Hip flexor stretches as part of yoga has gained immense popularity because it improves the flexibility of the whole body and strengthens the hips.
If hip flexor muscles are left tight, they affect the movement of the lower back. Most do not realize that their hips are tight until they do yoga-style hip flexor stretches.
Tight hips express themselves through lower back pain, muscle stiffness and this is capable of shortening your stride. Like any other health condition, there are causes for tight hips. For many people, it is as a result of spending too much time sitting down.
Other causes of hip flexors tightening include training without recovering property and old age.
The best way to get rid of hip tightness is by doing hip flexor stretches using yoga. In this post, I have done all the hard work for you by explaining the different poses that will help you open your hip flexors and their benefits.
Importance of Hip Flexor Stretches Yoga
The relaxation and stretching techniques incorporated in hip flexor stretch yoga can heal body conditions such as headaches, insomnia, and even chronic lower back pain. Other physical benefits of this type of yoga include the following;
- The increase of hip muscles strength and tone
- Plays a role in weight reduction
- The breathing techniques incorporated in hip flexor stretches improve respiration
- Improves athletic performance
- Improves cardio and circulatory health
Strong muscles are built by hip flexor stretches. They protect from getting conditions such as arthritis and prevent older adults from falling.
Relieves the Tension Built up around your Hip Region
Too much sitting down for long hours is one of the major causes of back pain and tight hips. It also contributes significantly to health problems such as obesity and osteoporosis. Fortunately, the effects of an inactive lifestyle can be counteracted by doing hip flexor stretches yoga.
Hip Flexor Stretches Increases Body Flexibility
Hip flexors are muscles that connect the hip, knee and the lower back via the pelvis. They are active muscles that are important in movements like squatting and walking.
Most hip problems are as a result of lack of flexibility. Hip Muscles can lose elasticity if kept continuously in a fixed position. This includes sitting for many hours.
Sitting for hours every day can shorten and even shrink your hip flexors, and this will limit your ability to straighten up your hip fully. This causes the tightness of hip muscles.
The flexibility of tight hip muscles can be improved by spending good time stretching them. Eventually, the hip flexors muscles will significantly lengthen increasing their flexibility.
The muscles that make the hip flexors have a significant role in stabilizing your lower spine. Bending your torso or moving your legs depends on these muscles. Flexible and strong hip muscles will improve your posture and eliminate the risk for back injury and conditions such as arthritis.
Hip flexor yoga encourages your hip muscles to stretch aligning your spine enabling you to move very well. In a nutshell, avoid weak hip flexors that lead to cramps and strains during exercises.
Aside from the physical benefits, hip flexor stretches during yoga helps a person manage stress. Stress can manifest in your body in many ways like headaches, inability to concentrate and sleeping problems.
Hip flexor stretches as part of a good yoga regimen is very useful in bringing calmness, relaxing the mind and relieving chronic stress. Yoga’s breathing, stretching and meditation is capable of improving your mental well being.
4 Yoga Poses to Stretch Your Hip Flexors
Try these 4 yoga poses to stay healthy:
They include Locust pose, warrior pose 1, reclining hero and camel pose. If you have tight hips, perform the hip flexor stretches daily while practising yoga. You do not have to stretch for hours; 20 minutes will do.
Here are important tips to remember when performing this type of yoga;
- Every exercise starts by breathing in and out. Start your yoga by slowly breathing in and out
- Do not overstretch yourself while stretching your hip flexors
- Try to stay in each pose for up to 1 minute
- Buy a mat that you will be comfortable to practice on.It should have a smooth top layer to provide grip for all poses. The fabric should be thick for comfort when performing poses that require you to bend or put your elbows on it.
1. Locust Pose
Lie face down and stretch yourself fully on your mat. Stretch your arms, fingertips pointing your feet. Your legs should be fully stretched up and feet slightly above the mat.
Lift your head, chest and inhale. Hold for at least few seconds and breath out. This type of stretching will fully straighten up your hip, improve your body flexibility and reduce compression in your lower back.
2. Warrior Pose I
This is an excellent hip flexor stretch. To perform this yoga, stand with the right leg forward and the left leg stretched back. Raise your hands high. Bend the front knee little. Stay in this pose for 1 minute.
Repeat the same procedure but this time, stand with the left leg forward and the right leg stretched back. Raise your hands high. Stay in this pose for 1 minute.
3. Reclining Hero
This stretch targets the muscles on the front of the thigh. To perform this pose, sit down between your heels and lie back fully extending your hands. This will fully straighten your hip joint.
Please do not overstretch as this can cause painful compression in the lower back.
4. Camel Pose
Kneel on your mat and bring your hands to your lower back. Rest your palms above your heels. Inhale and lift your chest. Hold for 30 seconds. Slowly start to lean your torso back. This is an intense hip flexor pose that will surely stretch your hip on each side.
If you are trying to get rid of your hip tension build up, you should include this pose. If instead, you go to a yoga class, your instructor should include this hip flexor stretch that focuses on strengthening the muscles surrounding the hips.