Good Hip Mobility Matters
Whether it?s swinging a kettlebell or as simple as walking, much of the force that we generate comes from our hips. Without mobile hips, it would be difficult for us to move around everyday. Many people are not aware that reduced hip mobility can greatly impact athletic performance because it puts strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments. Most often, tight hips result in low back pain. Improving your hip mobility can do wonders for your body and lower your risk of injury.
Whether you travel for work or you sit at a desk for long periods of time, these are great stretches that you can do as an addition to your exercise. Keep in mind that this is not going to be an overnight fix as it has to be done consistently over time.
Staggered Stance Stretch
First one is the Staggered Stance Stretch. As you may tell from the name, you’ll need to position yourself in a staggered stance. You?re going to have one leg up front and one leg back, both your feet are going to point forward and also your hips squared forward as well. Engage the glutes and the core and allow the front knee to bend and sink the hips into that front heel while the back leg remains extended. Try to really squeeze that glute as you do that. You should feel the hip flexors open up as you do that position.?
Modification 1: Sometimes, people have a little bit of struggle with getting into this stretch especially in standing position. An easy way to modify this is to begin in a staggered kneeling position. Still squeezing the glute and tighten the abs. Let yourself rock forward to the front, focusing on opening up that hip flexor using the strength of the glutes.
Modification 2: If you really want to add intensity to that, we can turn it up a notch. You can use your desk chair or your couch at home. Facing away from your elevated surface, stagger your stance. Place the back foot on top of the surface, then bend into both knees. Make sure to keep your front knee inline with your front toes. Do the same thing here: squeeze the glutes, engaged the core. You may find that you don’t need to lean forward at all.?
Hold it for about 10 to 20 seconds each on either side and complete 3-5 rounds. The more often you do this stretch, the better.?So there you have it, the three variations to open up the hip flexors.