The four square hip stretch is such an effective stretch it ought to be included in everybody’s basic flexibility routine.
Here’s how you do this:
Step One. Lie on your back. Bend your knees. Put your left ankle on top of your right knee. Flex your feet.
Step Two. Put your left hand in the middle. Bring your right hand behind your right knee. Clasp both hands behind your right knee. Pull your right knee towards your chest. Be sure to flex your feet. Hold 60 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Even if you have been practicing this stretch, you may not have been paying attention to these pointers:
- Be sure to flex both feet. Your feet control your hips. By flexing your feet, you will increase the flexibility in your hips. Try it! You will notice a significant improvement when you flex your feet.
- Do not pull your hips off the ground. Keep all four corners of your hips on the ground.
- If you find yourself feeling super tight, use a yoga belt. Instead of clasping both hands behind your knee, put a yoga belt behind the knee and then pull towards your chest.
- You will need to hold this stretch at least 60 seconds. Why is that so important? You have to hold the stretch long enough to break through the connective tissue, also known as fascia. Many people’s hips are so tight that it’s not just the muscles that poses a problem, it’s the connective tissue that has hardened up.
- If one hip feels significantly tighter than the other, stretch the tighter hip for twice as long as the more flexible hip. Continue this practice until both hips feel equally open.
- If you have a habit of crossing one leg over the other when you sit, you may be unknowingly causing an imbalance in your hips. In this case, one hip will most likely be higher than the other. You will want to restore balance to your hips by using this stretch and changing your sitting posture. Consult a FREE download of posture exercises to learn how you can sit without causing yourself pain at this link.
- Breathe! Many people are surprised to discover exactly how tight their hips are. The more you relax while stretching, the more your body will respond by opening up. Be gentle with yourself and exhale through any discomfort.
- For variation, you can use a wall. Lie on your back with your buttocks towards a wall. Bend your knees at 90 degrees and put your feet on the wall. Continue into the pose. Put your left ankle on your right knee. Clasp your hands behind your right knee. Using the wall can add extra leverage to open your hips.
If you have been suffering from hip pain, set up an appointment today to find out how you can restore balance to your body. Call me at 678-612-8816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can work either in person or via Skype. You will receive a postural analysis to learn why your body hurts and what you can do to make yourself feel better.