Hip flexor stretches and lower back

These 5 Stretches Will Help Loosen the Hips and Prevent Back Pain

Tight hips? Do these hip flexor stretches to loosen your hips and prevent lower back pain. 

Your hips are one area that’s susceptible to tightness, stiffness, and compression. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time sitting. 

It’s also one body part that often gets neglected in workouts and gym exercise routines until stiffness creeps up on you. 

A sedentary lifestyle is often a cause of tightness in hip flexors and limited mobility and flexibility. When the hip flexors are stiff and compressed, it leads to pain in other areas of your body like your back. 

If your work involves sitting for hours at a time, it’s time to stretch out your body. 

Stretching your body consistently helps you combat stiffness and lengthen the compressed muscles. It’ll also help prevent back pain and bring relief. 

Make it a habit to spend some time stretching your body, especially your hip flexors and back. 

If you don’t know where to start, begin with these 5 hip flexor stretches that’ll help you improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. Best of all, your back will feel so much better. 

1. Bodyweight Bridge

Bodyweight Bridge
  • Start on your back on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your feet flat and rest your hands at your sides. 
  • Pressing the pelvis into the floor, lift your hips off the floor until your knees, glutes, and shoulders are in a straight line. Be sure not to overextend your back and squeeze your glutes while pressing up the pelvis. 
  • Hold your bridge position for 1-2 seconds before returning to the start position. Compete for 8-10 reps for the dynamic glute bridge. 
  • To perform the bridge hold, hold the top position for longer and complete fewer reps.

2. Low Lunge

Low Lunge
Image credit // Lifehack.org
  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) to Down Dog
  • Step your right foot forward and plant your foot between your hands. 
  • Gently place your left knee on the ground and untuck your toes, placing the top of your left foot on your mat. 
  • Square off your hips, drawing your left hip forward and right hip back. 
  • Inhale and lift your torso, reaching your arms overhead.
  • To feel more of a stretch in your left hip flexor, keep your tailbone tucked, rather than letting your pelvis sink down toward the floor. This will also lengthen rather than compress the lumbar spine. 
  • Hold your Low Lunge for a few breaths. When ready to exit the pose, return your hands to your mat and step your right foot back to Downward Dog. Repeat low lunge with your left foot forward. 

3. Lizard

  • Begin in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) 
  • Step your right foot forward along the outer edge of your yoga mat, to the outside of your right hand. 
  • Lower your back knee down gently, and place the top of the foot on the floor. 
  • As you exhale, let your pelvis sink down toward the floor. If possible, come down onto your elbows, placing your forearms on the floor. 
  • Stay in Lizard Pose for a few slow, deep breaths, releasing a little more tension with each exhale. 
  • To exit the pose, plant your palms on your mat and step your right foot back to Downward Dog. Repeat Lizard Pose on your left side, stepping the other foot forward.

4. Half Pigeon Pose

Half Pigeon Pose
  • Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Bring the right leg forward. Rotate your lower leg so that your right knee comes toward your right wrist, your right ankle behind your left wrist. 
  • Gently place the right lower leg on the mat. If your hips are already open, your right shin may be parallel to the shorter edge of your mat, with your foot just behind your left wrist. If your hip joint is tighter, your shin may be more at an angle, with your front ankle placed somewhere in front of your left hip and behind your left wrist. 
  • Be mindful of any feelings of discomfort in your right knee here. If you have any pain issues in your knee, try the Reclined Pigeon version of this pose. Reclined pigeon pose
  • Keep the left leg extending back, with the top of the foot on your mat. 
  • Place your hands on either side of your legs and come up onto your fingertips. As you inhale, lengthen the spine and reach the crown of your head up towards the sky.
  • On your exhale, walk your hands forward, bringing your forearms to the floor. Drop your forehead towards the floor and relax the back of the neck. 
  • After several slow breaths, bring your hands to your mat in front of your front shin. Straighten your arms, lift your torso, and press yourself back into a tabletop position. Repeat Pigeon Pose on your left side

5. Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose
Image credit // Lifehack.org
  • Begin seated on your yoga mat. Bring the soles of your feet and let your knees fall open.
  • Take ahold of your ankles and sit up tall. Feel your sitting bones grounded on the floor and reach the crown of your head towards the sky. 
  • Use your core muscles and the muscles of the back to keep your spine straight and long, and avoid rounding the lumbar spine. 
  • If you have super tight hips, try placing a yoga block under each knee for some extra support. 
  • If holding Bound Angle for a long time in a deeper stretch, you might want to sit on a folded blanket for a little extra cushion. 
  • When you are ready, release your butterfly by extending both legs in front of you. 

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