It’s no secret that sitting at a desk all day won’t do wonders for your posture, flexibility or even your health in general. To counter this, try these stretches to keep your limbs long, lean and limber!
A common issue experienced by those who sit for 4 or more hours a day are tight hip flexors – a problem which basically makes it hard for you to flex your hips.
Whether you’re an active yogi, love running or – ya’ know – just want to walk up stairs with ease, it’s important to have mobility in this area.
Hip Flexors 101
The hip flexors are a group of muscles that start at your lower back and come all the way round to the front of your thigh. Just like the names suggests, they flex your hip joint when you walk, run or sprint up a hill.
When these are strong and mobile it makes moving, and therefore life, so much easier. This might sound dramatic, but if you’re used to going up stairs two at time then all of a sudden can’t, you’ll quickly realise how important these muscles are.
Putting the FLEX in Flexibility
When sitting all day the hip flexors become shortened and compress the discs in your lower back which can lead to lower back pain, slouching or hunching forward. Stretching them out will make them more mobile, helping you move with ease.
Keeping your hip flexors, as well as the rest of your body flexible, will help:
- Reduce muscle tension and soreness post-workout
- Reduce the risk of injury during a workout
- Develop and maintain an optimal Range of Motion around a joint
- Improve athletic performance
- Enhance mental and physical relaxation
- Improve sports movements such as sprinting and weightlifting
- Make everyday activities such as unloading a dishwasher much easier (and safer!)
6 Stretches For Stiff Hip Flexors
In just 2 minutes a day you can do a world of good for your hips by stretching and improving their mobility.
The following exercises are all doable at your desk in the office, or you can do them before bed to loosen any tension from the day!
Standing Leg Swings
Swinging your legs backwards and forwards will slowly loosen your hamstring and hip flexors – both of which are important if you sit down a lot.
Holding onto your desk or the back of a chair, do a slow backward lunge making sure to tilt your pelvis forward. For a deeper stretch, hold the lunge at the bottom for longer. Do this 10 times on each side.
Standing Knee Raise
Draw your tummy in and raise one knee at a time. This will strengthen the hip flexors if you hold your knee off the ground and do the reps slowly.
Elevated Mountain Climber
With your hands on your bed or desk in a pushup position, slowly bring altering knees to chest. This is a great 2-in-1 stretch as it strengthens both the abs and hip flexors!
Hold a chair side on and bend your front knee so it comes out over your toe, stretching your back hip flexor.
Quad and Hip Flexor Stretch
Lie on your side hugging your bottom knee towards chest and pushing your top knee as far back as you can. Lie back, relax and feel a strong stretch through your whole quad.
- Being seated all day can cause tightness in the hip flexors, leading to lower back pain and poor posture
- Mobile hips are important for walking, running, walking up stairs and moving with ease
- Stretching out your hip flexors for 2 minutes a day is essential for hip flexibility and mobility