Hip tightness is a common ailment these days, with so many of us sitting at desks, in cars, or on the couch. When we sit, our hip flexors remain in a shortened, or flexed, position, causing stiffness and soreness. The rear muscles — the glutes — also remain immobile.
Our hips are the main point of energy transfer and impact much of the rest of our bodies, including our spine and legs. As such, tight hips can lead to back issues, shoulder pain, and even headaches. Spending even a few minutes each day on these vital joints and muscles will have your whole body saying "thank you!".
This strength move has the added benefit of engaging your core muscles. To begin, stand feet together. Step forward with your left foot and bend the front knee while keeping the back leg straight; step out far enough that you're feeling the stretch through the top of the right thigh. For deeper hip action, place your right hand on a stool, block, or the floor and twist your upper body to the left to face your front knee. Extending your left arm enhances the stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds — remember to breathe — and repeat on the other side.
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