These days, sitting at the computer has become the norm. And while it’s useful for working or reading CureJoy, your hip joints might think otherwise. Sitting for a long time severely restricts your range of motion. But, to help you walk, run, or even do something as simple as getting out of the bed, the hip needs to be used to its full capacity.
Due to such unhealthy, unavoidable habits, the connecting body parts will take a hit, too. For instance, a poor hip range of motion is related to lower back pain. In the lower body, weak hips equal weak knees. If the hips stay sedentary, knee pain is highly likely. All of this can stand in the way of any fitness routine.1 2
The risk is even higher if you have a desk job. For the average office worker, 65 to 75% of the workday is spent sitting. This type of sedentary lifestyle, rightfully nicknamed “sitting disease,” is a setup for poor overall health. However, don’t be so quick to think about quitting your job or tossing the computer. Instead, do these stretches daily as they are designed to increase the hips’ range of motion. In time, your hips will be ready to take on anything.3
1. Butterfly Pose
To warm up, practice the easy butterfly pose. The simple movement of pointing your knees outward will help the hips break out of their rut.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out.
- Straighten your spine.
- Bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet against each other.
- Move toward the pelvis.
- Press your knees downward and breathe.
2. Bound Angle Pose
Give the inner thighs a deep stretch with a variation of the butterfly pose.
- From the butterfly pose, hold your ankles.
- Bend forward at the hips.
- To increase the stretch, reach your hands outward.
3. Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Your hips’ range of motion includes all directions, so be sure to stretch in the other direction, as well.
- Lay down on your back.
- Bring the soles of your feet together.
- Let your knees fall out to the sides and hold.
4. One-Leg Toe Touch
For another way to release tension, do toe touches one side at a time.
- Sit up straight on the floor.
- Extend the right leg straight out.
- Place the sole of your left foot against the inner right thigh.
- Try to touch your right big toe. Hold.
- Repeat on the other side.
5. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Spreading out your legs will feel great. But instead of focusing on bending in half, simply reach as far as you can.
- Sit up straight with your legs straight out.
- Separate them as wide as you can.
- Move your hands forward. Hold.
6. Pigeon Pose
Don’t forget about the outer thighs! With pigeon pose, you’ll give the area a nice stretch.
- Start in downward dog, with both feet and hands flat on the floor.
- Shift the body into a “V” shape.
- Bring the right knee forward.
- Bend and place it on the floor, with the knee facing out.
- Rest the top of your left leg on the floor.
- Arch backward for a deep stretch.
- Return to downward dog and repeat on the other side.
7. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
If it feels good, take it further with this intermediate move.
- In pigeon pose, bend the straight leg upward.
- Hold the foot with your hands.
- Release and repeat on the other side.
Give these stretches a try and you can expect to have a much more mobile hip ready for action.
|↑1||Sadeghisani, M., F. D. Manshadi, K. K. Kalantari, A. Rahimi, N. Namnik, M. T. Karimi, and A. E. Oskouei. “Correlation between Hip Rotation Range-of-Motion Impairment and Low Back Pain. A Literature Review.” Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja 17, no. 5 (2015): 455-462.|
|↑2||Hott, Alexandra, Sigurd Liavaag, Niels Gunnar Juel, and Jens Ivar Brox. “Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial comparing the long-term effects of isolated hip strengthening, quadriceps-based training and free physical activity for patellofemoral pain syndrome (anterior knee pain).” BMC musculoskeletal disorders 16, no. 1 (2015): 40.|
|↑3||Swartz, Ann M., Aubrianne E. Rote, Whitney A. Welch, Hotaka Maeda, Teresa L. Hart, Young Ik Cho, and Scott J. Strath. “Peer Reviewed: Prompts to Disrupt Sitting Time and Increase Physical Activity at Work, 2011–2012.” Preventing chronic disease 11 (2014).|