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Jasmine

Hip Openers

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I'm on a mission to open these hips of mine. I work a desk job and while I make every effort to move around during the day I still have incredibly tight hips - they make this annoying click during certain exercises at the gym and butterfly pose I am miles away from having my knees toward the floor. Even sitting cross legged I can feel tightness in my hips and it's uncomfortable. So I'm putting an end to this!

 

I know Candace has some amazing info on hip opening, do you think this will be enough to open desk-job hips? will I have to do them every day?

 

I'm fine with hamstring stretches where you need to do split type movements, there's something specifically holding me back from stretching them sideways...if that makes ANY sense at all.

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just thought I would add, I do many stretches throughout the week and attend classes at least twice a week which include hip openers and they make me feel great at the time the issue is they're not 'opening' after the stretches are finished. As in I see or feel no progress at all in my hip flexibility/comfort on a long-term basis as I do with my hamstrings, back, and so on.

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Hey Jasmine!

 

Welcome to my world. Hip opening is my favorite benefit of yoga, and it took me some weeks of consistent stretching/opening to get anywhere, but it was SO worth it. So keep on going even if you don't feel that things are improving - they are. My favorite hip openers are in this video by Candace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=extiI8rRcMc.

 

It's only 15 minutes, and I would do these moves consistently 4-5x a week, and it REALLY helped.I understand your hesitation and discomfort with "sideway" stretches. They made me so uncomfortable too! I'm still not quite there, but in the video Candace shows you how to do frog pose, and I suggest not skipping it. It helps a lot. I guess the sideways part also comes easier as your hips start to open.

 

Three things that made a big difference in general:

1. Loosening the hamstrings with forward bends as well. 

2. Giving your hips a rest if they feel sore from all the opening.

3. Doing some light hip openers in the morning, not only at night. I don't know why, but once I started doing that, my progress made leaps.

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All that sitting is bad for us. It makes everything tight and weak. 3000 hours of sitting per year or more. Add up the time in yoga class and other times with hip opening poses. It’s a tiny percent, less than 1% of the time sitting.

 

What about turning sitting into a modified yoga practice. Figure out ways to do some hip opening poses. Half Lotus, if the foot doesn’t go on top put it under the opposite leg. Seated Pigeon might work as well. You can probably figure out some other very simple poses to modify while sitting. All you have to do is get some external rotation of the femur – thigh. I just tried sitting more towards the side of my chair and let the knee drop towards the floor and turned the thigh outward. It felt kind of nice. Try and breathe to feel a little movement in the hip. That little bit of movement makes a big difference. And no need for it to be intense. If you spend an hour in a pose everyday it makes a huge difference with very little effort. 

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Modifying how you sit so that you minimize the negative impact of day to day life is a good point. As I mentioned in another thread, I've modified my chair so it tilts forwards and also have the monitor on a high platform to move it up to eye level. using this my default sitting position is more upright and is actually opening the chest, rather than forcing me into a slump as flat chairs and too low monitors do. If you're using a laptop for a lot of time, I'd recommend hooking up an external monitor and finding some way of positioning it at eye level.

 

Pay attention to what you are doing, to see if you can change something to improve your problem.

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