Easy Hip Health At Home
Your hips are the centre of your motion universe,
The link between your legs and the head-bearing torso. They act as shock absorbers and energy generators, surrounded by some of the most potent muscles in the body, the glutes.
Healthy hips are pillars of human performance, but modernity has disrupted these evolutionary assets with long sitting hours and little time for self-care. The result is a low-back pain and all related stress epidemic, another heavy burden on an already overtaxed healthcare system.
Hip health must become a mainstream topic. Education on the matter is imperative at this point.
This e-mail is the first part of a series on this critical, yet undiscussed joint. Today's lesson will provide a quick and effective strategy to counter the negative impact of sitting on your hips.
How many hours a day do you sit?
Everybody sits. Think of how many opportunities a body finds during the day:
Sit on the toilet
Eat breakfast seated
Commute to work seated
Sit at work
Eat lunch seated
Sit on the toilet
Sit at work again
Commute back home
Eat Dinner seated
Sit down to watch TV or read
Go to bed
The accumulated hours create muscular tension in the front muscles known as the quadriceps and hip flexors, whose function is to lift your legs off the floor, towards your chest.
Sitting acts as an exercise for the front of your body. The problem is that the back-leg muscles crucial to maintain your body upright get shut down because of the chair's support. The position strengthens and tightens the front while you weakens the hamstrings and glutes.
The imbalance collapses your hips inward, which shifts your centre of gravity forward and forces the lower-back to take charge. This compensation leads to overuse injuries and chronic pain over time.
3D Images by Muscle &Motion
Hip Care At Home
An effective hip health strategy must stretch the front muscles of the leg, and strengthen the back to counter the detrimental impact of sitting.
Take 5-10 minutes near your bed time to do these two simple exercises. The routine will help your body unwind the tension accumulated in your hips throughout the day.
1- Deep Squat Holds - 3 x 60 seconds
2- Single-Leg Hip Extensions - 3 x 12 reps / leg with a 3 second pause at the top of the movement
Lie down flat on your back
Lift your toes to shift your weight onto your heel
Lift your hip off the floor by driving through the heel
Hold 3 seconds
Lower your hips to the floor
Take care of your hips, they have to carry you for the rest of your life. The next lessons will provide more strategies to care for this crucial joint. Stay tuned!