Updated: Aug 21, 2021
If you have been following my asana classes, you would have probably noticed by now that most of my classes are very 'Hippie' base. 😊
There are a few reasons why I preach the wonders of having healthy hip joints. Meaning, they should be sufficiently flexible, mobile and strong to support our daily functions.
Since the age of 5 until my 30s, I was actively involved in dance, track and field, fast-paced team games and martial arts. I have sustained numerous injuries and most of them were on my legs. To be more specific, most of the main joints of my legs have lived through trials, challenges and healing with me.😌 I had multiple ankle sprains, ACL tears, hamstring injuries, a hairline crack on my L5 and dislocation of my SI Joint. These multiple injuries have somehow caused my legs to become lazy in some way as they seem to be in a perpetual state of fragility.
I later realised that the main reason for these injuries to occur so often was due to imbalance of my hip joints. My right hip was externally rotated more than my left one causing my right foot to turn out and over-pronated, and the cause could be from the other way round too, with a habitual turning out of my foot that causes my hip to be externally rotated.😕 Either way, my spine was getting all the pain and my right hamstrings were always tighter and prone to strain. To wrap everything up, I had quite a poor structural stability and weak core and legs muscles.
A 'problem' which started from my foot, legs and hips had contributed to problems to occur in my upper torso, the first one being my spine.
What I did and Why?
1. Butterfly, Yogic Squat/ Malasana, Lizard and Pigeon Pose - practiced in Yin style, to work on external rotation i.e increasing the range of motion for my LEFT hip joint.
2. Gentle Hamstring stretches, holding double the time for the right leg. Hamstrings are attached to the pelvic bones that can pull on the lower back. If the hamstrings are excessively tight, they will create added stress on the back, contributing to lower back and knee pain.
3. Be more aware of my walking, running and jumping/landing habits.
4. Sumo squats, Dancing Warrior and Side Lunge Flow to improve my hip strength and mobility.
You can refer here for my Side Lunge Flow Tutorial.
5. Frog Pose at least 3 times a week, gradually reduced to once a week. We should avoid over-doing this pose as the adducters and pelvic floor muscles are very delicate and prone to strain.
I practiced these for a consistent 2 years and have achieved significant results to my structural stability and overall physical strength. I am less injury prone and I then slowly moved on to adding functional and weight training to my exercise routine to further improve my physical functionality.
I hope this guide is able to help you to gain some insights on how to improve your hip health and to achieve overall physical strength, flexibility and mobility. Don't be surprised if you also noticed any improvements on your digestive health too!