Age brings along many health issues including hip and joint injuries which can severely affect your mobility. Thus, regular exercise becomes an imperative with age because your overall health largely depends on it.
You can improve your mobility and reduce your risk of injury at the same time just by doing simple hip stretches exercises. Below, we recommend several of these. Doing these stretches and exercises on regular basis can significantly improve your stamina and health.
HIP FLEXOR STRETCHES
Seated Butterfly Stretch
Sitting on the floor or on a mat, your legs bent in front of you and the soles of your feet touching, bend forward from the hips while keeping your back straight until you start feeling tension. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Hold your ankles to help keep the position. Don’t overstain yourself as you could incur injury.
This is probably the most efficient stretch for opening up your hips. Start on all four. Slowly bring your right knee forward placing it behind your right hand. Place your ankle in front of your left hip, your leg should be vertical to the rest of your body. Hold like this for 30 seconds then repeat with your other leg.
Weighted Hip Extension
You can successfully strengthen your glutes and lengthen your hip flexors with this exercise. Lying on your back bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Put a comfortable weight on your lower abdomen and hold it there with your hands. Lift your butt and lower back off the floor while keeping your feet, upper back, and head on the ground. Repeat this stretch 10 times.
Similar to the weighted hip extension, excluding any weight, this workout is ideally done after the weighted hip extension as there is no weight, but there is still resistance resulting from your hip flexors being tired. Repeat this stretch as many times as you can but take care not to hurt yourself.
HIP JOINT STRENGTH EXERCISES
Excellent workout for hips, water aerobics or water exercises in general are extremely beneficial due to the water resistance, which has similar effect to weights but allows a better range of movement. Plus, the water buoyancy eases the performance of these exercises as it requires less strain on the joints.
This is excellent for strengthening worn hip joints and it can be done in and out of water. It’s important to get good walking shoes when outdoors so as to protect your joints from injury. It’s advisable to start slow and to walk only small distances. When you start feeling more comfortable, increase your pace and distance in order to get more strength.
Seated Hip External Rotator
Sit on a bench or a chair and raise your left leg straight in front of you. Rotate at the knee with your right leg while you bring the inside of your right foot underneath your left leg. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 10 times before switching legs. For better balance and performance, use an exercise band around the rotating foot.
Standing Hip Flexor
You also need to use a band for this exercise. Fixating one end of the band around an anchor and the other end around your right foot, turn away from the anchor and slowly raise your knee to your chest. Make sure to keep your back straight. Do this 10 times with each leg. As your progress, move farther from the anchor so as to increase resistance.
These exercises will only take 10 minutes of your time, but will provide you with a number of health benefits, including strengthened hip joints and improved flexibility, all of which prevent injury.