Along with specific physical exercises, sitting for long periods of time is one of the main causes for tight hips. Unfortunately, tight hip muscles can lead to many things, including aches, pain, injury and lack of functional movement. In this blog, I will teach you how to improve hip mobility with three different practices.
As shared by Franciscan Health in this article, there are a few reasons why you may have pain in your hips from sitting. To put it simply, our bodies weren’t designed to sit for extended periods of time. The discomfort many of us face could be from tightness in the hips, or weakness in our hip muscles.
In my recent blog post, How to Sit with Good Posture, I discuss the importance of good posture while sitting, and ways to improve your posture. There are a few mistakes people make when sitting that I address clearly in this blog post.
In this blog, I will share three different practices to specifically help mobilize the hips. However, I want to be clear about the importance of creating balance in the body by incorporating practices that mobilize and strengthen the hips in order to find functional movement. Give the practices below a try and let me know what you think!
Tennis Balls For The Win
Yep, it’s true: using tennis balls to create more mobility in the body is one of my favorites. In the video below, I share one simple practice using tennis balls to release tension and mobilize the hips.
Please note: there are many different muscles that make up the hip joint, and so there are many different ways we can mobilize the hips.
Using tennis balls in this way not only targets the muscle tissue, but another connective tissue called the fascia. The Hospital for Special Surgery, also known as HSS, describes MFR as: “This technique is designed to release restrictions such a trigger points, muscle tightness, and dysfunctions in soft tissue that may cause pain and limit motion in all parts of the body. It has shown success in decreasing pain and increasing mobility.”
Watch the video below and give this technique a try. Let me know what you think! If you’re looking for more practices the incorporate MFR, check out Aligned Online: a monthly therapeutic yoga membership. It’s a great way to check out more practices like this and increase the tools in your toolkit!
Hip Stretches Using a Yoga Strap
This is by far one of my favorite stretching series I’ve come across. It is helpful in reducing low back pain, hip pain, leg pain and more, depending on the person and what’s going on. In the video below, I share a 3-part strap series that is my go-to for tight hips.
This practice does a great job of reducing tension and tightness in the muscles that surround the hip joint, which in turn, can drastically reduce pain in the body. Check out the video and let me know what you think.
I break this practice down in another blog post that you can check out here. If you’re interested in purchasing a yoga strap, here’s a link to my favorite strap from Manduka. You can use the discount code “CAITLINYOGA” at checkout for a discount!
Functional Movement to Improve Hip Mobility
I grew up with more mobility than some. In the yoga community, this may appear to be a “good” thing, but it’s not necessarily. As I shared before, balance is key. You don’t want to be extremely mobile, as you may lack stability and strength. On the contrary, you don’t want to be overly stable, as you may like mobility and flexibility. That’s why balance is key!
There is so much to say about functional movement. For me, it helped me learn to work many different muscle groups at a time, helping to build strength while maintaining mobility. This article does a great job at discussing this importance of functional movement.
The exercise I share with you in the video below is an easy one that can also be done kneeling or in a standing position. Can you find the balance between Strength/Stability and Ease/Mobility in this practice?
How to Improve Hip Mobility to Decrease Pain
In a society that has become accustomed to sitting for long periods of time, finding the balance between strength and mobility is crucial. This is true for the hips and many other areas in the body. As you can see by this article, there is a wide range of practices that you can do to improve hip mobility.
Hip mobility is one of the most important points when looking at hip pain, but it’s not the only one. In my personal opinion, incorporating multiple different practices into your routine is important for reducing pain, improving strength, function and mobility in the body. For more practices to build your tool kit with, for the hips or any other area of the body, check out Aligned Online.
Aligned Online is my monthly therapeutic yoga membership program. There are no contracts to sign on, so you really have nothing to lose. I will say though, there are over 150 practices on-demand inside of the Aligned membership, and new classes added every week. From functional movement, strengthening, and mobility practices, to gentle and restorative yoga, guided meditations, and sound healing–Aligned Online has it all. Check out everything you get when you become a member of Aligned Online here.
If you struggle with hip pain, and you’re not sure the cause, or what to do to help, I’d love to connect and see how I can support you. If you’d like to discuss this further, you can set up a complimentary consultation over the phone by contacting me here.
Ready to learn yoga poses for back pain, heal chronic pain & feel your best?
Aligned Online is a monthly membership program for people that want to lead a pain free life and ditch chronic pain aches, & injuries by improving posture, building strength & mobility & managing stress through guided yoga therapy classes.
Free Healthy Posture Masterclass
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About the Author
My name is Caitlin, I’m a chronic pain survivor, Certified Yoga Therapist, Registered Dental Hygienist, and founder and CEO of Caitlin Parsons Yoga Therapy, a yoga therapy and wellness company. I recently made my dreams a reality by quitting my full-time job as a dental hygienist to pursue my passion and purpose helping others get back into alignment.
Now I use my personal and professional experiences with chronic pain, stress and anxiety, and injury recovery to help women step back into their own alignment – in their bodies, minds and throughout their lives. I help empower women to create balance in their bodies and minds so they can access greater levels of freedom in their lives inside my monthly membership program (Aligned), group coaching program for hygienists (The Aligned Hygienist), a Yoga + Coaching Program for Dental Teams, and private yoga therapy coaching.
I love to share my knowledge and expertise on mindfulness and therapeutic yoga for back pain through my blog and social media platforms as well as guest appearances on other inspiring and like-minded podcasts.
Client Success Stories
“I started working with Caitlin because I had recently gotten surgery from a brain tumor. I had very little mobility in my shoulder and arm. I was concerned that the lack of mobility, discomfort and reduced strength would increase chances for more pain and injury. Working with Caitlin was amazing, I would recommend her personal approach to anyone. She is dedicated to her work, has great knowledge and communication. Caitlin does a wonderful job guiding you back to your body and yourself.” – Ania
“I started working with Caitlin because I had chronic low back pain and regular flare-ups. I was told by multiple doctors that I would always be in pain and my posture would never improve unless I had surgery. The pain got so bad that I couldn’t play volleyball anymore, which created a negative spiral in my mood, energy and throughout my life. The results I got with Caitlin was amazing. I no longer have chronic pain or chronic acid reflux which I was on medication for. I’m much healthier and happier now than I ever have been!” – Russ M.
“I started working with Caitlin because I had neck pain, shoulder pain, neck congestion and ringing in my ears. I was working a lot, taking care of my family, and I was beginning to spiral downwards in a state of stress and pain. With all of that, life became a chore. I wanted to learn how to take care of myself so I could live a happy life and take care of my responsibilities from a place of joy, not dread. I wanted to get my neck to a place where it wasn’t painful and tightening every time I was stressed.
Now I no longer have neck pain or tightness, I’m stressed and ear ringing has greatly reduced. My body feels so much better as a whole. Caitlin helped me find peace. Caitlin has an innate sense of knowing how to tailor each session to fit how I’m feeling in my body and what I need. Caitlin helped me change the way I react to stress; now I’m more mindful of my reactions and the way I take care of my body. I’m stronger in my body and mind now which has positively affected my entire life.” – Donna M.
“I started working with Caitlin because I was completely disconnected from my body because of a genetic disease, having constant, chronic pain, extreme trouble sleeping and anxiety living in my own skin. I wanted to feel better- I wanted to have less pain and have a better quality of life–building strength and reconnecting with my body were a bonus. Working with Caitlin exceeded my expectations- I sleep so much better now and my pain has improved significantly. I’m less anxious and have practices to help when my symptoms flare. I’m more grounded and embodied, I have a daily yoga practice that continues to build on the foundation Caitlin helped me create.
Caitlin is incredible, she validated me and helped me work on my whole self. She customized everything to work specifically for me. I 100% recommend working with Caitlin. She believed that healing was possible and she held that vision for me and brought it to each session, and eventually I believed and embodied it too. She helped me find the power in every single baby step towards a more whole and healthy life, and I am completely transformed by it. This work isn’t the quick fix, it’s deep, holistic, soul-led healing.” – Hayley
“Working with Caitlin was the best thing I ever did for myself. I thought that I would always have pain because I’ve done so many things to try and help but they haven’t worked, until yoga therapy with Caitlin. Now I am living with less pain, my posture has improved, I am getting stronger, and my clothes are getting looser.” – Joan
“Before I came to Caitlin, I was taking Motrin and Tylenol on a daily basis like clockwork. I would skip going to the pool or out with my family after work due to the pain in my body. I was very depressed and isolating myself from activities that I really enjoy doing with my family and friends. I had pain on a daily basis in my lower back, shoulder blades, hips and left knee. Some days I had so much pain and inflammation in my body I felt like I couldn’t make it through the day.
Since starting FTF I am slowly starting to get control of my pain and inflammation through the online program one-on-one sessions with Caitlin. Inflammation is decreasing, I’m sitting up taller and I’m more aware of my posture both at work and in my daily routines outside of work. I am no longer having to take Motrin and Tylenol on a daily basis and I am able to walk longe distances without pain in my knees. “
“I never thought I would get out of back, knee, and postural pain. I also have a curvature in my back that I have been told most of my life cannot be changed. When I came to Caitlin, I wasn’t playing my favorite sport and I was miserable at work. Even doing simple things was really painful. Caitlin completely personalizes her services based on your needs. She takes considerable time to answer all of my questions and targets my sessions for exactly what I need that day and what my goals are. Caitlin always asks me what is going on and listens really well. She is a wealth of knowledge about yoga, human anatomy, and how humans should move. No two sessions are the same. We changed the way I move while doing simple things like sitting in a car or at my desk, putting dishes away and bending over to clean dog poop so that my back is protected from re-injury. I am healing my back partly to return to playing volleyball. I now understand how to be in my volleyball stances and movements so that I can avoid injury when I get back to playing. I am already standing up much straighter and feel more confident. I never thought I would feel this good in my body and I am so wow-ed by Caitlins mastery of her craft.” – Russel
“Caitlin really knows how to curate yoga program for sustainable strengthening. My shoulders and core used to be weaknesses but after a few sessions I see my posture has improved and the range of motion in my shoulders. She’s caring, fun, and a pleasure to work with. I’d recommend her to anyone interested in trying yoga therapy.”
“Caitlin is fantastic. I’ve gone to many of her classes, specifically those with a focus on healthy backs. I’ve worked with her as a therapist on issues I have with my neck and shoulders from work. She’s patient, attentive and offers focused one-on-one sessions. The exercises I’ve done really help me combat the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day, highly recommend working with this lovely and professional woman!!”
“Caitlin has helped me grow and learn a lot about myself. She helped me realize the strong power of breath when I was over stressed and unaware of my mental needs. Caitlin helped me focus my energy, both good and bad, on my breath. With every deep inhale and cleansing exhale, I felt my stress and anxiety lessen and lessen. Eight years later, my main mantra is to ‘just breathe.’ It has literally changed my life. Along with the power of breath, Caitlin has helped me keep a constant awareness of how I physically hold myself. Not only has my posture changed, but I have also become stronger and my confidence has increased. I recently began running and was having pain in my hip and side leg. Through working with Caitlin, my pain subsided. She put together an easy to follow yoga sequence that helped my muscles and ligaments heal. I fully trust in Caitlin as a yoga professional, and recommend her gentle way of teaching to anyone.”
“This program has been so amazing for my pain. In just one class, my neck and shoulder tension released more than it has in years. This program has been so instrumental in managing and controlling my stress. It’s so easy to be “on the hamster wheel”. I look forward to my yoga time and meditation and have noticed a huge difference in my pain level. My family has even noticed my calmer demeanor. I couldn’t believe how much my pain was linked to my stress.”