While hips are not an issue for many, there are plenty of people who feel a certain tightness in the area. This tightness is usually a result of poor hip flexibility.
While this may be a result of not being physically active in your young years, there is a solution.
Tight or loose hips can easily lead to many health conditions, like a sciatic nerve issue and spine issues. To prevent this, you have to engage in a daily workout practice.
Below are 10 effective exercises which can help you introduce more hip flexibility and agility altogether.
10 Exercises for Stronger and More Flexible Hips
Target area: hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, lower back and glutes, pain reduction.
Begin by lying on your back. Bend the legs and drag feet to your bottom. Start lifting bottom slowly and in control. Keep hips in line with your shoulders and knees.
Engage the glutes and hamstrings while lifting. Hold the posture for two seconds and return to initial position. Repeat for 10-20 times.
2. Lying Lateral Leg Raise
Target area: iliotibial bands, gluteus maximus, and minimus, obliques, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Start by lying on your side. Stretch out your right arm for a greater balance. Then, lift leg upwards as far as it goes, while keeping it straight.
Bring the leg back down. Repeat 15 times with each leg. When switching sides, roll over to avoid injury.
3. Lying Leg Circles
Target area: hip flexors, glutes, muscle motion.
First, lie on your back. Stretch out the legs. Lift left leg about 3 inches off the floor. Start circling with it, but preserve both the alignment and point.
Do 3 sets of 5 circulations and then switch legs. Repeat sets to the other side as well.
4. Single-Leg Squat
Target area: leg endurance, glutes, hips and quad muscles.
Standing up, stretch out both hands in front of you. Interlock the fingers next. Keep feet at the same width as your shoulders, toes pointing forwards. Extend one leg out in front of you.
Keep the knee stable as you raise the leg. Avoid touching the ground with the leg. Begin moving as if sitting back and bend the other leg’s knee.
Hold posture in a squat for 20 seconds. Press off your foot and stand up. Repeat 15 times and then switch legs for another 15 reps.
5. Seated Butterfly Stretch
Target area: hips, inner thighs, and lower back.
Begin seated on the ground with your knees open to each side. Keep the soles of your feet in front of you, and your back straight. Hands go on top of the feet. Start activating the abs and secure the spine.
Through exhalation, pull the heels inwards. Make sure you push both knees into the floor, gravitating naturally. Hold the posture for 20-30 seconds.
If you can, lean your upper body forward and over the open legs, connected at the feet. Repeat 15-20 times a day.
6. The Clam
Target area: pelvis, inner and outer thighs, hips, lower body.
Start on your side. Bend the knee at 90 degrees. Make sure your heels and buttocks are in line with each other. Never rotate the back or pelvis, but lift the leg open and hold for 15 seconds. Return to initial posture and repeat 15 times with each leg.
7. Pigeon Pose
Target area: hip tension, gluteus medius, and minimus.
Take a plank position. Lift the right leg, bring knee inwards and sit on the ground, while keeping the knee beneath your belly. Make sure the bent foot is pointing away from you.
At the same time, extend the other leg behind you, for as far as possible. If you cannot lower all the way down, keep the back straight but don’t lose the balance.
Hold the leg in pigeon pose for 5 breaths. Then release, and switch legs. You can practice up to 10 sets of the pose per day.
8. Marching Glute Bridge
Target area: glutes, hamstrings, spine, lower back.
First, lie on your back. Bend the legs and pull heels closer to your buttocks. Begin lifting the bottom. Focus on engaging the glutes and hamstrings as you do this.
Lift one knee towards the chest, setting your hip at a 90-degree angle. Keep the back straight and firm. Bring foot down and switch sides.
Do this exercise for 10-20 times a day.
9. The Hip Drop/Step Up
Target area: hips and legs.
Find a box you can step on and place it on the floor. Step on the box with one foot, using your central foot weight. Make sure your hips are pushing back and then upwards as you do the step.
Hold posture with a statuesque figure and steady shoulders. Again, push the hips back. Lower the foot and switch sides. Practice 10 sets on each side every day.
10. Lying Hip Extension
Target area: glutes, hamstrings.
First, lie on your belly. Make sure your knees are straight. Begin lifting one leg up, using your buttock muscles. Keep legs and knee straight at all times.
Hold the posture for 2 seconds and then return to initial posture. Switch legs and repeat exercise 10 times a day on each side.