So your hips divide and unite the lower and upper part of your body and with such a huge role to play in our mobility, we ought to give them all the TLC in the world.
You bend down because your hips allow it, you lift your legs because your hips permit it...but....
A study performed by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (the first in the US to perform total hip replacement), tells us that 2.5 Million Americans underwent hip replacement in 2010 alone with women leading this study. And that number is growing....
Not surprisingly, keeping the hip joints 'oiled' is the way to go to prevent getting stiffness associated with osteoarthritis, the leading reason for hip replacement in the first place.
When you walk into a yoga class, and the teacher asks the students what would you like to focus on during the practice? 9/10 times students respond "HIPS" (a close runner up is lower back which I'll cover next). Our growing sedentary lives is causing a problem to our hips.
SO LET'S GET MOVING....I practice yoga every day and the first part of my body that gets my attention are my hips...Anyone of my teachers will tell you "Nathalie is always to be found in FROG pose at the start of class"...Yep. It feels soooooo good....OK give it a few tries at least...
Here are my favorite hips openers from easy to slightly less easy...
Video 1: Frog Pose (left)
Important notes: Using pads for your knees and being on a wooden floor allows your knees to slide sideways as you relax into the pose rather than pulling on the knee cap.
Make sure the knee and foot are at 90 Degree angles, press the upper body back rather than forward...you will feel the difference.
Video 2: Glute Max stretch (Runners stretch) Left video
Keep your back straight and press on blocks (or books) to facilitate the pelvic tilt. Try and get your upper body and close to your foot as possible and your knee pushing forward.
Video 3: hamstring and hip flexor stretch (lower right video)
Use a slippy surface and knee/foot pads (you'll notice I use bra pads!) and start sliding your feet apart. The blocks help me keep my shoulders stacked on top of my shoulders. Keep the movement fluid and stay within the range of motion that feels challenging but good. Step by step...
Feel free to contact me for more, Namaste :)