StudioVeena.com Forums Discussions Hip flexibility

  • Hip flexibility

    Posted by miss fern on September 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Hello! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_biggrin.gif

    I noticed in the easy/hard pole moves thread that a discussion about hip flexibility (mostly being able to bend forwards to put your chest on the floor) was kind of taking over. So I’ve started this thread so we can all share our tips, advice and struggles.

    If anyone knows of good exercises (if you’ve got pictures or videos to link, that would be be even better!) please let us know! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_cheers.gif

    I want to be able to fold over properly when I do my inverted pike, and I want to be able to get my legs up higher when I do my teddy bear! But despite stretching for about a year now I am NO more flexible in this area.

    This is where the discussion left off:

    Hard… anything requiring hip flexibility:
    boomerang spin (can’t get legs to raise any more than parallel to the ground https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

    Oh me too Notradaya! It’s so disappointing! I wish I could lift them higher, but for my teddy bear/ boomerange all I can get is them sticking straight out like you. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif It’s hard to pinpoint the cause though coz that could be lower back flexibility issues (I have a very bendy upper back, but not lower, nearer where the hips are), or hip flexors or hamstrings. I have been stretching my hammies and hips for about a year now and still no improvement in that area! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_cry.gif

    I am much in the same boat and I am figuring it’s part flexibility issue – the connective tissue in the flexor and abductor must be opened up and partly lack of abductor/flexor strength.

    I’ve been using a pilates band for resistance and doing range of motion exercises in hopes to build strength and eventually open up more.

    I also bought pilates blocks so I can sit in a lunge position for 10-20 minutes comfortably to open up the connective tissue. It’s an idea I got from a yin yoga instructor. Yin focuses on longer deeper stretches to open the connective tissue as stretching elastic muscles is essential opening up the joints is also essential. SO the idea is to start in an easy stretch and hold that pose and over a longer amount of time allow you body to get comfortable and slowly fall deeper in the pose.

    Yin Yoga is a great call for hip opening – it focuses on opening the tougher connective tissues and ligaments, and you hold the poses for much longer. Muscles can be stretched using more "active" methods, but for connective tissue, long, still holds are the way to go. It requires a ton of patience but is highly effective – especially on tight hips!

    And it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one that has a tough time with cradle. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_wink.gif

    PoleSkivvies replied 14 years, 9 months ago 6 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Veena

    Administrator
    September 27, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Are we talking about hip flexion as in tight hamstrings and lower back flexibility right …having trouble folding the body over…like touching your toes?? or Tight Flexors of the hip joint…interfering with bending backwards ect..?

  • Charley

    Member
    September 27, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Are we talking about hip flexion as in tight hamstrings and lower back flexibility right …having trouble folding the body over…like touching your toes?? or Tight Flexors of the hip joint…interfering with bending backwards ect..?

    I think we all have a little of each issue. I know my hammys are TIGHT!!!! They love to rebel. Also for me my hip flexors and abductors are very weak. I notice simple movements such as lying on my back and lifting one leg are difficult, not in my hamstrings but I feel it in my hips. I am excercising currently specifically to build strength in these areas using resistance bands. I have very little range of motion in my hips https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

    Also, forward folds are so difficult for me, so any advice would be so awesome!!!!

    V- I am have been using your vid off and on for about a year but unfortunately more off than on. As of late I can see a difference because I stretch about 3-5 times a week. I need to get on it everyday.

  • miss fern

    Member
    September 27, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I can touch my toes fine but I’m bending a lot with my upper back to get there. Being able to sit on the floor and fold forwards to put my belly onto my legs/the floor is impossible for me. Thus my chopper for example, does not look nearly as cool as other peoples where their feet come towards their ears. When sitting on the floor, I literally can only get about 1 inch past the 90 degree (normal sitting) position. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

  • Charley

    Member
    September 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Georgia – same here with chopper.

    How does one improve their forward fold? I touch my toes for minutes on end, standing and sitting. TRY to fold forward in straddle to little to no avail https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif

  • miss fern

    Member
    September 27, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Georgia – same here with chopper.

    How does one improve their forward fold? I touch my toes for minutes on end, standing and sitting. TRY to fold forward in straddle to little to no avail https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif
    I want to know too Charley! Coz the leaning forward ‘heart first’ (not head first) in straddle still has done nothing for me either! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_sad.gif What is this yin exercise people were talking about?

    I also want to ask about hip ROTATION. My right side is much less flexible than my left. I cannot turn my right knee ‘in and up’ as much as my left – so for example on the snowflake/pinwheel spin…. if I do it clockwise my legs are beautiful and horizontal but if I do it anticlockwise, my front leg slopes downwards and the effect is not as good. It’s hard to describe so I made a picture:
    https://www.studioveena.comhttp&#58://img121.imageshack.us/img121/2549/hiprotators.jpg
    I have tried doing the butterfly stretch to help open out my hips but to no avail. Any advice?

  • LittleC

    Member
    September 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Yin yoga and it’s long holds really helped me (and my hips!) – I will provide some links below to some of my favorites. This site is great because they do offer some adjustments/modifications, as well as suggested hold times and contraindications. Getting a little kitchen timer will help make sure you stay in the pose long enough – the big thing here isn’t to push yourself as far as you can when you first get into the pose. As you stay somewhere that’s comfortable, you’ll be able to sink and soften into it. This yoga targets the tough connective tissues, not the muscles. You will feel about 90 years old coming out of these poses after being in them for a few minutes, so be gentle! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_monkey.gif

    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_butterfly.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_caterpillar.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_dragonfly.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_frog.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_happybaby.php (my favorite!)
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_shoelace.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_swan.php
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_swan_sleeping.php

  • Veena

    Administrator
    September 28, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I like the frog one, and I do know that if the frog is to intense, you can do it with toes together and it will be easier.

    Here are some I like…

    The forward fold standing and sitting works really well for me…I do both passive lower back and active… for this one remember to flex the feet not point. Stretching lower back, hamstrings and calfs.

    I also like the Pyramid, active back (not rounding) This will stretch the hips, hamstrings and calf!! The best way I can discribe it would be a warrior pose..you bring your torso down over the front leg…not rounding your back.

    The tree is good to help you work on hip rotation outward! fantastic for balance to. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_cheers.gif

  • SissyBuns

    Member
    September 28, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Yin yoga and it’s long holds really helped me (and my hips!) – I will provide some links below to some of my favorites. This site is great because they do offer some adjustments/modifications, as well as suggested hold times and contraindications. Getting a little kitchen timer will help make sure you stay in the pose long enough – the big thing here isn’t to push yourself as far as you can when you first get into the pose. As you stay somewhere that’s comfortable, you’ll be able to sink and soften into it. This yoga targets the tough connective tissues, not the muscles. You will feel about 90 years old coming out of these poses after being in them for a few minutes, so be gentle! https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_monkey.gif

    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_butterfly.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_caterpillar.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_dragonfly.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_frog.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_happybaby.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (my favorite!)
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_shoelace.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_swan.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
    http://www.yinyoga.com/ys2_2.0_asanas_swan_sleeping.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

    Hey, we do that frog one in my p90x stretch video!

    …..ok. That’s all I had to say. LOL

  • miss fern

    Member
    September 30, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Okay I have just been sitting in the butterfly stretch for 10 minutes. My left knee dropped about an inch or two as the muscles relaxed. My right knee did not drop at all. If it did it was about 1cm at the most. What the hell is going on!? https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_scratch.gif

    If my right knee did not lower then does that mean it is not those muscles running inside my thighs that are the problem? Perhaps something else like the structure of my hips, or maybe tendons or something? I’m not qualified in physiotherapy or PT or anything so I have no clue. (See my pic a few posts up, with the lopsides butterfly stetch pic so you see what I’m talking about).

    Edit to Add: I tried the yin yoga swan pose(thanks LittleC) – and I can do it well with my left leg in front, but for my right leg I have to bring my foot much closer to my groin. I feel a strong stretch along the outside and kinda under of my thigh, from my glutes. I’m hoping if I keep with the stretch I will eventually be able to move my foot in line with my knee, like in the picture, to match my left leg. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_e_smile.gif

  • LittleC

    Member
    September 30, 2009 at 1:23 am

    I think it’s pretty normal to have a difference in sides – I know that my left side is usually much looser. GeorgiaMarie – you may have something going on physiologically (I’m no PT either!), but I would say to keep trying consistently. The connective tissue and tendons take time (and lots of it) to stretch – I remember the sleeping swan on my right side used to hurt me so badly in class I wanted to scream. https://www.studioveena.com/img/smilies/icon_evil.gif

    Over time, it definitely improved – but I’ve had to accept that it will always be slower to open, and I’ll always have to work a little harder on it!

  • PoleSkivvies

    Member
    September 30, 2009 at 2:32 am

    I’m no expert on this, but it seems to me that sometimes the wrong butt position can masquerade as poor hip flexibility. In the boomerang, for instance, when I let my butt go out from its usual tuck (so it goes back a bit), my legs can come up much higher.

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