The 5 best stretches to open your hips before lifting
Original link: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5kon0w
If your hip flexors perpetually feel like two rubber bands ready to snap, you're not alone.
Almost without exception, tight hips are a physical liability among couch potatoes and gym rats alike. Plus, consider that stretching is probably the weakest link in your workout routines. (Be honest: Your prep work probably includes a couple butt kicks, half-hearted hamstring stretches, and maybe some arm swings.)
And here's the thing: Half-assed stretching doesn't just make you laughably bad at yoga;
inflexibility can have some serious consequences for your health
and ability to heave heavy metal. When you're sitting all day—on the bus, train, subway, car, office chair—your hip flexors are shortened and tight, which means they'll need some coaxing to lengthen and loosen up when you finally get on your feet again.
When added into a full warmup, static and dynamic stretching
can elevate exercise performance and reduce your risk for injury, according to a review published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. When your hips are loose, you can sink properly into deep squats, and hinge smoothly during deadlifts. Your performance doesn't suffer, and you're not jerking around like the Tin Man.
To combat tight-as-hell hips, Joe Holder
performance trainer, Nike trainer/run coach, and founder of The Ocho System—turns to five key stretches. These dynamic moves will keep you loose, limber, and ready for anything.
Start with some soft tissue work to massage out any knots and tightness. Foam roll or use a lacrosse ball to work over your quads, groin, adductors, glutes, and more, Holder recommends. Before you start, learn how to do self-massage
and check out the best foam roller moves
. Then move on to the stretches.
Just remember: "You can do all the hip openers you want, but if you're not seeing any improvement in the tightness in your hips, then there's an increased likelihood your hips are protecting you from inefficient core and/or glutes," Holder says. Take note: Your tight hips could be masking a problem originating someplace else in your body, and you may need to address these imbalances and weaknesses to create synchrony in your body.
1. 3D hip opener
What it works: Hip flexors, lower back, trunk
How to do it: Start in half-kneeling position—left leg out in front of you, foot planted, right knee down. You can place a pad underneath your knee if need be. Make sure your right hip is at 90°, and your left knee is underneath your hip.
Courtesy of Joe Holder
Keeping a neutral position (don't let your back arch) and engaging your abs, lightly push forward into your front knee. Make sure your torso stays tall, and you're not just bending into your front knee. Open your back hip, too. Using a scooping motion, starting low, on either side of your legs, raise your arms so your hands reach up toward the ceiling. Hold for 20 seconds.
Courtesy of Joe Holder
Return to the start position. From here, reach your left hand back toward your right heel and stretch your right arm overhead as you bend slightly into your left side. Hold for 20 seconds.
Courtesy of Joe Holder
Return to the start position once more. Lightly push forward into your front (left) leg again as you slowly rotate your torso to the left for 20 seconds.
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