In this video, I wanted to show you an easy hip flexor yoga exercise for non-yogis. It is easy to be intimidated by “yoga” stretches or poses, but really they can be made accessible for all, so don’t be afraid!
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I am going to get Andrea to demonstrate it.
The hip flexors are muscles on the front of our hips that help flex the hips, or bring the thigh toward the body. They can become tight and painful for a variety of reasons, one being too much sitting. Unfortunately, most of us sit far too much. When we sit, our hip flexors shorten and become stiff and tight. This stiffness can cause pain and tension and muscle imbalances. We may begin to compensate for our lack of mobility in the hips with our backs, which can lead to back pain and injuries. Openness and mobility in the hips is essential for avoiding pain and injury and staying mobile. Make sure you stretch out your hip flexors regularly. There is no need to overdo it either. Stretch them out gently and regularly. This stretch is a great place to start.
Today’s stretch is actually the yoga pose called Cobra. There are many variations of Cobra, and this version is generally referred to as “Full Cobra”. Lie on your stomach with your hands underneath your shoulders. Push into your hands and try to straighten out your arms (without locking your elbows). Hold that position for a few seconds and then lower back down. You will feel an increased movement in your low back and in your hips, especially when you try to bring the hips off the mat. You should feel a nice stretch through the front of your body, specifically the front of the hips, core and chest. Try to hold the top position for a couple of seconds and see how you feel. If it feels good, you can progress to holding it for 5 to 20 seconds. Never come into a position that causes pain or discomfort. You should be able to take deep, full breaths at all times.
Make sure you do not experience any pain or compression in your lower back while you do this exercise, or after. If you do, make sure you do not press up as far. Keep your elbows bent and only come to a place where you feel comfortable. As you move through the exercise, keep your shoulders down from your ears (the tendency may be for them to come up) and your shoulder blades pulling together. Keep growing tall through your spine, as if there was a string pulling the top of your head up. Your core and legs should be engaged at all times to protect your joints. Keep your gaze facing forward.
Hip Flexor Stretch
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Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to improve the health and flexibility of your hip muscles, then click here to check out the Unlock Your Hip Flexors program.