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The Best Hip Stretch Ever
Instead of working on planks and downward dogs, this week we bought a house!! OMG OMG OMG. That’s it up there! So in love!!
It was pretty unexpected – we’ve only been looking for a month and a half and it was the first time we’ve ever offered on any house.
Plus our financing guys threw us a last minute curve ball that meant we had to totally rethink some of our key plans.
So it’s been a totally crazy week. Less time for stretching, and way more for spreadsheets and phone calls and trips to the house with inspectors and contractors. But I thought it would be good to share a little post showing you one of my favorite stretches to do when I’m at work. I’ve been doing it a tonne this week and my hips feel great! It’s extra easy to do if you’re already at a standing desk but it’s a good excuse to stand up if you work in a chair. One small restriction – it doesn’t work if you’re wearing a pencil skirt. This stretch is actually the main reason why I changed all my work clothes to slightly stretchy pants after I discovered Restorative Exercise. and it’s a Two-fer – you stretch one hip and you strengthen the standing leg. What’s not to love!?!?
From standing, all you’re going to do is cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee. Holding onto the nearest stable, large object for support – in my case it’s mostly been the dishwasher – fold forward at your hips and allow your bottom to travel backwards in space until you feel a stretch that could run anywhere from your right glute down the outside of the right leg to the knee. Hold for a minute and then switch sides.
1) Do not allow your standing knee to come forward of your ankle. That means you need to keep a vertical shin. This is important as it will protect the cartilage of the knee, and also will help you engage more of the back of the standing leg.
2) Make sure that your forward fold comes from your hips and not your back. This means you’ll have an indented curve in your lower back – it shouldn’t look like the letter ‘C’. I like to think about letting my tailbone float upwards rather than cranking on my lower back to achieve this. If this is really tough for you, just don’t bend down as far.
So there you have it. Enjoy, and enjoy the long weekend – I’m off to create a prioritized list of renos and call some contractors!
Petra is a movement educator and personal trainer with a passion for helping people find greater ease, joy and health in their bodies. She believes that better movement can help every body - and she's always happy to chat about it. When she's not teaching, you'll probably find her hanging out on a set of monkey bars.