Strengthen Hip Flexors for Less Pain (and a Toned Butt)

Hips are often overlooked in fitness programs, but your workout can include exercises to give your hips and lower back a break from the pain that comes from constant sitting. The flexor muscles that stabilize the hip joint and allow your body to hinge are tightened and shortened if you spend a lot of time sitting. Tightness diminishes the effectiveness of your workout. Your alignment is thrown off and your hips do more work than they are supposed to during sit-ups or leg lowers. Running is difficult because the glutes and hamstrings are harder to activate. Your knees will feel stress when you run because the front side of your body is working harder than the back side.

The more you can move around during the day, the better off your hips will be. When you’re not working out, try some glute squeezes when you’re just standing around. These exercises can open and strengthen the hip flexor muscles, and you’ll also see a tightened butt as a bonus.

Instructions: Repeat each move 8 times for one set.  Rest 30 seconds in between each set. Do three to four sets of each move before moving on to the next exercise. Alternatively, for a daily stretch, perform six reps of each move, proceeding from one to the next and resting as needed.

Rear Diagonal Lunge

How to: Start with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out in front of you. Step one foot back on a diagonal with your feet flat. Once your foot touches the floor, lower into a shallow lunge. Keep your knee bent and butt back, twist your pelvis, and rotate your arms back behind your body until they frame the knee. Return to starting position. That’s one rep. Do eight reps on each side. Do three to four sets before moving on to the next move, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.

Step Back & Reach

How to:  With your feet flat and your legs straight, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot back behind your body while stretching your right hand up overhead at the same time and keeping your hips parallel. Step your right foot back up to starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat eight times on each side. Do three to four sets before moving on to the next move, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.

Step Back Wide

How to: With your feet flat on the ground and legs straight, begin with your left foot back behind your body. Take one step farther away from your body with the back foot while engaging the glutes. Next reach overhead with the opposite arm and stretch through the side of your body. Return to your starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat eight times on each side. Do three to four sets before moving on to the next move, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.

Inward Back Step with Overhead Reach

How to: Start by standing with one foot about a foot’s distance behind the other, hips in line. Your feet should be flat, and your legs should be straight. Cross the back foot behind the front one as you reach your arm on the same side overhead. Return to starting position. That’s one rep. Do eight reps on each side. Do three to four sets before moving on to the next move, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.

Read More: Hip Pain Is Becoming an Epidemic Among Young, Fit Women

 

 

 

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