oor hip mobility ranks right up there with lower-back pain as a modern-day illness that many people experience on a regular basis. There are several probable reasons, however. For many individuals, it typically boils down to spending a lot of time sitting down.
Poor hip mobility can contribute to lower back pain, knee problems, and limited range of motion. Yoga encourages stretching, strength, and flexibility, improving hip mobility and alleviating many of the discomforts associated with tight hips.
Many of us spend a significant chunk of our days in a seat, whether we’re commuting, working, or eating meals. The problem is that spending so much of our time sitting is bad for us and can lead to tight hips and back discomfort. Below are 7 gentle yoga poses to try for better hip mobility.
How Can I Increase My Hip Mobility in Yoga?
Tight hips can develop simply from doing ordinary tasks like sitting or standing for lengthy periods, or engaging in any physical exercise with bad form. This can manifest in inflexibility, pinching sensations, and even lower back and knee pain.
Hip openers are an essential part of yoga. They open up the lower back and hips, allowing for increased mobility and comfort.
The hip joints support your body weight and offer stability during everyday tasks such as standing and walking. Because your hips are your body’s center of mobility, the healthier and less constrained your hips become, the more potential your body has to function optimally.
Which Yoga Is Best for Hips?
There are different forms of yoga that have been developed over thousands of years. When working on hip mobility, the best one to try is Hatha yoga.
Hatha yoga is about bringing the body and mind back into balance. Hatha postures are considered to be a gentler, slower style with fundamental positions appropriate for beginners. These are often done at a slower pace and with more static posture holds than Vinyasa or Ashtanga, making them ideal for strengthening hip mobility.
7 Gentle Hip Mobility Yoga Poses
Poor hip mobility can contribute to a range of issues. Each hip is surrounded by 17 muscles, controlling virtually all movements involving your lower torso and legs. These 7 yoga moves can help you gently increase strength and mobility in your hips with just a little practice every day.
1. Seated Twist
Having a strong, flexible spine plays a big role in hip health. Seated Twist is a restorative yoga pose that promotes healthy digestion, helps tone and stretch core muscles, and encourages spinal mobility.
From a cross-legged sit, keep your seating bones planted on the floor as your twist your upper torso to the right. Place your left foot on your right knee as your stretch your right hand back and plant it on the floor behind you. Return to center after a few breaths and repeat on the left side.
2. Bridge Pose
Bridge is an excellent pose that works your core, hips, and glutes. It also helps open the chest and hip flexors while lengthening the back to relieve pressure on the disks.
Lie flat on your back with your knees pointed toward the ceiling and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with palms on the floor. Engage your core and press through your feet to lift your hips and lower back off the floor. Be sure to keep your knees hip-width apart and your feet directly beneath your knees. Hold the pose for five breaths and release.
3. Low Lunge
Low lunge helps loosen up the lower body, relieving tight muscles in the hips, legs, and back. This is a great pose for anyone experiencing tightness in the hips or lower back.
From downward facing down, draw your right knee forward and place your foot down on the mat in between your hands. Keep your hands on the mat and your back leg engaged as you hold the pose for five breaths. You should feel a stretch on your hip flexors and quads.
4. Supine Pigeon
Supine Pigeon Pose is a popular and often utilized hip opener that is great for beginners. This position lengthens the hip flexors and enhances the femur’s external range of motion in the hip socket.
Lie flat on your back with your knees pointed toward the ceiling and feet flat on the ground. Cross your right foot over your left thigh and lift your left leg off the floor. Hook your hands behind your left knee and gently pull it towards your chest. When you feel a good stretch, stop and hold the position for five breaths. Then release and repeat on the other side.
5. Yoga Squat
Yoga squat is a grounding pose that helps your internal organs as well as your hips. Practicing this pose opens the hips, ankles, and groin while strengthening the legs and stabilizing the spine.
From a standing position, place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out. Place your hands in a prayer position at your chest and slowly lower into a deep squat. Keep your torso upright and your feet flat on the floor. Fit your elbows between your knees and use them to gently press your knee open. You should feel this stretch in your inner thigh, hips, and glutes.
6. Triangle Pose
This is a great standing beginner’s position for gently stretching the hips, legs, and back while strengthening your core muscles. Triangle pose may also help with balance, stability, and flexibility.
For triangle pose, start with your right leg in front with your toes pointed forward in a warrior II position. Straighten the front leg, hinge forward, and stretch your right hand down to your shin, while your left hand reaches toward the sky. From this position, you should feel a stretch in your left hip and inner right thigh. Hold the pose for five breaths, then repeat on the other side.
7. Happy Baby
Happy Baby Position is a gentle and calming pose that is wonderful for relaxing and extending the body. This posture stretches the inner thighs, hamstrings, groin, and hips, resulting in increased flexibility and mobility.
To enter happy baby, lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your feet off the floor and grab the outside edges of your feet with your hands. Gently pull your feet towards your shoulders while keeping your back flat on the floor. You should feel a stretch in your hips and thighs.
Having tight hips can hold you back from doing the things that are important to you. With just a few minutes a day, these seven yoga moves can help increase your hip mobility so that you can move around freely and comfortably throughout the day.