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What are hip flexors and Will it affect your practice?
Hip flexors are a group of muscles found deep at the front of the hips, attaching spine to thigh bones. They work to bend our hips and help lift our legs when we move around.
Tight hips flexors will cause back pain when we exercise and limit our yoga practice and workout.
Why are my hip flexors always tight?
When we spend a lot of time sitting during the day, it creates a lot of shortening in the hip flexor and the quad.
Our body assumes that we only need a limited amount of hip movement.
Then when we exercise, we don’t have as much hip extension available as we should, which limit our ability to find or activate our glutes. It also increases our odds of creating pulling tension or pain through the low back in the hips.
Tight hip flexors are bad for runners and seniors too.
When being tight or held too short, they do not allow your legs to go back or your lower back arches to do so.
Top 3 Best Hip Flexor Stretches for Tight Hips
To practice this exercise, we need to prepare a bolster or a rolled up yoga mat or blanket.
Lie on your back with bent knees and grab the bolster or rolled yoga mat, put the roller underneath your hips.
Let your hip settle down onto your bolster or mat, and then let both knees come into your chest.
When you are in this position, you will feel uncomfortable and pain where your back is very round. It will help to give you more opening in your hip.
Interlace your fingers around the top of your right shin or underneath your right thigh.
Keep that right leg hugged in and pubic bone rolling towards the ceiling.
Slowly extend your left leg out (it may or may not touch the ground).
In this position, you should start to feel some decent opening down in front of your hip.
For the beginning, you will feel quite intense but do not give up and continue to practice. If you are doing okay with step 2, let move to the next.
Continue to hug your leg in with your right arm and then slowly reach your left arm up overhead.
There is a create optimal energy reaching through your left leg in your left hand, and that should create even more opening down the front of your hip and quad.
You are going to stay here and breath for three to five breaths and switch sides.
Prone Hip Stretch
For this hip flexor stretches, you don’t need any equipment.
In case you are very tight in the front of your hips, you may want some tools to put around your foot to assist such as a yoga strap or a towel.
Have your legs touching or fasten comfortable in your low back.
Let your forehead rest down on your left hand, gently press your pubic bone towards the floor.
Stabilize the low back and take the arch out of it.
Bend your right knee and then grab your right ankle with your right hand. If you can’t do this without extending your back, let grab that strap or towel and put it around your foot.
From here, tuck your pelvis under, press your pubic bone towards the floor and try to let the knees come in towards one another.
In this position, you should start to feel a decent pull down through the top of your right leg.
You should stay in that position for about thirty seconds and then switch sides.
When your knees come to kneeling, take your left leg forward and your right leg back.
Tuck your pelvis under so your pubic bone presses forward to create more opening down the front of your right leg.
Lean a little bit forward to increase your stretch.
When doing this stretch, a lot of people tend to dive directly into it, and they might feel a hip stretch. That creates a lot of pulling in the low back which is not good.
You can hang the step 2 position and breathe.
If you want a higher level, you can take your right arm overhead to do a gentle lean to the right side.
Continue to tuck that pelvis under finding that little bit of opening in the front of the right hip.
You can stay in that position for about thirty seconds and then switch sides.