6 Yoga Poses for More Flexible Hips
The body always demands more mobility from us, but many of our daily routines cause us to move less. Thus, our joints tend to lose their optimal physical performance, we tend to become more prone to injury, and our quality of life decreases. However, it’s possible to help prevent the deterioration of your hip joints with the yoga poses for a more flexible hip.
Yoga is a great ally when you want to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. You do this with asanas (poses), breathing, and meditation. This discipline is one of the best ways to take care of your health in an integral way.
If you have strong hips, you can help prevent falls and fractures around the whole area of your lower limbs. You can also reduce discomfort in your knees and back.
The main goal is for these flexibility and resistance exercises to support you by cushioning impacts. Just read on to discover and put into practice the movements that will empower your body.
Which muscles flex the hips when you perform these yoga poses?
First of all, it’s important to know the areas of the hips that work on their flexibility with yoga. The muscles in charge of hip flexion are the following:
- Psoas: This is the innermost muscle and helps you maintain the stability of the spine.
- Rectus femoris of the quadriceps: This is a bi-articular muscle, because it acts in two joints, facilitating the extension of the knee and the flexion of the hip.
- Sartorius: This muscle extends between the hip and the knee, allowing both of them to flex. It also allows you to place the heel of one foot in front of the knee of the opposite leg.
All these muscles benefit the general stability of the lumbar spine and your hip.
The best yoga poses for more flexible hips
Most yoga classes usually start with a pre-exercise called the sun salutation, which encompasses a dynamic series of poses. You have to start standing and gradually lower yourself down to prepare the joints.
Breathing is essential to generate the body energy needed for the activity you will perform later. Once the sun salutation is done, these six yoga poses will help you to have more flexible hips.
We think you may be interested in reading this, too: Koshas or Sheaths of Being: What They Mean in Yoga and Philosophy
1. The hero pose
Start by kneeling with your feet apart. Then, let the instep of your foot touch the mat you’re practicing on.
You should sit on your buttocks and lean backwards. You can rest your elbows on the floor, and the goal is to stretch your back as far as you can.
2. The downward-facing dog pose
Standing upright, let yourself fall forward until you touch the floor with your hands. Then, take a few steps back with your feet to simulate an inverted V with the stretched position of your arms and legs.
At the highest point, your hips will remain with your back straight. This is widely used for simple hip stretches.
3. The frog pose
On the mat, get on your knees face down with your arms stretched out to the floor and your knees spread as wide as you can. You need to spread your feet apart so that they line up with your knees. The goal is that you can then lower your body forward until your elbows rest on the floor.
4. The runner pose
On the mat and standing, take a long step with one leg forward. Your front leg should be bent, and the leg behind it should be straight and parallel to the ground.
Keep your pelvis low and the hip level, facing forward. Meanwhile, keep your arms resting on the floor with the same distance from the bent leg.
This pose mimics the position of an athlete waiting for the signal to run. You should repeat it by swapping legs.
5. The forward bend
Start seated, with your legs straight and your back straight. Then, leave one foot stretched on which you’re going to extend both arms until you hold it.
Flex the other leg in such a way that the sole touches your buttocks. It’s not mandatory that your arms reach the end of your straight leg. It can be a start, and as you progress, you’re sure to get there.
Here, you can also switch between straight and bent legs to vary the routine.
6. The triangle pose
Start standing, stepping to the side with either of your legs so they are wide apart. The foot of the leg you moved faces inward toward your body, and the other foot is rotated to the front.
Then, open your arms in a cross and lean toward the leg you moved away. Touch the foot or leg with your hand.
How far this stretch should go all depends on your stretching ability. Meanwhile, your head should look towards the sky, and you can practice this pose by changing the location of the legs.
Like this article? You may also like to read: How Often Should You Practice Yoga for Weight Loss?
Some recommendations for yoga poses for more flexible hips
Apart from complying with the basic positions of each pose, it’s important that you choose your own style. Styles in yoga can be differentiated by focusing more on the physical aspect, others on the spiritual, or you can focus on balancing both.
Your preferences, the free time you have, your health, and the physical condition you are in can help you choose. Your style may also change as you evolve.
Try to move forward safely and gradually with each movement. There will be some that are a little difficult and need more attention from you. The pose may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.
Wear comfortable clothing that’s light and breathable. This will help you prevent dehydration and delay the onset of fatigue.
Yoga can teach you various types of breathing that become a vital support for each posture. Don’t overtax your hips.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- McCall T. Yoga y medicina: prescripción del yoga para la salud. Primera edición. España: Editorial Paidotribo; 2017.
- Serrano R. Práctica del Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga por parte de personas de 21 a 25 años de edad que realizan Crossfit y tienen deficiencia de flexibilidad muscular. Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil. Ecuador; 2014.
- Staugaard J. El psoas: músculo vital. Primera edición. España: Editorial Paidotribo; 2019.