|Make it hard to stand up and get moving, for one. Or sit cross-legged on the floor. Or even sleep at night if they hurt.
Sitting too much is often the culprit. The more you sit, the more it causes the hip flexor muscles to deactivate, becoming progressively weaker and shorter. In addition to not sitting so much, we can counteract the tightness by stretching every day, a stretch handily built into the very sitting position causing the problem. At least that means most of us have ample opportunity to fit in this stretch! However, despite how much time I spend in the company of a chair over the course of the day, the time I’m most successful at doing this is when I’m getting out of bed in the morning when it feels kind of luxurious to linger and “take my waking slow.” Finding that right time is finding the keys the kingdom.
An easy hip opening stretch
Sit up tall, extend your left leg straight out in front of you. As you inhale, cross your right ankle over your extended left ankle. Exhale and feel that stretch in your right hip.
One that goes deeper
If you don’t have hip or knee pain and want a deeper stretch, bend your left leg so it makes a 90-degree angle, with your knee aligned with your ankle and your foot flat on the floor. Place your right ankle on your left thigh just above the knee. Adjust your posture to make sure you’re sitting up tall and notice the stretch in your right hip. Breathe. If you want an even deeper stretch, lean forward gently, keeping your back long, tummy pulled toward your spine, and eyes and head forward (not looking down).*