Not every person is adorned with flexible hips like the ones of Shakira, but surely we can all enjoy the benefits from working out and strengthening the muscles supporting such agile hips.
Although we tend to ignore and not take care for them, our hips are the supportive point for every movement in the lower part of the body.
Sitting most of the time can lead to tight hip flexors which cause problems such as pain in the hips, injury and lower back pain.
Furthermore, weak hips can result with an antalgic gait, in turn leading to ankle, foot, or knee injuries that can put you tied up to the bed for days or weeks using a stretch.
But this is only the beginning, as the list of hip issues does not end here. Orthopedic surgeons state that over 2.5 million U.S. citizens today are forced to live with an artificial hip.
Actually, the rate of hip replacement in the United States is rising, and is present especially among persons in their early middle-age.
A study from 2005 found that overuse injuries in the lower extremities are linked to insufficient strength of the hip abductor, adductor and the flexor muscles surrounding the hip region.
So, it is definitely important for you to have a closer look at any hip issues you may have and boost their flexibility and strength.
Nothing can replace physical activities like walking, running and jogging, but complex exercises that strengthen the hips like squats, lunges and bridges are crucial to keep your hips in a strong condition.
In addition we bring you 10 excellent hip exercises that will significantly boost your hips and improve their flexibility.
Exercise #1: Bridging
The bridging exercise affects your hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and lower back, increasing their strength and reducing any pain in these areas.
1. Lie down with your back on the ground.
2. Bend your legs and place your feet in close towards your buttocks.
3. Slowly, lift your buttocks while pushing through your feet.
4. Be sure your hips are lined up with your knees and shoulders.
5. While you do this, tighten your hamstrings and glutes.
6. Remain in this position for two seconds and slowly lower your buttocks to the floor.
7. Make ten to twenty sessions per day to achieve effective results.
Exercise #2: Lying Lateral Leg Raise
This exercise will strengthen your iliotibial bands which enable the lateral motions of the legs. The following exercise is focused on your gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and obliques.
1. Lie on the right side.
2. Stretch your right arm out to balance your body.
3. Raise your left leg up as much as possible, making sure it is straight while you raise it.
4. Slowly, lower your leg so it is lined with your right leg.
5. Make fifteen sets with the left leg.
6. Then, roll over to the other side and do the same with the other leg.
7. Do this exercise on two days to eliminate any pain in your hips.