How to Gain Optimal Hip Health

| July 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

The hips are a primary part of the body, being the hinge point between the upper and lower body. Due to its central position in the body, it is important to do exercises that build and maintain hip strength. Weak hip muscles can have a large negative affect on mobility, which may lead to pain in the knees, back, and hips. Set off a cascade of negative changes in your mobility. If your hip muscles are weak, you may experience poor hip motion. The large muscles in this area, such as the gluteus maximus, as well as the hip flexors, should be included in a regular workout regimen.

Loosening Tight Hips
Sitting for long periods of time may result in tight hips and thighs, due to the lack of muscle extension. There are several stretches that can be done to lengthen and strengthen the hip muscles. While a strong lunge is great and stretches out the entire legs, add a twist by lowering your non-dominant knee while placing your hands on the ground. Meanwhile, lower your dominant knee and rest on the outside of your flexed foot. In addition to lunges, you can build hip flexibility by a few lesser-known stretches. For example, the yoga pose called “Happy Baby” helps to open up your hip flexors as you lie on your back, bringing your feet to your chest and pressing the knees to the floor. Stay relaxed in this position while taking deep breaths.

A wide squat is a good way to stretch both hips at the same time. This deep squat, held with your palms together, should also done while taking several deep breaths. This stretch can be the starting point for a wide-legged split by putting your hands on the floor in front of you before eventually resting all of your upper body weight onto your shoulders on the ground. Butterfly stretches also stretch both hips at the same time and are best done with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders.

One particularly intense stretch for the glutes is called the double pigeon. To do this, sit on the floor with your left knee bent up and out to the side so it is parallel with the pelvis, along with the shin and foot. From here, bend the right knee and stack the right leg on your shins and ankles. This should make a triangle with the legs. Relax and breath deeply in this position for 20 seconds.

Increase Mobility
It is also important to improve mobility in the hips by doing hip exercises that your hips through their entire range of motion. Doing mobility exercises for a few minutes each day will result in stronger and more flexible hips.

This is especially important for the elderly. Decreased hip mobility can result in falls, which can be a detriment to a senior’s health. To maintain independence, it is important for seniors to do regular hip exercises to help strengthen them and improve flexibility. Even seniors who are already suffering from hip osteoarthritis can benefit from increased hip mobility.

Reduce Pain
Studies show that various pains can be reduced by strengthening your hips, which also leads to better body mechanics. The IT band, running down the outside of the leg, helps to stabilize your knee joint while you are moving. A common injury is IT band syndrome, which happens when this ligament becomes inflamed, which can be caused by tight hip muscles.

Exercising the hips can not only reduce knee pain, but also relieve IT band syndrome. Body pain can originate from a different source, such as in the case of knee pain due to hip weakness. The mechanics of the hips and back and legs are all united, so each area has an affect on the others.

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