In case you find yourself suffering from stiff hips, strengthen and lengthen your hip flexors to both improve your flexibility and to take precautions, that can help you to get rid of those lower back pains. While too much sitting can also contribute to other serious health problems (obesity, osteoporosis etc.), once again, you can take countermeasures by introducing a few yoga poses to your regular routine, that specifically targets the affected areas. We put together a list of the most efficient poses, that focus on those hip flexors, while they also help you improve your overall condition.
1. Paripurna Navasana
The boat pose is a great for hip flexor strengthening, while it also works your abs:
- Sit comfortably and raise your legs from the floor, while keeping them closed.
- Bring your torso forward, to form a V-shape with your body, while reaching forward with both of your arms.
- Balance on your sitting bones and tailbone.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds and repeat to strengthen your hip flexors and abs.
The Bow Pose is the perfect way to lengthen your hip flexors, while it also helps with your energy levels:
- Lie on your belly and put your hands alongside your torso, while having your palms up.
- While exhaling bend your knees and bring your heels as close as your can to your buttocks.
- Take hold of your ankles, by reaching back with your hands.
- While inhaling, you should lift your heels away from your buttocks, and your thighs from the floor.
- Focus on your breathing. As your belly will be pressed against the floor, it might become more difficult, therefore, try breathing into the back of your torso.
- Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, and release while exhaling.
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
The Bridge Pose does not only help you with your hip flexors, but it can also have energizing and restorative effects. Therefore, it is one of our favorite poses, as it is one of the most versatile and useful of all:
- Lie supine on the floor, while bending your knees. Your feet should be set on the floor while keeping an eye on your heels, which should be as close to your sitting bones as possible.
- While exhaling press your feet and arms into the floor and push your tailbone upwards (towards the pubis).
- You should also firm your buttocks, but avoid hardening it, while lifting it up from the floor.
- Make sure that your thighs and feet are parallel, while you clasp your hands below your pelvis.
- This way your arms will help you stay on the tops of your shoulder.
- Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds and release while exhaling.
The Camel pose is another super effective pose, that can help lengthen your hip flexors, while it also gets your energy level high:
- While kneeling on the floor, firm your buttocks and focus on “drawing up” your sitting bones into your torso.
- While pressing your shins and the tops of your feet into the floor, rest your hands on the back of your pelvis (point down with your fingers, while placing your palms on the top of your buttocks).
- While keeping your head up, try reaching backward to put one hand on the same-side foot.
- As this is a complex pose, beginners will need some practice before they could reach back with both hands.
- In case you need to, you can tilt the thighs back a little and minimally twist to one of the sides.
- In case you are unable to reach your feet, try turning your toes under, or elevate your heels.
- Be careful to not to strain your neck or harden your throat.
- Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds.
- While releasing, bring your hands back to your pelvis, inhale and lift your hand and torso.
The Fish Pose will surely have a great effect on your hip flexors, both strengthening and lengthening them and giving you a pleasant, warm feeling and helping you restore your energy levels:
- Lie on your back and have your knees bent (feet on the floor).
- While inhaling lift your pelvis slightly off the floor.
- Your hands should be positioned below your buttocks (palms down), resting it on the backs of your hands.
- While inhaling, make sure that you are pressing your forearms and elbows against the floor.
- With the next inhale, lift your upper torso and head from the floor.
- There should be only a minimal amount of weight on your head.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, and focus on your breathing.
- With an exhale, lower your torso and head back to the floor.