By: Coco Ang, PT
In today’s society, the majority of us spend a good portion of our day sitting. Some may have a sedentary job, but think about some of our hobbies; watching TV, reading, playing board games and using the computer.
What about the times we don’t think about? Such as, sitting in class, doing homework, driving, taking the transit and even when we are eating. When we really think about how often we sit, it is actually a pretty large portion of our day!
In addition to the increased health risk with a sedentary lifestyle, sitting will restrict your hip range of motion! If your hip range of motion is decreased, the ability for your hip muscles to function will also be decreased. This can then lead to further issues such as low back, hip, knee and foot pain all because your hip muscles play a huge role in stability and strength as we perform activities in standing. Dysfunction in your hips will cause other joints and muscles to make compensations and perform tasks they are not meant to do; leading to low back, hip, knee and/or foot pain.
In order to start reversing the negative effects of sitting on hip mobility, here are 3 great hip stretches:
Hip Flexor Stretch
Works on: Hip extension
Note: It is crucial to keep your pelvis in a posterior tilt (think about tucking in your tailbone) so that you do not place extra stress through your low back.
Hip 90/90 Stretch
Works on: Hip internal and external rotation.
Note: You can try placing a yoga block or pillow under your buttock if you find that this stretch is too difficult.
Frog Hip Stretch
Works on: Hip abduction
Note: The further apart your knees, the greater the stretch you will feel in your adductor/groin muscles. If this stretch is too intense, try bringing your knees closer together.
These 3 hip stretches are very effective in opening up the hips to allow your hip muscles to function optimally. So go ahead and give these a try!
Keep in mind that with any stretch, you should not be experiencing any sharp, severe pain; you should only feel a strong pulling sensation. If discomfort other than a stretch is experienced, try shortening up the range or trying some of the suggested modifications!
Need more ideas/strategies to open up your hips? Come into any of SEMI’s clinics and see one of our trained professionals to get the appropriate guidance tailored for your needs!