During regular training and daily work, the hips are often overlooked. Unfortunately, the hip muscles in people who sit many hours a day at the desk become very firm. This can cause discomfort to the lower back, sciatica and knees. Stretching the piriformis muscles and hip flexors can help relieve tension and pain. The piriformis muscle is a pear-shaped muscle that begins at the base of the spine and extends through the ischial bone to the femur. The Piriformis and other rotators allow you to spread your legs sideways and straighten your hips correctly. They also protect your knees and back. You can properly train these muscles by adding hip-stretching exercises to your daily exercise program.
Method. 1 Stretching exercises of the hip while sitting
- Sit on an exercise mat or on a soft rug. Make sure you wear loose or elastic clothing for these stretching exercises.
- Bend your knees outward as if you wanted to sit cross-legged. The outside of your legs should be in contact with the ground all the time.
- Put your soles together and push them on the floor as far as possible towards your groin.
- Sit very straight and lean forward until you feel a stretch on the insides of your groin.
- Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the exercise. Increase the duration of the stretch as you become more flexible and can lean forward.
- This exercise is especially helpful for people who practice lateral or direct splits.
Method. 2 Elongation of the hips while lying down
- Lie flat on your back. Choose either an exercise mat or a weight-lifting bench as a support. Your legs should be as straight as possible when you stretch them.
- Bend your right leg and then place both hands behind the back of your right thigh near your knee.
- Pull the thigh to your chest.
- Hold your thigh for 10 to 30 seconds. Move the right leg slowly back to the bent position.
- Stretch your right leg gently and then bend your left leg. Repeat this stretch on the left side.
- Repeat the stretching two to three times and work to keep the stretch for a longer period of time.
Method. 3 Stretching of the hip in a kneeling position
- Knee with your left leg on a pillow or a padded mat on the floor. Your right leg is bent in front of you. The foot is aligned parallel to the hip.
- Tighten your left gluteal muscle. This muscle tension will relax the hip flexor so it can be stretched. Put your hands on your right knee and keep your back straight.
- Move your right leg to a step position and hold your left knee on the pillow. Allow an extension of your left knee forward. Gently press your arms away from your right knee and keep your back straight. Keep your knee behind or in line with your ankle. Hold the step stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Pull back your right knee and return to its normal starting position. Tighten your right knee so that you kneel with both knees on the pillow and then change your legs. Bring your left knee forward.
- Repeat the stretching twice on each side and hold it for 10 to 30 seconds each time. Increase the duration of the stretch as you become more flexible.
Method. 4 Stretching of the hips while standing
- Find a table or handrail that is about waist level. It should be a very stable table.
- Shift your weight to your left leg and bend your right knee. Place it on the table.
- Turn your right knee so that it is positioned in front of your right hip. Your right foot should, however, be positioned in front of your left hip. Your right leg should be bent at a 90 ° angle.
- Support yourself by placing both hands on the side of your right knee and right foot on the table. Stand very straight.
- Exhale and slowly lean forward to your left leg while keeping your back straight. Keep your hips horizontal and your left leg straight.
- Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Then slowly return to the neutral position. Change legs and repeat the exercise with your left leg. Repeat this stretch twice on each side. As your flexibility increases, you can hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Breathe deeply when stretching, otherwise your body will become tense. Your blood pressure will increase and you will not feel the full effect of stretching.
- Do not stretch too hard. Often, it is a false assumption that says the more you stretch yourself, the more flexible you become. However, this only leads to injuries. It is better to stretch for a longer time and repeat the exercise more often, even if it is not a very intense stretch.
- Pay attention to the strength of your muscles. Your two sides are not equal and you will probably find out that one side is stronger than the other. Keep the stretch on this side longer or repeat each stretch exercise on the firmer, weaker side a second time to balance the two sides.
- Although all stretches aim to increase the flexibility of your muscles, the exercises are different in that they last longer or are more often performed to achieve a significant improvement in flexibility over time.
- If you perform these hip stretches in preparation for splits and combine them with the sprain extensions, you should be able to perform a splits over a period of six months to two years.
Although the stretching exercises can be a bit uncomfortable, they should not cause any pain. If they are very painful, you should end the stretch slowly and carefully.
What you need
- exercise mat
- Loose clothes
- Stable table