Increase Range of Motion to Decrease Hip Pain
Many people struggle with tight hips and groins. Apart from the fact that people don’t stretch enough, we as a population spend most of our day sitting down either at work, in the car, in front of a tv, etc. In this position, our groin/inner thigh muscles are in a contracted state. So, when we try and open up our hips and do any kind of a “splits”–like stretch where our legs are spread apart, we can’t go very far. However, the good news is that by adding a few simple stretches to your routine, you can improve your range of motion and decrease hip pain.
Hip Restriction is No Good
Tight hips cause problems with both exercises and functional movements. It’s very difficult to do a full back squat if your hips are restricting movement, which prevents you from getting proper depth. When we can’t get full hip range of motion, everyday movements like walking or going up the stairs can be more painful than necessary. Additionally, any symmetrical imbalances (due to mobility impingements) causing even the slightest limp can throw off not only your hips, but your knees, ankles, and spine.
Flexibility Takes Time!
Stretching and mobility are something you need to work on over time. Both static stretching, dynamic stretching, and mobility exercises like the ones mentioned here will all help increase flexibility and overall range of motion. With increased mobility, you open the door for pain free movement and higher potential for increased strength gains.
Try these stretches to loosen up tight groins and hips!
Can I Do Static Stretching Too?
Yes! When someone is told to “stretch” they’ll generally go the static stretching route (stretch to reach a tension position and hold it there awhile).
This type of stretching is beneficial, and it’s best to use in conjunction with dynamic stretching and mobility exercises to help decrease hip pain.
When you perform static stretches, keep these points in mind:
- Always make sure your muscles are warm before stretching. You can stretch at the beginning of a workout, just make sure you warm the muscles up first. Do a short jog, ride a stationary bike, some jumping jacks, pushups – just make sure you warm up the muscles you plan to stretch. You can even do some dynamic stretches or mobility exercises to accomplish this! Stretching after you work out is always a good idea too, even if you did it before.
- Push the stretch until you feel tension. But be careful you don’t push it to the point of pain. There’s a fine line here where a helpful stretch can quickly turn into a disaster.
- Make the stretch one smooth movement until you get to the point of tension, and hold it there for about 30 seconds, then slowly release the stretch. Don’t bounce! Doing this is dangerous and can cause unwanted contractions in your muscle fibers.
Keep those hip joints mobile to avoid unnecessary and annoying pain! And remember to spend a little bit of time stretching and working mobility every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re super active or not; stretching is for everyone!