The Only Hip Openers You'll Ever Need
Why Do I Have Tight Hip Flexors?
Running. Cycling. Squatting. Sitting. Kicking the ball. All of these so-called mannish actions strengthen our muscles and joints through a linear axis, but if we don't counteract this, all the tightening results in tight and restrictive hip flexors.
Tight hip flexors are what stop us from getting down low and playing with the kids kid style. They make our posture akin to the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They are a top contributor to lower back, knee and foot pain. In other words, something worth sorting.
So what if we want to loosen our man-hips? You know, get some free movement in there. What if we ache to be more Ricky Martin than Robocop?
What if our heart’s desire is to salsa the living showboat out of a Saturday night in Soho? All that single-axis man-stuff means diddly-squat when we’re trying to get down.
So, let’s counteract days at the desk. Let’s improve our healthy range of motion, loosen those over-tight hips, improve circulation, alleviate - and even prevent - the onset of back pain. Woop-di-doo the list goes on. So come on, gents. Strike that balance between manlike strength and sexual flexibility to support our bodies and help us feel and dance like a trillion pesos.
A Note From The Safety Manager
As with all exercise, if it hurts stop. Everybody and every body is different, so look after your vessel because it’s the only one you’ve got, mister!
Roll out your Honest Yoga Mat, pull on a pair of yoga pants, and let’s get loose.
5 Yoga Hip Openers for Tight Hip Flexors
Child’s Pose or Balasana
How To Do Child's Pose
Kneel with your knees as wide as the mat and your toes together. Hinge at the hips and lean your upper body forward and your head down towards the mat. Incorporate an upper-back stretch with your arms forward in front of you. Soften your neck. Lovely jubbly.
Take care if you’ve got dodgy knees or diarrhoea (just clarifying)
Eagle Pose or Garudasana
How To Do Eagle Pose
Begin in chair pose – Utkatasana – with a solid connection to the floor through all four corners of your feet. Wrap your right elbow under your left elbow in front of you and bind your wrists to join your palms. Raise your elbows up and out to feel a shoulder opener. Hike your right knee high and then loop your right leg over your left thigh. Drop it and guide the right leg around to tuck the top of your right foot behind your left calf. Sink down as you exhale and go deeper into a one-legged standing position. Oh yes.
Avoid if you’ve knee injuries
Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasana
How To Do Bound Angle Pose
Sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you. Draw your heels one by one towards your special man bits so the soles of your feet are together. If you need to sit on a block, a few newspapers or a hard-backed 1999 Soccer Stars Annual, then go for it. Take your hands to touch the floor behind you and lift your hips to allow a little extra shift forward and deeper into the stretch. Bind your hands in prayer and wrap them around your pinky toes. Extend your spine tall whilst eternally rotating your thighs around, down and back. It’s better than you think, isn’t it?
Not great for bad knees or injured groins
Fire Log Pose or Agnistambhasana
How To Do Fire Log Pose
For tighter hips, you’ll most likely need a cushion here, as this can be a super-big but tasty stretch for the outer hips. Sit on your mat with your legs loosely crossed in front of you. Your front shin should be parallel with the front of your mat. Activate your feet. Take your other leg and stack your outer metatarsal to the inside of the front knee. Can you get there? Take your fingertips to the earth behind you and lengthen your spine. If this pose is too much, try to simply cross your legs at the calf and lift the spine. Alternatively, place a block under each knee to provide support. This is big.
Be mindful if you’ve lower-back pain or the cursed dickey knee syndrome
Supine Pigeon or Supta Kapotasana
How To Do Supine Pigeon Pose
This one works a treat. Lie on your back. Bend your knees - heels close to your butt - and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Reach between your thighs and join your hands around your left hamstrings. Lie flat - extend your spine - and give your hammies a nice hug towards you, while you keep your right knee out. Hold the pose for a good length of time, possibly 30 seconds for beginners, deepening too much longer for experienced practitioners.
Practice vigilance with knee and SI issues
Remember guys, the world doesn’t end at your hips. Global strength and flexibility across the whole of your body are what will serve you best. Use these poses to get relief from over-tight hips or to boost flexibility, but incorporate them as part of a regular and varied movement routine for your whole human.
Keep up the good work and stay moving.
We’ve got this.
Stay safe and stay in the Flow.
Thanks for reading, brothers.
8 Simple Poses for Lower Back Pain
Know Thyself with Socrates
The Importance of a Beginner’s Mind