There’s nothing worse than standing up after a long day of desk-sitting and experiencing that tight, achy feeling in your hips. Stiffness in the hip area is common if you have a pretty sedentary lifestyle, but one way to ease this is by simply incorporating some easy stretches into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be mundane and time-consuming either, as this one stretch can bring your hips some instant relief.
Pride Plus Health says: “Prolonged sitting places the hip flexors, which are the muscles at the top and front aspect of your thigh, into a shortened position. As a result, these muscles can become tight and weak, which ultimately leads to hip pain.” This is why doing some simple stretches and mobility work (moves that increase the range of movement of your body) is so important for our body’s overall health. The more you do this, the less likely you’ll suffer from aches and pains in the future.
This stretch, shared by Nike Yoga Trainer Xochilt Hoover, is what’s known as the ‘figure four’ stretch. In the video, Xochilt says it specifically targets the muscles that help with hip movements, such as the outside of your hips and glutes. It’s ideal for doing at home, or you could incorporate it into your stretch routine at the end of your workout. All you need is an exercise or yoga mat and a wall. Here’s what you need to do:
- Lie on your back and place your feet against the wall, so your legs are at a 90 degree angle.
- Take your ankle and place it across your opposite thigh and hold it here for 15 seconds.
- Gently push down on your knee for an even deeper stretch.
I gave this stretch a go myself, and let me tell you, it was GREAT. I’ve done a similar stretch before, but without my feet being placed on a wall. However, I definitely feel the wall, firstly, makes this easier and, secondly, allows you to get into a deeper stretch because you’re more stable. I set a timer for 15 seconds on one side and then repeated it on the other and did this twice. Warning: you can find yourself getting carried away with your timer because the stretch does feel so nice, so maybe try and schedule it when you actually have a good 10 minutes spare. It’s definitely firmly added to my bank of stretches for the foreseeable.