• Deanne Pandey

Sitting all day? This might help

The deadly situation occurring all over the world today, requires us to practice social distancing and quarantine ourselves at home. Self quarantine includes a lot of sitting. Even if we try to keep ourselves engaged, being at home includes a lot of sitting in general. This tends our hip muscles to shorten. Ever wonder why you get sore even after an extended day of just sitting? That's due to the constriction of your hip flexors during a shortened position for more hours than they ought to be. It can make your hips really tight, especially if you are not incorporating hip stretches into your routine. Hip flexors are a gaggle of muscles in your abdomen, thighs, and glutes that function together to assist you are doing things like bend over and lift your knees to your chest. They’re essential for running, walking, squatting, or basically any sort of exercise, they’re susceptible to tightness. Hip flexors have the tendency to tighten or get sore even once you are simply sitting or doing a passive activity that shortens or contracts the muscle. Once you sit, your hips are during a "flexed" position. Therefore, the muscles that flex your hips are in a shortened state. It is vital to act on this shortening of muscle as not doing the same can cause soreness in your hips.

Here are some stretches you can practice to stretch your hip flexors-

  1. Piriformis Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.

  • Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor.

  • Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.

  • Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow on your right knee and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right.

  • If the spinal rotation bothers your back, take it out and simply use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left.

2. Kneeling Side Bend Stretch

  • Kneel on the floor with your legs together, back straight, and core tight.

  • Extend your left leg out to the side. Keep it perpendicular to your body.

  • Extend your right arm overhead, rest your left arm on your left leg, and gently bend your torso and right arm to the left side.

  • Keep your hips facing forward.

  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • Repeat on the other side.

3. Twisted Reclined Pigeon

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and arms out to your sides in either a T or cactus arms.

  • Cross your right foot over your left quad.

  • Lift your left leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your left leg and gently pull it toward your chest.

  • Then, let your legs fall down to the left side, keeping your right foot just above your left knee. Try to keep your shoulder blades on the floor and hips as square to the ceiling as possible.

  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • Switch sides and repeat.

4. 90/90 Stretch

  • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your right foot flexed.

  • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.

  • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.

  • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if you're super tight.

  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • Repeat on the other side.

5. Lunge With Spinal Twist

  • Start standing with your feet together.

  • Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance.

  • Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.

  • Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.

  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • Repeat on the other side.

Practice these stretches regularly during this quarantine period so that your hip muscles are not always constricted. Stay home and stay safe!

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