Jock Yoga: Tips For Tight Hips

Learn how to relieve tight hips (Photo credits: Glenn Gebhardt)
Learn how to relieve tight hips (Photo credits: Glenn Gebhardt)

The word ‘hip’ or ‘hips’ technically refers to the region or specifically the joint where the upper and lower bodies meet. Often people think of the hips as merely one bone or collection of bones. A lot of people, when giving thought to the idea, can’t really even indentify what their ‘hips’ are. The reason for the confusion is simple:  the hips comprise one of the most complex areas of the muscular body.

From a Jock Yoga perspective, the ‘hips’ refers to the entire pelvic area and the many muscles that surround it. Whether from running, squatting, hunching or being inactive, many people–and most men–suffer from tightness in the hip area—whether they know it or not.  ‘Tips for tight hips’ refers to numerous stretches and movements that target the pelvic region and lengthen/open the hip flexors (front of the hip), the outer hip (glutes, IT band, outer thigh), and even the inner thigh.

The tips that follow are active and passive stretches for the hip flexors/front of the hip:

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Exercise number one: Active lunge stretch for hip flexors

Exercise number one: Active lunge stretch for hip flexors

Step 1: Come to a low lunge on your mat with your front knee directly above the ankle, and your back knee a little further back on your mat than directly below the hip (if your back knee is sensitive you can double-roll your mat for comfort). Bring the hands to rest on the front knee. Take a deep breath in through the nose, and on the exhale sink forward with the entire pelvic area. Move back in space on your inhale, then sink forward again on your exhale. Repeat this action a few times (warming up the area), then settle in the ‘forward’ position.  While in the forward position, pull your lowest belly in and up and try to articulate lifting through the centre of your chest (this will add length in the lower back, avoiding unwanted compression). Hold for as many deep breaths as you’d like. Repeat exercise on opposite side.

Exercise number one: Active lunge stretch for hip flexors

Step 2: To increase the stretch, you may release the hands from the front knee and with a deep inhale through the nose, sweep your arms forward and up. Like the first variation, as you sink your pelvic area forward, continue to lift through the belly and the chest, and this time also reaching through the fingertips. To intensify this variation, you may choose to reach up higher with the fingertips, and even slightly up and over—again avoiding compression in the low back by continuously lifting through the belly and chest. Repeat exercise on opposite side.

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Michael DeCorte

Michael DeCorte

Michael DeCorte is the creator of Jock Yoga, and a media fitness expert-both locally and nationally. A former body-builder and marathon runner turned yoga teacher, Michael is also a passionate health and fitness writer and international fitness tradeshow presenter. Michael can be found at www.jockyoga.com and on Twitter @JockYogaGuy.

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