Yummy Psoas and Hamstring Stretches for Tight Hips
How to Stretch the Hip and Lower Back
Also Known As: Low lunge twist stretch
Targets: Hip flexors, psoas, lower back
This stretch for the lower back and hips combines a lunge position with a static twist. It is a to open the hips. Many people have tight hamstrings and hip flexors because of a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for long periods leads to tight muscles, even if you still make time for workouts and sports. This stretch is similar to the yoga pose Crescent Low Lunge Twist.
There are many exercises used to stretch the hip flexors and the psoas muscles (pronounced "so-as") that connect directly to the lumbar vertebrae where lower back pain occurs. When the psoas muscle is tight, it compresses the vertebrae and the discs of the spine, which can aggravate lower back issues and cause pain.
Those who sit at a desk for long periods are prone to hip and lower back pain. The sitting position causes one muscle group to shorten, while the opposing group lengthens to compensate. Extended periods in that position cause these muscles to become underactive, while the opposing muscles become overactive, leading to muscle imbalance. Tight hip flexors and hamstrings have been shown to contribute significantly to lower back pain, and stretching helps counteract this.
Watch Now: The Best Hip And Lower Back Stretch
You can perform this stretch anywhere you have a surface where you can kneel comfortably and have room to extend your arms.
- Begin in a forward lunge position with your right leg forward. Drop your to the ground.
- Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee.
- Press your right elbow gently into your right knee and twist your torso to the left.
- Reach your left arm behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back and right groin.
- Hold the stretch for about 20-30 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg.
Don't Stretch Cold Muscles
This stretch should be done after you have warmed up your muscles by doing some brisk walking and other physical activity.
Be sure to keep your forward knee over or behind your ankle. Don't let your knee extend in front of your ankle as this stresses the knee.
Do Not Bounce
Stretches should always be performed without jerky motions or bouncing as that can lead to small muscle tears and further muscle imbalances. Aim always to use smooth movements when you stretch.
Video: FREE Hip Flexor Stretching Video. Online flexibility routine to help tight hip muscles.
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