Thanks for joining me for another JDW blog post! I’m really enjoying sharing this new content with you each week, and I hope that you’re finding it fun and useful. (If so, perhaps you can leave a comment below!)
Today, I’m showing you three exercises that you can do at home to release tight hips. Doing these will improve mobility in the hip joint, reduce aches and pains, and allow you to move more freely.
As a Pilates trainer, I see a lot of clients who have problems with their pelvis. Whether it’s weakness in the glutes, a strain in the psoas, being out of alignment, experiencing sciatica, pelvic-related back pain, or just feeling plain tight, having a dud hip can put a real damper on how you feel physically.
Our daily habits exacerbate hip grief; sitting for too long and not taking the time to stretch each day only makes things worse.
Here are some other factors that might be putting the grip in your hip:
- Weak core strength
- Weak legs and glutes
- Imbalanced muscular development
- Past injury
- Overuse of the hip joint
- Tightness in the psoas
- Incorrect seated posture
A Quick Anatomy Lesson
Don’t worry, this won’t take long and I’ve made it super simple 🙂
The hip joint has two main functions: it provides mobility for the lower body and stability of the pelvis. It’s also a major weight-bearing joint.
As you take steps to improve the health of your hips I want you to keep four things in mind:
- Having “tight” hips (particularly at the side of the hip) is not always a bad thing; if they are too loosey-goosey then your pelvis isn’t supported, which puts pressure on the low back and the knees during movement.
- Yet the hip joint should also have a wide-range of motion, to allow the legs to move freely. Over time, repetitive movements in the same range, and planes of motion will decrease hip mobility.
- Having tight hip flexors (those muscles at the front-sides of the groin) doesn’t mean you have strong hip flexors. Sitting keeps the psoas muscle in a state of passive contraction, making it short and tight but also weak.
Ultimately we’re looking to strike a balance between pelvic stability and mobility:
- You can improve the stability of your hip with exercises that target the gluteus medius (aka the side of your bum); moves two and three in this leg workout will strengthen those muscles
- And you can increase mobility by being mindful of your posture, targeted stretching, and regular movement — try to stand as much as you sit during the day
Hips Don’t Lie…
Tight hips are not only the result of physical neglect, your emotions play a part in the health of your hips as well. When you have a stressful experience your body tends to react with a muscular contraction, either tensing muscles to fight or contracting inwards to hide.
But because that contraction isn’t always followed by movement — unless you get up and do jumping jacks after each stressful email — stagnant muscular energy gets stuck in your body.
And where does that energy go? To our hips, one of the largest joints in the body and the connection point between our top and bottom halves.
Now you know why and how you need to give your hips a little more TLC, let’s jump into these three stretches. Props for this workout include a chair, a tennis ball/fascial release ball, and a foam roller. Don’t have the equipment? Get creative and join in with the moves that you can!
Release Tight Hips With These Moves
Now I’d Love To Hear From You
Are you enjoying our home workouts so far? Let me know by leaving a comment below. There you can also share any kinds of exercises that you would like to see more of!
See you soon,
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