Hip Helping Workouts
>* Walk Off WeightHip-Helping Workouts
Hip pain is commonly caused by strained or pulled muscles anywhere from the lower back to the buttocks and upper legs. As we age, many of us also endure the ache of osteoarthritis in our hips, the wearing down of the cartilage cushion between the ball and socket of the joint.
"A woman with mild to moderate arthritis can benefit tremendously from keeping up with her normal exercise program while taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements," says Dr. Hamner. Note that if you are taking chondroitin alone or with glucosamine, it may increase the effects of blood-thinning drugs and herbs. "A woman with advanced arthritis will need to work with a therapist or doctor to modify her activities," he says.
See a doctor to evaluate any hip pain and to see what exercises might be right for you. If hip pain radiates down the front of your leg or into your groin or the pain keeps you from bearing weight, the following exercises won't be for you. For mild pain or discomfort, focus on improving flexibility and strength in the entire greater hip area. One safe and comfortable way to achieve this goal is swimming. The following moves will also help put the tilt back in your pelvis.
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bend your left leg, then drop it over your right leg so your left foot is up near your right knee and your left knee points to the right. Using your right hand, gently press your left leg toward the floor. Trying to keep both shoulders on the ground, turn your head to the left so your spine feels like it is rotating and you feel a deep release in your hip and buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat three times on each side.
How it helps the hips: A classic hip stretch known to runners, swimmers, dancers, and yoga students worldwide, this stretches all the gluteus muscles as well as the whole back.
Starting on your back with both knees bent, cross your right foot over your left knee. Clasp both hands behind your left knee and bring it toward your chest until you feel a deep stretch in your right buttock area. For a deeper stretch, push your raised knee away from you with your right elbow. Breathe slow and deep while you hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Do the stretch four times on each side.
How this helps the hips: Tight gluteal muscles contribute to a feeling of stiffness in the hip; this exercise releases the tension in the buttocks and surrounding area.
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