As I mentioned last week, my wife and I went to see Ingrid Michaelson on Friday.  In short, it was a phenomenal show.  The highlight of the night was when she covered R.E.M.’s “Night Swimming”.  Holy crap, that was amazing!  Like I said last week, if you ever get the chance to see her, definitely go.

Chances are, that for most of you, your hips don’t function well.  In fact, they are probably very stiff, have little range of motion and are causing you pain elsewhere in your body.  The reason for this is that we spend most of our days sitting, a position in which the hip flexors are flexed.  When a muscle spends most of its time flexed it gets tight and short and stiff.  None of those are good things.

I like to think of the hips as the hub of the body.  Virtually every movement you do requires the hips.  When they function less than optimally, the body has to compensate somewhere else down the line to make up for their lack of range of motion.  This means your knees, ankles, low back, mid back or shoulders are picking up their slack.

It’s safe to say that the hips need to function the way that they are supposed to for the body to move and feel good.  Fortunately there are some very simple things you can do to improve the hips and their range of motion.

Here are a few demonstrations:

-Hip flexor stretch:

-Heel to butt stretch:

Do each of these a couple times a day, holding each position for 30 seconds or so.

This is by no means an exhastive list of ways to help your hips feel better.  It’s important not only to mobilize tight muscles, but also to strengthen their antagonists (opposing muscles).  This is a whole other post, and something I won’t get into today.  However, doing these few movements regularily will definitely have great benefits to your hips.  So, give them a try!

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