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  • Hip Stretches

    Hip stretches included on this page can be used to stretch hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors and abductors.

    Stretching Your Hip Flexors and Hip Extensors

    A simple stretch for the hip extensors is low lunge. In this case the hip extensors of the front leg are stretched. This pose could also be also be used as a gentle stretch for the hip flexors of the rear leg.

    You could also use low lunge to strengthen your shoulders and arms, for example by bending your arms push-up style to sink your chest.

    A fun variation of low lunge is this glute stretch. It stretches the side of the hip quite strongly. Other glute stretches can be done while sitting or lying on the back.

    In most cases, glute stretches stretch the back of the hip with the leg externally rotated to target the glutes and even the piriformis.

    Other options for stretching your hip extensors include a variation of happy baby hip stretch and some marichyasana variations.

    To work on your Hip Flexors, turn your low lunge into a high lunge so that you increase the hip flexor stretch of your back leg. Other hip flexor stretching options include:

    Working on Your Outer and Inner and Thighs

    In terms of moving the thigh outwards and inwards relative to the pelvis, the adductors (which move the legs inwards) are located along the inner thighs while the abductors (which move the legs outwards) at situated between the top of the pelvis and the top of the thigh bone at the side of the pelvis.

    Where the gluteus maximus works mainly on the back of the hip, the gluteus minimus and medius are situated at the side of the hip.

    Doing lunge type poses with the leg turned out is one way of stretching the glutes.

    Pigeon yoga pose variations is another.
    In pigeon pose variations you can stretch the glutes of the front leg.

    Another way to stretch the sides of the hip are in poses like standing side bend where you push the hips to the side.
    In this case it is the glute of the outer most leg that is stretched.

    Another way to stretch the lateral glutes is to stand with the legs crossed, both knees straight and then bend over. Push the hips to one side of the other to increase the stretch.

    Standing cross leg out hip and lateral glute stretch Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Weight Even
    Standing cross leg out hip and lateral glute stretch Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Weight towards front leg foot

    You can also do this outer hip stretch with one leg (the front one) bent.

    For extra fun and excitement, and to exercise the adductors of the straight leg, try lifting the straight leg foot (not shown).

    You can do this with hands on the floor (which can be helpful when getting into the pose) or with hands lifted.

    Cross leg lunge to stretch outer hip and lateral glute of straight leg, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Cross leg lunge
    Cross leg lunge to stretch outer hip and lateral glute of straight leg, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Cross leg lunge with hands lifted

    A basic pose for working on inner thigh flexibility is the half side split. There are other adductor stretches including the prone inner thigh stretch shown below and variations of hurdlers stretch.

    Active Hip Stretching

    There are various methods for stretching the hips actively. The techniques in the Active Stretching and Muscle Control For Better Flexibility ebooks involve techniques for activating hip flexors or extensors to move the thighs relative to the pelvis.

    In the Simple Hip Control Exercises video the focus is on using the hip flexors and extensors to move the pelvis relative to the thighs.

    Yoga for beginners 1 ebook, Getting a feel for your body, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Yoga for beginners 2 ebook, Getting a feel for your body, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Muscle Control for Better Flexibility ebook, Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    Working Towards Wheel Pose ebook, body awareness exercises to make difficult poses easier, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

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