Flexion, extension, lateral rotation, medial rotation, adduction and abduction are the basic movements of the hip. Hip abduction stretches can provide flexibility in the hips and help prevent sports injuries. Stretching exercises for the hip abductors must be done with care to avoid injury.
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Lying Hip Stretch
The lying hip abductor stretch is performed by lying on the floor on your back. Flex your left leg toward your body, and keep the other leg in an extended position. Keep your back and shoulders on the floor, roll slightly to the right side, and place your hand on your bent leg to deepen the stretch. Feel the stretch along the outside of the hip and thigh, and breathe easily throughout this move. Return to the starting position and repeat for three sets of 10 repetitions.
Alternate Lying Stretch
An alternate method of performing the lying hip stretch is accomplished by lying flat on the floor, with your legs bent at the knees. Place one foot on the floor, and cross your other foot over your knee. Use the weight of your upper leg to move the bottom leg toward the floor, gently. Keep your back and shoulders on the floor while performing this exercise. You should feel a gentle stretch on the outside of the thigh and hip. Return to the starting position, and repeat the move for three sets of 10 repetitions.
The butterfly hip abductor stretch increases strength and flexibility in the hips. Lie on your back, keeping your hips parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders and back firmly planted on the floor during this move, and tuck in your chin. Inhale and raise one leg to your chest, then raise the other leg to your chest. Exhale slowly, and let your legs spread outward, falling apart from each other until you reach the end of your comfortable range of motion. You will feel a stretch, but it should not be painful or very uncomfortable. Inhale again, and slowly move legs back to their starting position, just above the chest. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for maximum benefits.
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