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”

The Benefits of Cardio Exercise

References from topfitness.com & darebee.com

If you are new to working out or returning to the gym, deciding what kind of exercises you should do can be overwhelming. While it doesn’t hurt to try a little bit of everything, there are some exercises that will be more beneficial toward your goals. For instance, cardio is one of the best and most popular types of exercises people perform. However, a lot of people also despise cardio in any form. Even though you may not find the physical activity of cardio enjoyable, it has a lot of major health benefits—discover a few reasons to start doing cardio.

GREAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS

One of the main reasons why people adopt a cardio exercising routine is because it can help you lose weight. Cardio is a great exercise for those looking to slim down because it helps you burn fat and lose calories. While diet is more instrumental in weight loss, you will want to work cardio into your routine to further advance your goal to shed a few pounds. This is because cardio can burn hundreds of calories in a session.

STRENGTHENS YOUR HEART

Cardiovascular relates to the heart and blood cells, so when you perform a cardio exercise such as running or biking, you strengthen your heart. This is due to the fact that cardio exercise makes your heart rate accelerate and properly pump blood. As a result, this strengthens your heart, which is arguably one of the most important organs of your body.

 

REDUCES THE RISK OF SEVERAL DISEASES

Cardio exercise also helps reduce the risk of several deadly diseases. Roughly 1.5 million people suffer from heart attacks and strokes annually in the United States. Cardio exercise is one way you can reduce the risk of heart attacks and disease along with their underlying causes such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many people also suffer from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and fitting in time for physical activity like cardio can also help you prevent these diseases.

IMPROVES LUNG CAPACITY

Many people tend to shy away from cardio because it can be tough to breathe as you perform the exercise. However, that heavy breathing you are experiencing is actually improving your lungs. Cardio will increase your lung capacity as you push your breathing ability to the limit during a tedious workout.

NATURALLY BOOSTS ENERGY

It is quite common for people to consume energy drinks and coffee throughout the day to stay alert. Other people can’t get through a day without taking a long nap. But these methods can be harmful to your health if you overdo them. A healthier option is cardio exercise. It can naturally boost your energy, which is why many people start their day off with some cardio in the early hours of the morning. When our body goes through an activity that requires energy, such as running, it releases endorphins. These increased endorphin levels, in turn, boost our energy.

GREAT FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Since cardio exercise releases endorphins, another benefit is that it simply makes you feel good afterward. Cardio is a healthy way to combat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or stress. Many people have coined the feeling one experiences after physical conditioning as a “runners high.” Aside from the endorphins, as you are doing cardio, you are challenging yourself mentally. There are bound to be many times throughout your workout when you feel like you may quit. Pushing through a tough workout and eventually finishing gives you a great sense of accomplishment and leads to a natural “high” you may feel afterward. When you get into the routine of doing cardio exercise, you will start to feel better about yourself overall and improve your confidence.

BETTER SLEEP

Many professionals recommend you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night; however, a lot of people do not accomplish this. This results in low energy that can make the day a huge pain to get through. For many, good sleep is difficult to come by simply because it’s hard to fall asleep. When you add cardio to your lifestyle, you will begin to experience a higher quality of sleep. With cardio as part of your day, you’re sure to feel tired come the evening, which is right before going to bed. In turn, this will make it far easier to get in bed and fall asleep at a reasonable hour.

HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Nobody wants to get sick. You may not be able to afford to miss work or have an important event coming up. The worst thing about getting sick is that it often happens out of nowhere, perhaps at the most inconvenient time. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Cardio exercise can help your immune system fight any bacterial infections you may be vulnerable to because it changes your antibodies and white blood cells. With regular cardio exercise, the antibodies or white blood cells in your body will move around faster and gain a better ability to find potential illnesses.

Bottom Line

Adding 20 minutes of cardio to your daily routine three to five days a week comes with all these incredible health benefits. Plus, it doesn’t need to be boring. You can add in plenty of variation, so your cardio workouts won’t feel so overwhelming. Further, you can easily choose the intensity at which you perform cardio exercises.

The main point is that we are not meant to sit around all day—we need to keep our bodies active and moving. Cardio is one of the best ways to remain fit and treat your body as a temple. Additionally, it’s one of the easier exercises to compete because you can do it outside, at the gym, or at home.

Here are some great at-home cardio workouts:

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