How to stretch your tight hips!

Resources from healthline.com

Many people have tight hips, from people who spend several hours a day sitting to regular gym-goers and professional athletes. Some people are more prone to tightness in that area of their body, too. Tight hips may put you at increased risk for injury due to the increased demands on tissues that aren’t moving properly.

Read on to learn more about tight hips and what you can do to relax these muscles.

1. Foam roller stretch

You can use a foam roller to loosen up tight hips.

  1. Lie face down, with your foam roller beneath and slightly below your right hip.
  2. Place your left leg to the side with the knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Rest your forearms on the ground in front of you to take some of your body weight off of your hip. This will make the stretch less painful.
  4. Stretch your right leg straight out behind you, with your toes pointed backward and the front of your foot flat against the ground
  5. Slowly move backward and forward over the foam roller.
  6. For an extra stretch, add some side-to-side movement as you roll.
  7. Continue for up to 30 seconds. As you roll, identify any trigger points, or points that feel extra tight or painful. You can focus on those areas for about 10 seconds to relieve some of the tightness.
  8. Repeating with your left hip.

2. Kneeling hip flexor stretch

You can do this stretch daily to help loosen your hip flexor.

  1. Kneel on your right knee.
  2. Put your left foot on the floor with your left knee at a 90-degree angle
  3. Drive your hip forward. Maintaining a straight back, lean your torso forward.
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 5 times with each leg, trying to increase your stretch each time.

3. Pigeon stretch

This stretch is commonly seen in yoga practices. It can be used daily to improve mobility in your hip flexor.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  2. Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist.
  3. Place your right ankle in front of your left hip.
  4. Straighten your left leg behind you, making sure your left knee is straight and your toes are pointed.
  5. Keep your hips square.
  6. Gently lower yourself to the ground.
  7. Stay in this position for up to 10 seconds.
  8. Release the position by pushing on your hands, lifting your hips, and moving the legs back into your starting position on all fours.
  9. Repeat on the other side.

4. Spiderman stretch

The spiderman stretch can help warm up your body before a workout, or it can be used on its own or alongside other hip flexor stretches.

  1. Begin in the push-up position.
  2. Step forward with the left foot, bringing it to the outside of your left hand.
  3. Stretch the hips forward.
  4. Hold this position for two seconds, then return to start.
  5. Repeat five times to complete one rep.
  6. Repeat with the right leg.
  7. Perform three reps with each leg.

5. Butterfly stretch

This is a great stretch to practice after a workout or if you need a break from sitting in a chair.

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bring the soles of your feet together, and then move your heels as close to your body as you can.
  3. Lean forward with a straight back.
  4. Push on your thighs with your elbows for a deeper stretch.
  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

6. Horizontal squat stretch

This stretch can also help loosen your back muscles.

  1. Begin with your elbows and knees on the floor, and your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Walk your knees as far apart as you can and lengthen the spine.
  3. Lower your upper body onto your forearms as you draw your hips back and down.
  4. Hold for up to 60 seconds.

7. Sitting stretch

This is a great stretch to try at your desk if you work in an office. You can also do this one while watching television or riding in a car or on an airplane.

  1. Sit on a chair with your back straight.
  2. Place your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. Fold your torso forward until you feel a gentle stretch.
  4. Hold for up to 60 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

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Interested in more blog posts about stretching? Check out “How to Improve your Posture” and “10 Stretches to Help Keep your Body Healthy”

How to set an achievable goal

What if I fail? fly?

Resources from tonyrobbins.com

With the arrival of the New Year, there is no better time to focus on your health. Many people will set New Year’s resolutions this year, but only a few will keep them. Ready to leave New Year’s resolutions behind? Don’t give up on them yet, research shows that setting goals is still the best way to get results. People who set goals are much more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.

Having a plan and not relying just on willpower will help you be more successful in keeping your New Year’s goals. If you have struggled with a goal in the past, then it might be better to take a step back before taking a step forward. Understanding how you got where you are will help you with a plan to be successful in the future. Before setting your New Year’s goals this year, first ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do you want the change? 
  • What is it going to do for you? 
  • What has been holding you back? 
  • What will happen if I don’t make a change? 

Choosing goals that have personal meaning while also understanding the barriers or challenges that have prevented you from reaching your goals in the past will be key to your success this time around. Now that you understand your WHY, here are a few more helpful tips for setting healthy goals this New Year!

Goal Setting Tips

1. Perform a brainstorming session. Give yourself six minutes to brainstorm a list of anything you’d like to achieve, create, do, have, give and/or experience in the next 20 years. Write as many things down as fast as you can in this time.

2. Refine your goals. Setting deadlines is crucial to the goal-setting process. Go back through your list and write one, three, five, 10 or 20 years next to each goal to indicate how long it will take to achieve them.

3. Review your list. Go over what you’ve written. Choose your top four one-year goals. These are goals that truly excite you. Write a paragraph for each goal explaining why you will absolutely achieve this goal within the next 12 months.

4. Evaluate your goals. Are your goals specific? Measurable? Achievable? Realistic? Do they have a specific timeframe? These are the components of a SMART goal. You set SMART goals with purpose and intention, making them more concrete and easier to achieve.

How to make it happen

1. Visualize accomplishing your goals. Visualization is a powerful activity. When you visualize your goals on a daily basis as if you’ve already achieved them, you align your purpose and values with your actions. 

2. Share your goals. Find a friend, family member or another person you trust and share your list of goals with them. You can also share the list with a mentor or life coach. Sharing your list will make you more accountable and give you a partner who will work with you through frustrations or roadblocks. The right partner can help you transform obstacles into opportunities and stay on track.

3. Keep your goals visible. Where focus goes, energy flows, so it’s critical to focus on your goals. Tape them on the mirror in your bathroom or pin them to the wall next to your computer. If your goals involve adopting a healthy diet and losing weight, put them on the front of your refrigerator or a kitchen cabinet.

4. Regularly review your goals. Have a set schedule to review both short- and long-term goals. This helps you track progress as well as determine what activities are helping you and which are hindering you. It’s important to know when alterations to your course are necessary: Stay flexible and make changes where necessary.

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