Battling chronically tight hips can be frustrating, but this easy exercise to increase hip flexibility will help you stretch your hip flexors. As a bonus, it will help you get strong, too!
Most of us in the western world spend far too much time sitting in chairs. That means that you never really use the full range of motion available for your hips — that is, unless you spend a good amount of time sitting on the floor as well.
Simply sitting down on the floor and then getting back up is probably the best and fastest exercise to increase hip flexibility. And if you do it without using your hands, you’ll be building up a lot of hip strength, too.
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Exercise To Increase Hip Flexibility: Sit Down Get Ups
Here’s how to do this…
Find a comfortable place to workout, about three feet by three feet. Carpet is good; you can use a yoga mat, or a patch of lush grass, whatever you prefer. Some padding is ideal, though.
Then, without using your hands, sit down. Now, without using your hands, get up.
Repeat, but this time, find a different way to sit down (be creative! try to find all the ways you can bring your body to the floor) and a different way to get up.
If you don’t quite have the strength or hip mobility for this yet, use your hands to assist you. Finding a vertical column as a support is a great idea.
But don’t get too reliant on your arms. Eventually, you want to work up to sitting down and getting up completely hands free.
Do about 10 repetitions of this (down and up = 1 rep), rest for a few minutes, and repeat. 3 sets is a good starting place. After two or three weeks, you can begin to do this while holding weight – start where you’re comfortable and work up.
Benefits Of Sit Down Get Ups
1) opens up the hip joints and lumbar spine through movement (much more effective than static stretching)
2) strengthens your muscles while limbering you up at the same time
3) creates new neuro-pathways with repetition, so it will actually change the way you move over the long term if you keep it up
4) it’s GREAT for preserving mobility as you age
If you start this exercise now, then you’ll NEVER fear falling down and not being able to get back up. Don’t wait until you’re already struggling and at an advanced age to work on your hip mobility!1
Nancy Nellis says
So, explain a couple different ways I can sit down without using my hands, that I won’t break my neck. lol
I tried crossing my feet and trying to sit down, that could be a bit dangerous for older folks like me.
Duly noted, Nancy 🙂 Try kneeling first and then lower yourself down. Also, to begin to build hip strength, you can sit kneeling with your butt on your feet and without using your hands lower your hips alternately to the right and left of your legs. I’ll create a video soon with more options so you can see what I do.