so that your elbows are to the inside of your knees. Bring your hands together in a prayer position. At first, you can turn your heals inward and your toes out and widen your stance as needed. As you become more flexible, turn your toes inward (feet parallel to one another) and begin to inch your feet closer together. Distribute more weight towards the outer edges of your feet so that you do not collapse into your arches. As you lower your hips toward the ground, continue lengthen your spine and pull your shoulders back. Hold for at least 30 seconds and breathe deeply. To release, straighten your legs and come to a standing position, or a Standing Forward Bend.
4. Thread the Needle – If you have really tight hips and find pigeon difficult to get in and out of this is a great alternative.
5. Runners Lunge – Start with your right leg forward with knee over ankle and left knee on ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Slowly lift torso and rest hands lightly on right thigh. Lean hips forward slightly. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, raise arms overhead, biceps by ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.