Below are three mobilisations which performed 5 – 7 times a week will significantly increase the flexibility of your hip musculature and reduce pressure on your lower back, hip and knees.
The Couch Stretch (Active Mobilisation)
The couch stretch is fantastic for lengthening the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles and reducing tension in the back and hips. This should be a staple in a movement practice for those who spend all day sitting at a desk or for athletes who do a lot of running, biking and squatting.
Method: Get into the below position. Some might be able to have their knee against the wall and others won’t, what matters is that you’re able to keep your back flat and are not in a position where you are hyperextending the spine (think banana back). Keep your glute squeezed the entire time and stay active in this. This ‘activeness’ dramatically increases the effectiveness of the mobilisation. Do 2 – 4 minutes each side x 5 times a week. IF you are extremely uncomfortable and your quads and hip flexors are burning while doing this.. Good! Stay with it.
Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch (Contract/Relax Method)
This stretch is very effective for getting deep into the belly of hamstrings. Utilizing the PNF method (contract/relax) allows us to have a greater impact on the range of motion of the muscles and simultaneously build up the strength of the muscle during range of motion.
Method: Lye on your back and wrap a resistance band around the middle of your foot and pull your knee into your body with your arms, while doing this simultaneously contract and resist the pull with your legs. Hold this for 10 secs and after 10 secs let your leg relax for about 5 – 10 secs before repeating. Repeat 5 – 10 times with your aim to get your knee closer to your body each time. Do this on each leg 3 – 5 times a week and see how you feel.
The Lizard AKA Hip Opener (Passive stretch)
The Lizard pose is our passive stretch for this article and is great for releasing the inner and anterior hip and is a great position to just sit in and enhance the benefits of the other two.
Method: Going as deep as you can, either on your hands or all the way down on your forearms, just sit in the below pose for a total of 2 – 3 minutes each side and allow the ligaments and fascia surrounding the hip to settle in and adjust to this position. Pair this with your active and PNF mobilisation and reap the benefits in your daily life. Feel free to play around with your knee position, sometimes keep it close to your arms and other times let it drop out to the side.
Perform these stretches regularly and diligently and watch your range of motion and hip & back comfort increase significantly!