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Exercises to Relieve Hip Pain

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If you keep your hips happy, you can reduce pain, improve your efficiency and athletic performance, and prevent further injury. In this video, Alyx Walkinshaw, a yoga and fitness instructor at Railyard Fitness in Santa Fe, takes us through a series of mobility exercises to help stabilize and strengthen the joint. Try these exercises three to five times per week for three to six weeks. For more information, check out the full article here.

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Video Transcript

ALEX: Hi. I'm Alex. I'm a fitness instructor in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And today, I'm going to show you some moves that will help relieve hip pain.

So for this exercise, find a seat on a foam roller. Bring your hands behind you, extending one leg out straight as the opposite foot grounds, and foam rolling the back of your leg, your hamstring, from the lower glute all the way down till you're right above your kneecap. You can do anywhere from five to seven rolls here, taking it nice and slow.

And then, turning on your side to work your IT band, you can ground that side's elbow on the earth under the shoulder as you extend the leg that you're foam rolling straight, keeping the toes either flexed or pointed. Heel can stay grounded, or it can hover from the earth as you ground that opposite foot. And then, slowly switching sides, making sure you kind of re-center yourself on the foam roller.

So this is a great way to open up the connective tissue, the fascia, in between the muscles and the bones and the legs and the outer hips. And you can choose to do anywhere from 10, maybe even 15, rolls through the entire section that you're working on.

For this exercise, start on your back. You'll need a strap. Loop it around the ball of one foot. And extend that leg towards the ceiling. Relaxing your arms down, placing the strap on the same side of the leg that you're extending.

And you can keep that opposite leg bent, nice and grounded through the hips, or you can extend the opposite leg forward. Using your upper body strength here to pull the ball of the extended leg a little closer towards your face. And then, bending that knee and the opposite knee to switch sides.

Make sure as you do this, posterior chest stays open, your upper back, mid back, low back is grounded, head on the earth. This is a great way to open up the back of the leg, the back of the hamstring, the calf, and the knee. And to return out of the shape, just allowed the bottom leg to bend, foot flat, releasing the strap off the foot, and placing it aside.

This next exercise is a variation of the one we just did. Start in the same position with your knees bent, feet flat to the ground. Bring one knee to you. And loop the strap around the ball of that leg's foot.

Extend the opposite leg straight. And then, start to extend the leg that's lifted out to the side. Making sure that you're keeping both hips grounded, chest open.

Inhale to come back through center. Switch the grip on the strap. And take the leg across the body, grounding that hip. A really good way to open up the inner and outer hip and thighs.

Both hips stay grounded. And to switch sides, bend the opposite leg. Place both feet on the ground. And loop the strap around the opposite foot. Making sure that your upper body is pretty relaxed here.

So you're just noticing the mobility of your hips and inner thighs and outer thighs. Making sure that as you do this shape, both hips stay grounded, chest stays open. Coming back through center, allowing the knee to bend, and then returning that foot down.

For this exercise, start by standing on your knees with your toes touching the wall. Place your hands in front of you. And walk one knee back as you place that opposite foot forward at a 90. Placing the hands to the front thigh and moving the chest up over the hips. Keeping the spine long. Gaze stays forward.

And then, place your hands down to switch sides, making sure that the opposite foot comes forward as you bring that opposite knee back, shin and foot up the wall. Walking the hands up to the front thigh. This can be a really intense stretch for the quadriceps and the front of the hips. So if you need to move your knee further away from the wall, feel free to do so. To come out of this shape, place your hands on the ground. And then, sit back onto your heels.

For this exercise, come onto your back, knees bent, feet flat to the earth. You'll be creating a figure 4 shape by crossing one ankle above the opposite leg's thigh, and then interlacing in your hands behind the hamstring as you lower your chest down. Keeping both feet active here. Toes pulling back towards either knee. And letting your whole spine ground onto the earth-- back of your head, neck, upper back, mid back, and low back.

Switching sides, just releasing that foot down and switching out to the opposite side. This is a really great way to open up the outer hips and sit bones. You can always intensify by bringing the knee that you're holding closer to you as you take that opposite knee further away from you.

For this exercise, start on your back facing a wall with the knees bent, legs at a 90-degree, and placing a squishy ball between your inner thighs. Walk your feet out as far as you can to internally rotate the hips. Squeezing the inner thighs into the squishy ball, start to roll your pelvis on the earth. Keeping the inner thighs engaged, the chest open. The knees should move up and down from here, not forward and backward, while your low backs should remain as stationary as possible on the ground.

This is a great way to learn how to disassociate the hips from the back. And it helps with internal hip rotation. Make sure the thighs stay parallel, chest stays open. And take anywhere from 30 to 40 repetitions here, knowing that you can do this two to three times.

Thanks for joining me for this workout, and I'll catch you next time.