Men have particularly tight hips.
Whether you are an athlete, or if you work a desk job, you are binding your hips. If you do not take the time to stretch and open them up, you will start to have bigger problems throughout your body. Tight hips can create torque on the knee joints and could result in low-back pain. This session is specifically designed for men to align their lower body optimally and open the hips efficiently.
Hip-opening is one of the most challenging areas for men to target. They take time and patience to open. You have to hold hip-openers and breath into that area where you feel a deep, achy release. Take your time, and be sure you do the work with integrity. If you stick with it, your hips will open up.
Below are the specific variations for men to align and open their hips and get out of pain.
Key Action: Set your upper-thighs back.
Make sure the center of your wrists are under your outer shoulder. For men with broader shoulders, this means your pinky-fingers may be off the mat. As you inhale, set your upper-thighs back to create a broadening across the low-back.
Keep the legs straight to set your thighs back, so you are a plank shape throughout the entire progression.
Lift your legs up from the inner-thighs so that the legs are not rolling in or out as you lift up.
Keep the weight even on the center of your thighs as you pull your chest forward and up.
Bend your knees half-way towards the floor. Look at your feet, and make sure they are about hips-width apart and that they point straight forward. Widen your knees as wide as your heels. Set your upper thighs back, until you feel a lift out of your pelvis in the low-back. Only as much as you can keep that lift, stretch your heels towards the floor.
Make sure the feet point straight forward and the feet are hips-width apart. Bend your knees as much as you have to to touch the floor in front of your feet, and eliminate strain in the low-back. Keep your upper thighs over the center of your heels.
Bring your hands to your hips, work your legs straight and waistline back as you come up to stand.
Step your feet hips-width (about two-fists width) apart. Make sure your feet point straight forward. Bend your knees deeply. Look at your knees and make sure the center of your kneecap points over your second toe-mound. Set your thighs back and lift your low-back out the pelvis as you stretch your arms overhead. Soften your front ribs and tone your belly.
Angle your front foot away from the center of your mat 45 degrees. Make sure the knee points the same direction as the toes. Roll onto the outer edge of your front foot and engage your foot. Without moving your front foot, set the outer edge of your foot back, outer shin back, inner thigh back, and front outer hip back.
Twisted Thigh Stretch
Draw your back heel towards your outer hip and drag your back-knee forward to lift the back upper-thigh towards your heel – as if they were magnetic. As you twist the upper-body open, be sure you do not shift the weight onto the outer back knee.
Make sure you flex the foot of the top foot that is across your thigh. Press your hand against the foot to remind it to engage. Set your inner-thighs down and back to create a deep opening in your outer hip.
Bend your front knee right over your front ankle and widen your front knee. Set your back thigh back evenly and tack your front hip under. Stretch your low back out of the pelvis.
Wide Angle Forward-Fold
Your feet should point straight forward and even with one another. Keep your weight even in both your heels and the balls of the feet. Work your legs straight as you fold forward. Set the in-seams of your legs back till you create a lift out of your pelvis in the low-back.
Keep your back foot parallel with the back edge of the mat and your hips square towards the side-wall that you are facing. Set your back upper thigh back and your front hip spiraling under. Stretch your top arm by your ear and lengthen the top side of your torso laterally.
Stamp your back foot down heavy and legs fully straight. Lengthen your back and reach your top arm towards the ceiling.
Point your feet diagonally towards the corner edges of the mat. Make sure your knees point the same direction as your feet. Set your thighs down and back. Keep a little arch in your low-back. Tone your belly and soften your front ribs.
Bring your front knee towards the side edge of your mat. Level your hips. Point your front foot and flick the toes against the floor to protect your knee. Set your front inner thigh back and your front outer hp back.
As you draw your foot back into baby cradle, make sure you engage your foot. Flex the foot that is in your elbow crease. Your extended leg is straight and rooting down. If your hips are tighter, modify by taking the top shin across your opposite thigh like a figure-four.
Place your feet hips-width apart and your knees as wide as your feet. Stamp your heels down and lift your hips completely.
Root your hips down evenly and lengthen your back as you twist over your extended lieg and fold. If your leg lifts up or if your low-back rounds under, stay more upright.
Bend both knees and bring your soles of feet to touch. If your knees are above your hips, bring your feet further away from you and either sit up on a block or lean back with your hands behind you. Widen your knees apart, set your thighs down towards the floor and back. Hollow your belly and lift your low back.