My BF (a former powerlifter who has evaluated my lifting form) has told me I have tight hips. Two personal trainers have told me I have tight hips. This is not news — I *know* I have tight hips.
Some causes of tight hips:
1. predominantly sedentary lifestyle
2. Long-term failure to stretch hips
3. Running/hiking/walking as primary form of cardio (all are great hip strengtheners but aren’t so great for hip flexibility)
The effects are obvious while I’m exercising: I can feel my hips tightening even more when I’m running or hiking and it affects my squat depth.
I want more flexible hips so the last couple weeks I’ve been doing 10 minutes of hip stretching after every workout (strength training AND running). Here are some of exercises that can help with hip flexibility (thanks to Courtney at Don’t Blink. Just Run for some good ideas).
1. Foam rolling. When you find a knot, stop moving (micromovements are okay) and use your bodyweight to press into the foam roller for 30-60 seconds.
2. Pigeon pose. I am pretty awkward getting into the pose, but holy smokes it’s a good hip stretch. There are many variants; here is a pigeon pose for beginners:
3. Kneeling hip flexor stretch. Drop to your left knee with your right foot planted on the ground in front of you; your right knee should be at a 90˚ angle. Lean forward to feel a stretch in your left hip. Raise your left arm above you and lean slightly to your right for a more intense stretch. Switch legs to repeat with your right hip.
4. Eye of the needle. This is also great for your lower back. Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. Bend your L knee and plant your L foot on the floor. Bend your R knee and place your R ankle against the top of your L thigh. Use your hands to hold onto your L thigh (L hand from the outside, R hand through the “eye of the needle” between your thighs) and lift your L leg up and towards your abdomen. Switch legs and repeat.
5. Here are 9 yoga poses that stretch hips (includes eye of the needle and pigeon pose).
6. Here is a 10-minute hip stretch workout that also works your bum and legs:
Miles to Mordor: 2.96
In search of my TDEE