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Number One Belt Stretch to Combat Tight Hips from Sitting
By: Dr. Sadler
Dr. Sisson and I see a lot of clients coming in with bad hip and back pain. This can come about from lifting something the wrong way, but more often than not theirs a single position that is the usual culprit. Any guesses?
As most of you may have guessed, its sitting! And not just sitting here and there. But its more so sitting for very long periods of time. This produces a low level stress that can lead to issues with the joint space, and also a tightening of the muscles in the front of the pelvis due to the shortened position they take up in a chair.
When these muscles tighten up, at the very least it can just be plain uncomfortable. Mornings are so stiff that making it to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee can be a nightmare. Or at the worst this tightness can be the very first step to full blow back or sciatic pain.
So today, I’m going to go over a simple movement that can be done a few times throughout the day at home. It takes very little time to do, and it makes it, so these key hip muscles don’t tighten up long term from sitting. The best part of it all though, is that we can use a belt to give us great leverage. This leverage will really loosen up this tissue, and it’s a great feeling to have once you get the hang of it!
So, to perform my hip stretch all you have to do is find a comfortable couch or bed and get on your back. Next you let one leg hang off to the side. This will be the side you’ll target with the stretch (make sure to hit both sides).
When first doing this stretch you can go without the belt and just let the leg hang off for a minute or so. And once this becomes comfortable and you seek a more aggressive stretch with the belt.
Its important to note though that the bed or couch must be high enough, so the foot doesn’t touch the ground. This will prevent a good stretch from occurring. Also, when performing the belt or belt free version of this exercise, there should just be a sensation of mild discomfort. There shouldn’t be a large increase in pain levels. If so, it would be important to reduce the distance of the stretch.
Okay, now that we understand how to do the basic version of this exercise, lets talk about a more aggressive belt version!
To use a belt for this movement, simply create a loop to go around the foot of the leg hanging off. Then lightly pull the belt back towards you until the knee bends and the thigh is moved further backwards.
Just like the belt free version, its important that the person goes only to the point of mild discomfort for the stretch. If the stretch is too aggressive it can strain the pelvic muscles and have a negative effect.
Make sure to this one out at home, it definitely won’t disappoint. And as Dr. Sisson would say, movement is medicine!
P.S. Are you spending too much time on the couch or office chair and worried about your back/hip issues getting worse? If so, shoot us a call at (804) 493-0002 or click here to set up an evaluation with Dr. Sadler today. During this session he can design a full program to not only knock out your morning stiffness, but also help you avoid any future flare up’s of back pain.