Posts

Let’s stretch our hips, hamstrings, quads, glutes, IT band, and inner thighs together! This is a beneficial exercise for people who use their legs often in their daily life, especially the athletes! Today, we will be focusing on targeted areas that get stressed during sports activities to combat the tight hamstrings, tensed quads, stiff inner thighs, glutes, and hip. This sequence can help you better stretch your muscles, release tensions of the stiff lower body, and increase your flexibility and range of motion which can enhance your sports performance as well as increase your energy level!

 

What are the Signs of Tight Hips?

Out of all the symptoms of tight hip flexors, pain is the most common and main symptom.

But your hips is not the only area that will show signs, other areas of your body that you may experience stiffness or pain are:

  • Thigh area
  • Lower abdomen area
  • Buttocks
  • Lower back area
  • Groin area
  • Legs
  • Pelvic bone

 

How Hip Mobility helps with Athletic Performance?

Did you know that that the hip joint is complex and contains over 15 muscles that work together to give the hip a full range of motion? Hip flexibility and mobility are essential for athletes to become more powerful and perform athletic movements efficiently. From giving you that powerful run during a marathon to that great jump over hurdles, hip mobility enhances athletic performance.

However, having tight hip muscles can impede an athlete’s full range of motion. When there is a lack of hip mobility, the execution of lifting exercise can be incorrect and also lead to a strain on one’s back muscles. These muscles are susceptible to injury, especially when lifting heavy loads. Thus, improving hip mobility will not only increase athletic performance but can also help prevent lower back pain or injury and boost explosive movements.

So let’s get started on the stretches!

 

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Start by lying down on the mat.
  2. Proceed to bend your right knee and lift your right leg up.
  3. Now hold on to the right thigh with your hands.
  4. Keep your right leg straight and hold on to your calf muscle.
  5. Proceed to press your left thigh down without changing the hip joints and lower back.
  6. Next lift your head towards your leg.
  7. Try holding the pose for 30 – 45 seconds and release the pose.
  8. Repeat the same instructions on the other side.
  9. If this is uncomfortable for you, keep your right knee bend and try to bring your knee closer to you.

 

hip opening for atheletes - QUADS STRETCH 1

Quads Stretch I

  1. Start by bending the left knee, make sure that your left toes extend backwards.
  2. Maintain left thigh straight, left knee pointing straight (towards the back). Right knee pointing to the front straight.
  3. Proceed to lie down slowly on your back.
  4. When you are lying down, bend your right knee and give yourself a posterior pelvic tilt. (This step is crucial to prevent stress on your lower back.
  5. The posterior pelvic tilt will also give your hip flexors and quadriceps a deeper stretch.)
  6. Extend your right leg back to the front.
  7. Hold the pose for 30 – 45 seconds.
  8. Repeat the same instructions on the other side.

 

hip opening for atheletes - QUADS STRETCH 2

Quads Stretch II

  1. Try out this variation if your ankle, knees or lower back are feeling uncomfortable in Quads Stretch I.
  2. Lie down on your tummy.
  3. Now in this position, bend the left knee and hold the ankle with your hands and press your left heel against the hip.
  4. For better results, give a little posterior pelvic tilt for a deeper stretch.
  5. You can even try lifting the left knee of the mat.
  6. Hold the pose for 30 – 45 seconds.
  7. Repeat the same instructions on the other side.

 

hip opening for atheletes - HIPS, QUADS OUTER THIGH

Hip, Glutes, Outer Thigh Stretch

  1. Start by lying down on the mat.
  2. Next, bend both knees and bring them to your chest.
  3. Keep you right ankle of the top of your left thigh (close to the knee).
  4. Flex your right foot and then hold your left leg with both hands. When you are holding the left leg, make sure that the right-hand goes through both legs.
  5. Ensure your left and right sacrum are on the mat, slowly pull the left thigh closer. Do note that your lower back SHOULD NOT be lifted when you pull your left thigh closer.
  6. At the same time, see if you can push your right knee away. This will give you a deeper stretch on your glutes and IT band.
  7. Hold the pose for 30 – 45 seconds.
  8. Repeat the same instructions on the other side.

 

Inner Thigh Stretch I

  1. In a seated position, extend both your legs and bring them wide apart. Open your legs based on your comfort level.
  2. Make sure knees are not falling back and press your thighs into the ground.
  3. Push your heels away from your buttock and keep your hands just behind your sitting bones.
  4. In this pose, make sure that your spine and lower back remain straight.
  5. Breathe in comfortably.
  6. Hold the pose for 45- 60 seconds.

 

Inner Thigh Stretch II

Note: Only proceed on to this pose if you are comfortable with Inner Thigh Stretch I.

  1. Follow the instructions from Inner Thigh Stretch I.
  2. Proceed to bring your hands forward and bend forward slowly.
  3. Maintain the quadriceps active as they are supporting your body.
  4. Start to (1) bend forward or (2) bring your elbows forward and down or (3) hold your big toes and bend forward. You can choose the variation 1 to 3 based on your comfort level.
  5. Like the previous pose, your spine should remain straight.
  6. Hold the pose for 45- 60 seconds.

 

hip opening for atheletes - Inner thigh stretch 3

Inner Thigh Stretch III – Baddha Konasana

  1. Hold your feet firm.
  2. Press heels against each other. The moment you press the heels against each other, you will find that your thighs are activated and long.
  3. Proceed to press your knees down.
  4. Lean forward and reach as deep as you can.
  5. Hold the pose for 45 – 60 seconds.

 

Confused by the instructions? Check out the video here as Mahendra demonstrated the Hip-Opening stretches!

 

Common Questions about Hip Opening?

Want to try out a Hip Opening class and wondering what it is about? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions!

Who should avoid doing Hip-Opening?

  • If you have any lumbar or hip injury.
  • Operation in your hip, lower body or lower back.
  • Screws place in your joints.

It is highly recommended that you check with the instructors what type of hip-opening exercises are suitable for you as you will require more attention and modifications in order to practice certain poses.

How often can I practice Hip-Opening?

You can practice Hip-Opening twice a day! The hip-opening poses are great for increasing circulation as well as your range of motion.

Most importantly you should practice Hip-Opening solely based on your body conditions as you know your body the best. It is completely up to the discretion of the practitioner and many factors come into play such as how experienced you are in that kind of practice and how your time permits.

Can I practice Hip-Opening when I am on my period?

You can practice hip-opening even when you are on your period as it helps relieve the lower back pain and improve circulation as mention previously! It is recommended that you do some gentle stretching and not push yourself too hard. However, for those who have a heavy flow, it will be better for you to rest during this time.

Is it normal to feel emotional while doing Hip Openers?

It’s totally normal, and it can even feel relieving and therapeutic. Hip-opening poses are most likely to bring on a flood of emotions because of all the tightness and tension you naturally store in your hips. All of that tension builds up over time, trapping negativity and old feelings along with it.

Since I am only stretching my hip does it mean that I can have a full meal before attending class?

No, you should not. As a general rule of thumb, allow yourself one to one and a half hours to digest after a light snack and two to three hours to digest after a light meal before your class starts.

Does stretching my hip make them bigger?

No, it does not make your hips bigger. The width of your hip depends on your bones structure and how much muscle and fat you have on top of the bones.

 

1. Have any questions regarding the Hip-Opening practice? 

2. Any other practice you would like us to breakdown?

3. Want more Hip-Opening video?

Let us know in the comment section down below!

 

 Here’s a guide to help you navigate your days at home:

Relieve Your Stress and Anxiety with These 5 Yin Yoga Poses

Work Your Core At Home With These 6 Poses!

Complete Guide To Neck & Shoulder Care