As a woman, I hold a lot of tension in my hips. As a runner, I hold a lot of tension in my hips. As someone who does a lot of work on a computer, I hold a lot of tension in my hips.
That’s a whole lot of tension up in there!
As a runner, I am always training to get stronger or faster. That can lead to tight muscles with a smaller range of motion, limited power, and a tendency to get injured more easily. I’ve learned over the years, that the hips really don’t lie. If you have a knee, foot or ankle injury, it usually stems from tightness and/or weakness in your hips. And we all know I’ve had my fair share of those injuries over the past couple of years.
But did you know that stress and negative emotion such as fear, guilt and sadness are held in your hips too?
Thankfully, I like yoga. It’s the perfect recipe for my tight hips.
It never fails when I attend a yoga class and the teacher asks if there are any areas that someone wants to focus on. Hips and Pigeon pose ALWAYS are mentioned. I fully agree – Pigeon is the best. I could stay in that position all day. It feels that good. But there are so many other options besides Pigeon to target the hips.
Here is a list of a few of my favorite yoga hip openers that not only will loosen up your tight hips but help ease the emotional baggage hiding in your pelvis too.
Wide Legged Forward Bend – Not only is the posture great for opening the hips but is great for realigning the spine and stretching out hamstrings. I like to do this posture after running. It can also provide relief from headaches.
Revolved Triangle – Another one that I could stay in for hours. This feels good throughout the whole body. You feel an opening not only in the hips but in the whole side body.
Low Lunge – This pose is great for not only stretching the hips and glutes but it strengthens the hamstrings and quads. It also hits the stretches the difficult to reach tensor fasciae latae at the top of the IT band. All of these areas are essentials for running strong. If you want an extra challenge go up on the toes of your back foot to work on balance.
Lizard Pose – When I first learned this pose, I had no idea why it was called Lizard pose. But look at. I look like a lizard. And lizards must have great hip mobility because this pose stretches your groin and hips like no other. Again, you can have your back knee lifted for a more active pose.
Cow Face Pose Variation – I love this pose so much. If I’m sitting on the floor, you most likely will find me in some variation of this posture. It just feels good on my glutes and hips.
Reclining Big Toe Pose – I like to start with my leg/foot straight up and then progress to moving the leg to the side from the hip joint. A strap isn’t necessary but I find that it can really extend the stretch.
FYI – I am not a yoga teacher. These are poses that I like and work for me. Please do what works for your body and seek professional guidance if needed.
What muscles do you hold the most tension in?
Do you have a favorite yoga posture or stretch?