April 7th, 2016 475 post views
Here are some exercises that you can do at home to maintain hip mobility
As we know, prevention is better than cure, so in this blog I will discuss some basic hip stretches that you can do at home to keep your hips mobile and your legs strong. As we age our joints may become more stiff and immobile, and this can lead to people doing less walking and exercise than they used to. The knock-on effect of this can have a big impact over time – imagine an older gentleman who used to be active and go for a walk or go out to socialise in the evening. He starts to feels uncomfortable and stiff in the hips after walking so instead he avoids it and sits for 2.5 hours each night in front of the TV instead of making the effort to go out. The man in this example will spend an extra 17.5 hours sitting still per week, which adds up to a huge 912 more hours spent lounging on the sofa in a year!!
The effect that this has on his body is significant – his muscles become weaker and less able to support him when he does have to walk, for example around the shops. He’s also likely to get more aching when he asks his body to do things that used to be normal for him, such as climbing stairs or playing with his grandchildren. He may complain of the ‘aches and pains of getting older’, when in actual fact some or all of his aches might have been prevented or at least reduced had he kept his activity levels up.
Try the stretches below and do them every day to keep your hip mobility at its best. Check with your chiropractor if you have any questions.
Hip flexor stretch
This stretches out the muscles at the front of the hips, the ones that lift your knee up as you step forwards during your stride. Begin by standing with one foot in front of the other (with a fairly wide gap between your feet) and tuck your bottom underneath you. Push your hips gently forward into a lunge position until you feel a stretch at the front of the hip. Hold each side for 30 seconds and do three times.
Stand facing a wall and put the heel of one foot close to it with the toe up and resting on the wall. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch down the back of the leg and calf. Hold each side for 30 seconds and do three times.
Lie on your back and bring one knee to your chest – you should feel a stretch in the buttock. Hold each side for 30 seconds and do three times.
This is for the muscles that bring your knees together. Lie on your back and bring one leg into a ‘frog-leg’ position with the knee dropping out to the side. You should feel a stretch in the inner leg, and you’ll find over the first few weeks of doing this stretch that you can drop the knee further and further down towards the floor. Just as with the others, hold each side for 30 seconds and do three times.
For more information see our backblog.
Thanks for reading!