What does back pain have to do with tight hips?
Every time we sit, stand, or walk, we use the hip flexor muscle group. Because it is used virtually every minute of our waking lives, it tends to get unbalanced, leading to knee injury and pain. While the hip flexors are a small muscle group, it is located in an important part of our body: the place where our legs join our torso. Tightness in these muscles can lead to pain downward (into the knees) or upward (causing back pain) – which then leads to imbalance further along the muscle chains. Stretching and rebalancing the full leg, hip, and spine through dynamic stretches for the hips, help to relieve back, hip, and knee pain while simultaneously improving your posture.
This is one of our go-to stretches to target tight hip flexors and release the lower back.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this exercise:
-Focus on tucking the bum under as the back knee lowers down, rather than doing a straight lunge. Think of your hips as a wheel you are rotating as you tuck your tailbone under. The more you tuck, the less your heel will be able to touch the floor as you extend the back leg and the better you will target the hip flexors.
-You should never feel pain in your knees! Pain is a sign that you are bending the back knee too deeply towards the floor, and potentially overstretching the tendons that support the kneecap. Reducing the depth of your knee bend will automatically prevent this pain and keep your knees feeling good!
-The moment you reach your maximum stretch, return immediately to the starting position. Holding the stretch will have the opposite effect by tightening your muscles. Keep the movement fluid and smooth to get the full benefits of the stretch!
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The Essentrics Team