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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOK BENTEN JIMENEZ
Tight hips are more than just a nuisance associated with sitting too much. They can affect everything from your posture (tilting your pelvis forward), to low back pain (since it’s your buns and back that counter the hips), to shortening your stride and slowing your 5K goal time! (If you’re over 40 and about to start running for the first time, here are 8 things you need to know.)
To ease the perils of tight hips, try this series of four feel-good stretches that will take you from standing to kneeling to lying down. Hold each of the following stretches for 20 seconds (on each side, when applicable), and try to commit to doing the series three or four days a week to notice a difference.
1/4 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOK BENTEN JIMENEZ
This yoga-based move opens your chest and shoulders and improves your balance while stretching your hip on each side.
Stand on one foot, then lift and bend the other into a hamstring curl. Grip the raised foot from the inside (palm facing out) with the same-side hand.
- Press the top of your foot firmly into your palm and lift up. The higher you lift, the deeper the stretch will feel.
2/4 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOK BENTEN JIMENEZ
This exercise strengthens your lower back as you open your hips. Because the head falls backward, it is not recommended to try this move if you have low blood pressure. (Also note, if you have high blood pressure and take medication, you could experience dizziness coming out of this pose and may want to avoid it.)
- Kneel with a wall or pillar behind you, knees hips-width apart and toes touching the wall.
- Arch your back to lean back while keeping your hips stacked over your knees. Take your arms overhead and touch your palms into the wall behind you. This bend does not need to be extremely deep to feel a great stretch in the hips and strength in the lower back.
3/4 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOK BENTEN JIMENEZ
This move uses the bones in your forearms to prop your hips up. If you need even more leverage, prop a couple of pillows under your elbows. (Bridge is also a great exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor, and one of these 7 exercises you should do to have mind-blowing sex!)
- Lay supine (belly up) on the ground with knees bent and feet grounded, hips-width apart.
- Lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Place your hands at your lower back, just above your butt, and keep your elbows grounded. Relax your body weight on your hands to sink into this hips stretch while gently strengthening the lower back.
4/4 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BROOK BENTEN JIMENEZ
Like the name suggests, this move uses the weight of your body to keep all other parts hunkered down while you pry a tight hip open on one side (then repeat on the other).
- Lay prone (belly down) on the ground with arms out at shoulder height, palms facing down. (Keeping your arms out will help to glue your body to the ground as you twist.)
- Lift one leg, bend your knee, and reach that foot towards the outside of your hip on the other side.
Trainer Tip: If you find it difficult to keep the other hip grounded while prying in laying position, try this move on all 4s (see picture above).
For more information, please click here:https://www.prevention.com/fitness/stretches-to-ease-tight-hips/slide/4