The most important thing for every man is living a healthy and pain free life. The rest will come with time.
Today we live in a world in which if we don’t rush through life we won’t be able to achieve a lot of things. So we spend our days working on our desks, then we spend hours on the commute, when we get home we have our dinner in front of the TV, of course in a sitting position again, then a few hours in front of the computer and the same circle tomorrow.
As a result we suffer from back pain, stiffed muscles, tight hips and a few related problems. Good news, you can get rid of all of them just by maintaining flexibility in your hips. The best way to do that is by practicing gentle yoga on a regular basis.
Why Are Tight Hips So Dangerous?
Lack of Balance in the Muscles
When you spend several hours sitting every day, the flexors – the front part of your hips are shortened and tightened, while the extensors and the glutes – the back part of your hips are stretched extensively. This constant tightening and stretching is really bad for your hips. Because you are not using the muscles groups properly they are getting weaker.
Pain in the Back
When the glutes and the hip extensors are stretched and the hip flexors are tightened your pelvis will be moved out of its place. This position of the pelvis and the tightened muscles will cause pulling of the muscles in the lower back. And this is number one health problem for those with tight hips.
Balance Problems and Bad Posture
Since the hip flexors have a role of stabilizing the pelvis, if the hip flexors are weakened, there is a risk of balance problems which will also lead to bad posture.
So try to spend as much time as you can to stretch out your hips. Stretching them will increase mobility in your hips and you’ll also be more strong and powerful for your workouts.
Due to the multiple poses in which you are stretching your hips by opening them, the best way to increase flexibility to your body is by practicing yoga on a regular basis. The following poses are the poses for opening your hips and you can’t have seen many of them on any yoga classes.
However, before you start with this program you should consult with your physician. If you suffer any pain or discomfort while doing these exercises you should stop doing them immediately and consult with your doctor.
First you should lay down on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Then put the right ankle on the left knee like you are making a “number 4”. Keep your hips and your lower back grounded on the mat, then slowly pull your left knee towards your chest. Thread the right hand between your legs while doing this.
Hold your hands tightly around your left knee in order to pull the knee as deep as you can. Bear in mind that if you want to really open up the hip, you should keep the right knee open. Take deep breaths and keep in that position for 30 seconds with each leg.
2. Happy Baby Pose
Place your mat on your floor and lay on your back on it. Bend your legs and gently pull your knees towards your chest. Your palms should be placed on the inside arches of the feet. Pull your feet apart and try to open them a bit wider than your shoulder-width apart. Keep your back firmly pressed on the ground while putting pressure on your feet. Take deep breaths and stay in this position for 30 seconds.
3. Butterfly Pose
Sit down on the mat. Keep your back straight and bend your knees. Place your hands beside your body. Touch the soles of your feet and open your knees to the side as much as you can. Force your muscles to help you open the knees as wide as you can.
You’ll feel stretching in your inner thighs. For deeper stretching, pull your feet a bit harder to yourself, or fold ahead and stretch as much as you can. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
4. Frog Pose
This is a good one, but a bit harder than the previous poses. Be careful not to hurt your knees or ankles. First place both your knees and hands under your shoulders on the floor. Make sure to use a blanket if the mat is not providing you enough support.
Gently open your knees as wide as you can until you feel the stretching in your inner thighs. Widen your knees until you feel pain which you can deal with. During this pose your ankles should be in line with the knees and the feet and calves pressed to the floor. For better results, get on your forearms if you can. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
5. Half Pigeon Pose
Begin this exercise by standing in a running pose. Put your right foot in front of you and place your hands beside your front foot. Place the most of your weight on your hands, slowly slide the front foot under your left hand while lowering your knee to your right.
The outside of the right calf should be placed on the mat in a parallel position with the front of the mat. Gently slide your back knee towards the floor. Try to square your hips while keeping your arms straight and your hands firmly pressed on the floor.
For more intensive stretch, push your forearms towards the floor or those who are a bit more flexible can try to lay down over the front leg. The comfortable pain should be felt in the outer part of your right hip and in your glute. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Then do the same thing on the other side.
Note: If this pose it’s too difficult for you, don’t do it. Do the “Thread the Needle” instead.
6. Double Pigeon Pose
Sit down on the mat with your back straight. Cross your legs, the left one in front of the right one. Use your arms and gently take your left ankle and place it on your right knee. When your hips are tight, the right knee can be a little lifted up off the mat, but if your hips open more, the knee will come closer to the floor.
To make the pose more intensive, slowly walk your hands in front of you. Once you get deep into the stretch, you should hold for 30 second. Then repeat everything with the other leg.
7. Low Lunge
Start this pose like you are preparing for a run, with your right foot upfront and your hands beside the front foot. Slowly lower the back knee and shin towards the floor. Then slowly lift your arms and place them on your thigh, lift up your chest and hold it straight.
Keep your back straight during the whole exercise, because otherwise you won’t achieve the wanted results. If you want to make the stretch more intensive you should raise your hands over your head and lean forward just a little, but without arching your lower back. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then do same on the other side.
8. Crescent Lunge
Get in the runner’s pose one more time. This time the knee is raised off the floor. Slowly get your hands off the floor and place them on your front thigh. Push your hips as lower as you can while you square them to the front of the mat.
Raise your hands over your head so you can feel a stretch in the abdominals. In order to get a deep stretch you should sink and square with your hips as much as you can. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Then do the same on the other side.
Do a few of these poses or do them all. That’s up to you. But make sure to include them in your daily routine and feel the benefits after only a month. You’ll gain mobility, flexibility and strength in both your hips and legs.