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Relieve tight hips to reduce back pain

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Most of us sit for too long, leading to tight hip flexors (muscles that attach from the front of the thigh to the anterior side of the lower vertebrae), as well as tight chest muscles and front of shoulders. Relieving tightness in hip flexors will help improve mobility and stability of the pelvis, reducing strain on the lower back.

In order to promote stability and mobility in the various joints of the body it is helpful to reduce tightness in the shortened muscles and improve muscular endurance in the opposite muscle group. Through my recent studies I have learnt some beneficial combinations of self myo-fascial release using foam roller or small ball followed by static stretching of the same area and then isometric holds for the opposite muscle group.

To perform this routine for the hip flexors you need a foam roller (for prone rolling, pictured above) or fairly hard ball (a tennis ball is Ok) for standing version. Lying face down, resting on elbows, (like a plank) using the foam roller perpendicular to your leg, roll forward and back over one hip, controlling rolling movement with your arms. It can be quite an intense feeling. If it hurts then try the tennis ball in standing instead, against a wall. Roll for 30-60 seconds, then concentrate on tender areas by resting still on that point for 10 -20 seconds. Repeat on other side.

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After this self myo-fascial release, it is time to stretch the area. Perform kneeling or standing hip flexor stretch (as shown) for 30 seconds.

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Then to strengthen the opposite muscle group (the glutes) perform a supine bridge hold for 30 seconds as shown. Progress this with single leg lifts, adding resistance (a band or weight across hips) or increasing duration.

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This routine can be done daily.

Lisa 🙂

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