Best Hip Stretch Routine For BeginnersJan 10, 2022
As a beginner when you first start going to yoga classes it can be a rude shock to discover your body cant do most of the things that come up in a basic class. There is nothing complicated about most yoga positions and if you watched somebody proficient perform the basic poses they would make it look easy.
Your body is capable of a huge range of mobility and there would have been a time (it may have been a long, long, long, time ago) that you could have got into these positions too. But. If you have been living a life lacking movement the basics won’t seem so basic. Both lack of movement and time are not your friend.
As you are going about your daily business it’s likely your movement patterns are fairly limited. Maximum limited is doing nothing. 25% of Americans report dedicating zero minutes to a physically active pursuit. That’s a lot of people doing nothing. If you are part of the group getting some exercise done every day (at least 30 minutes) good on you. That movement however is likely to be limited in its range. For Eg Running, walking, and most movements in the gym are quite limited. Doing nothing and limited range of movement is why you get tight and stiff. The thing is you might not feel tight and stiff doing the things you always do. You have some ability to do those things. It’s when you have to use your body in a different way that you can run into big trouble.
This brings me back to yoga. Yoga has a great variety of movement in it. Yoga is how you improve your mobility. The positions are basic but if you haven’t had your body in these kinds of positions for a while it won’t feel basic. Bending over with your legs straight is a basic move. Squatting down is a basic move. Standing on your hands and feet at the same time (down dog) is a basic move.
I refer to the positions as basic as a potential motivating factor to help the beginner persevere. I’d like you to think. “I should be able to do this” and use this as a drive to get on top of it. You should be able to crouch down. You should be able to bend over.
A beginner to yoga will find the biggest problems coming from their legs. The tightness and lack of movement in the hips is an uber common problem. I teach many, many yoga classes and I can confidently say 99 out of 100 people would state emphatically that their hips are tight. The basic yoga positions will be difficult at first because of this problem. Unlocking the hips could quite possibly change your life.
I want you to know I understand the tight hip problem intimately because I was once part of the 99 people sitting on the wall with tight hips :) I was going to yoga classes, feeling the benefits of consistently getting to class and generally feeling great but I realised after a while I need to do some extra work on my own to really make progress. Below is an example of some of the poses I used. These are the best beginner stretches because they require zero yoga experience and are easy to do. All you need is time and commitment to focus on improving your mobility every day.
Position 1 Above - This will help stretch your lower back and muscles around the hips. Place your feet together. Have your feet forward away from the hips. Lean forward. Have your hands out in front. Don’t pull on your feet. Try and relax here. Let the knees drop out to the side heavily. This can also be an excellent stretch for the lower back and muscles that run up either side of the spine. Hold. 5 mins.
Position 2 Above - This will help your hip joint on the front leg and the hip flexors on the back leg. Place a foot on the side edge of the mat. Take the other leg back. Find a position where you can use your arms to take some of the weight out of your legs, especially the front leg/hip. You are trying to relax as best as possible in this position. Experiment with either being up high on your arms with them straight or down lower on your forearms. You can also move around a little bit varying how you feel it on the front leg. Hold both sides for 5 minutes.
Position 3 Above. This will help stretch the back of your legs. Take one of your legs out in front of you. Put a small bend in your knee. Use your arms to take some of the weight out of the leg. Use some yoga blocks if it’s difficult to get your hands to the ground. Hold both sides for 5 minutes.
Position 4 Above - This will help stretch your inner thighs and muscles around the hips. Lie on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together. Your legs should feel relaxed here. Let the knees drop out to the side. Hold 5 minutes.
Consistency Is Key To Progress
To make progress and feel the change you will need to do the sequence above or some other stretch routine every day. It's as important as exercise.
This sequence will help you feel more relaxed, relieve hip pain and improve mobility. Putting on some music can be a nice way to enhance the relaxation element. You can find a Spotify playlist here that will be perfect to set the vibe.
If you are curious about making more progress with tight hips and understand consistency is key you can check out the Greatest Hips Videos Series Here. The Greatest Hips Video Series is 30 short classes all focused on opening tight hips. You will find a huge amount of hip exercises perfect for beginners to advanced. Use the discount code APRIL20 at checkout to save 20% in April.