When short on time, and if looking for ways to make your hip and shoulder stretches more challenging, one option is to combine the two.
Using twisting as an example, you can combine a simple seated twist with different shoulder stretching options shown below.
To improve the twistability, if twisting to the left press down with the right foot so that the right side gluteus maximus activates. Then try to activate the left side latissimus dorsai.
These two muscles are connected via the rear layer of the thoracolumbar fascia and you may find that activating them helps to deepen your spinal twist and make it more comfortable.
It also helps to tie together the opposite side shoulder and hip.
A very simple standing hip and shoulder stretch is standing side bend. Bending the spine to the right and pushing your hips to the left you can reach both hands past the head and grab the either the right or left wrist.
You can then stretch the left shoulder by pulling down with the right arm. Notice the difference in sensation when stretching the left shoulder with elbow bent versus straight.
The hip stretch in this pose comes from pushing the pelvis to the side. Assuming the hips are being pushed to the left, you then stretch the abductors of the left leg and the adductors of the right leg.
Both of these are forward bends for the hips. Thus they stretch the hamstrings. They also stretch the shoulders. In the wide leg forward bend the hands are clasped and pulled rearwards and over the head (dwikonasana) while in the triangle forward bend the hands are in prayer behind the back (reverse prayer).
Eagle pose (above left) is also a combined hip and shoulder stretch. It stretches the top leg and both arms in internal rotation. If you reach your shoulders forwards in the eagle arm position, you may also find that it stretches the rhomboids.
Another balancing on one foot hip and shoulder stretch is dancer or "balancing bow pose" (above right).
Start off on one foot and grab the other foot behind you. Bend the spine backwards first then reach the knee and foot back to stretch the hip flexors of that leg. You'll also be stretching the front of the shoulder of the grabbing arm.
If you can create enough stability in upright pigeon pose (press down with the front knee) you can release the hands for any of the previously mentioned shoulder stretches. The hip stretch in this pose can work on the outer hip muscles of the front leg or the hip flexors of the rear leg. To work on the hip flexors either press down through the back foot or focus on lifting the rear thigh so that hamstrings and gluteus maximus both activate.
You could also bend the back knee and stretch the same side shoulder and hip flexor by pulling back on the foot.
You could also lay on your belly and stretch both arms and both sets of hip flexors at the same time in bow pose.
Some binding poses which can be used to stretch the hips and shoulder simultaneously include ardha Matsyendrasana (top left), Bharad Vajasana (top right) and compass pose (bottom right). (You can warm up to compass pose with compass prep at the bottom left).)
One other simple combined hip and shoulder stretch is double pigeon with hands clasped and pressing upwards.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
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The standing forward bend yoga pose can be used to stretch or strengthen the hamstrings and glutes. It can also be used to stretch and strengthen the calves and as a balance exercise.
Yoga forward bends includes forwards bends for the hips and spine. Forward bends for the hips include both bent and straight straight positions.
Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
This sequence of seated yoga poses includes lotus and virasana variations, janu sirsasana and marichyasana variations as well as more basic seated poses like bound angle, pigeon and seated forward bend.
These hip flexor stretches open up the fronts of the hips and can be used as a preparation for front to back splits. Bent knee hip stretches can be used to focus on rectus fermoris.
Strengthen your hands, your arms, glutes and hamstrings with these standing forward bend variations.
The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.
Here's a break down of the steps of Ashtanga Yoga Surya Namaskar A to make this sun salutation easier to learn and remember.
A reclining psoas stretch I learned from a Richard Freeman Workshop. The better you understand your anatomy the easier it is to work on your body effectively.
The hip stretches included on this page can be used to stretch and improve flexibility of the hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors and abductors.
Friction and pressure are two simple techniques that I use to help my students get stronger and more flexible. These simple techniques also offer a roadway into not only learning how to activate your muscles, but getting a feel for them and your body. Three challenging yoga poses that I use these techniques in are chaturanga, front splits and side splits. While they might not help you get all the way down into the splits, they'll help you feel stronger, and more integrated as you work towards them. And because I've got to pay for my daughters schooling this week, I'm offering a discount on the frictional muscle control videos. (First 100 people only can save over 30%).
Active stretching teaches you muscle control to not only improve flexibility but also body awareness. You'll learn how to adjust postures for better feel as well as more control through a broader range of motion.
Standing exercises for low back pain plus anatomy that can affect the low back and how to use that anatomical understanding.
Experience your body (and understand it) with sensational yoga poses.
Is it a bad idea to heel strike while barefoot running? What are the possible benefits of heel striking? When should you not heel strike?
These yoga poses for abs work on the abdominal muscles (and hips) in both standing positions and seated positions.
Here are the Ashtanga Standing Pose Vinyassas, with inhale movements highlighted in red.