Your hip muscles aid in the movement of both legs and contribute greatly to your balance. When your hip muscles become tight from inactivity or stiffness, you might experience poor balance and pain when walking. Loosening your hip muscles will alleviate this pain and improve your overall balance when walking, standing or running. Performing a set of stretches regularly will allow you to loosen tight hip muscles over time.
- Skill level:
Take a hot bath prior to stretching to allow your muscles to loosen. Soak for at least 30 minutes before changing into comfortable clothing to stretch.
Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position and lean forward until you feel a stretch in one side of your hips. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching the cross-legged position to bring the opposite leg on top. Stretch forward once more and hold for 30 seconds to stretch the other side of your hips.
Uncross your legs and place the bottoms of your feet together, pulling them in toward your hips as far as is comfortable. Lean forward slightly until you feel a stretch in your hips and hold this position for 45 seconds. Release the position and straighten your legs out in front of you.
Lie down flat on your back and bring one knee to your chest. Wrap your hands around your leg, interlacing your fingers over your knee. Pull your leg into your chest until you feel a stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before releasing and repeating with the other leg.
Repeat the bathing and stretching process once daily.
Tips and warnings
- Always consult with your physician before beginning a new stretching routine.
- As your hips become less tight, you can increase the repetitions of each stretch.
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