A lot of internet chatter centers on hip strength. Although hip strength is important, it is vital to balance strength with mobility despite which muscle group we are targeting. During COVID times, a plague of prolonged sitting is wreaking havoc on our muscles and joints. As I write this, I am sitting on a kitchen dining chair: the queen of ergonomic office chairs, as you can imagine. When it comes to sitting too long in poor posture I am guilty as charged. To pay for my transgressions, I’ve put together a four-part stretch routine so we can begin reversing built up hip tightness and return to fluid running and effective strength training.
You’ll notice this routine includes dynamic stretches instead of long holds, so feel free to use these as a warm up to running when your hips are particularly tight! Check out the video and read below for form tips.
The 4 dynamic stretches to unlock your hips
Dynamic ER/IR with overpressure
Form tips: begin in figure four position (laying on back, knees bent, foot over opposite knee). Using arms, push knee away till you feel a gentle stretch, hold for 1-2 seconds, then pull knee toward opposite arm pit, hold for 1-2 seconds. Repeat.
Form tips: begin seated with legs on ground, knees at 80-90 degrees of bend and trunk tall and stable. Rotate to one side through hips and feet. Flex trunk over leading knee and hold for 1-2 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Dynamic frog press away
Form tips: In low squat position, angle feet out at 45 degrees and clasp hands with elbows pressed against inside of knees. Use one elbow to press our on knee, hold for 1-2 seconds before alternating sides.
Half lunge and reach
Form tips: Begin in a kneeling lunge position with raised leg at 90 degrees of hip and knee bend. Squeeze glute of down leg to initiate stretch, then raise arm and reach up to the ceiling as far as you can. Briefly old position with flat back, then trunk bend away from kneeling leg. Hold for 1-2 seconds and repeat.
That’s it, folks! Happy running and happy hips!
- Coach Asher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Asher Kyger Henry, PT, CSCS, PES
Asher is a sports physical therapist, run and strength coach at Dasher Personalized Running. She partners with trail and road runners to create training programs that maximize joy and mitigate injury. Asher’s running accolades include a 5th place finish at the US Half Marathon Championships and four all-American honors in track and cross country.