Loosen Up Tight Hips With 3 Types Of Poses - Monthly Yoga With Abi

Apr 25, 2017
by Abi Carver  
3 types of yoga poses to loosen up tight hips.

I first wrote on Pinkbike about how to unlock tight hips a little over a year ago. Since then, the 15-minute hip opening routine I posted has been watched over 23k times, which shows how important an issue this is for you guys. In this article, I am going to run through the basics of hip mobility and recommend some additional/alternative poses for those of you who regularly practice the sequence and would like to fine-tune and personalize it.

What causes tight hips?

Your body is an efficiency machine. It adapts to what you do most often and, unfortunately, not to what you do that is best for your long-term physical health. What this means is that as you get older, you lose the ability to get into positions and perform movements that, over time, you have neglected.

Here are 5 ways this can affect your hips:

1. Chronic contraction. We sit for an average of 10 hours day—at work, on the bike, when we’re travelling, eating and relaxing in front of the TV. Sitting shortens the hip flexors, the muscles that connect the lower spine and pelvis to the tops of the thighs.
2. Limited range of motion. What you do most of the time—walking, running and riding your bike—requires very limited range of motion, especially at the hips.
3. Overuse. You repeat that limited range of motion, over and over.
4. Weak glutes. As the hip flexors tighten from contraction and overuse, the opposing muscles—the glutes—respond by relaxing and deactivating. This process, known as reciprocal inhibition, is designed to protect the hip flexors from tearing. 
5. Pain. Muscular imbalances lead to compensation patterns. These dysfunctional patterns when repeated over and over, stress synergistic muscles, eventually causing chronic pain. 

These 5 factors create the perfect storm for tight and inflexible hips. You, therefore, need to counterbalance your lifestyle habits and physical training with targeted flexibility and mobility work.

When you have access to full range of motion at your hips you will be able to:

- generate maximum power and speed on the bike
- transfer your weight smoothly and efficiently to optimise control and reduce fatigue

Loose hips will also reduce your risk of injury and help to relieve associated lower back and knee pain.

3 types of yoga poses

One of the main reasons that yoga is so effective at loosening up tight hips is that, unlike conventional stretching, in yoga we stretch the hips from multiple different angles. 

There are 3 different types of hip openers—hip flexor, groin and outer hip stretches—and you should aim to incorporate all of them into your mobility training. When you start to tune in, you will probably find that you are flexible in some ranges of motion and less in others, so focus on the areas that need most attention. 

If you struggle to get into any of these poses, try one of the alternatives until you have sufficient flexibility and mobility to move up to the next level. This is going to look different for all of you. For example, some of you drop easily into Pigeon but struggle with Dead Pigeon, which for many athletes is an easier pose. Just see what works for you and, of course, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

Hip flexor stretches

1. Wind-Relieving Pose

Wind-Relieving Pose

Instructions

- Lie on your back and hug your right knee into your chest.
- Press your lower back into the mat and move your right knee in any way that releases tension or tightness in your right hip.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, in and out through your nose.
- Release the pose and switch sides.

2. Low Lunge

Low Lunge Hip opener

Instructions

- From Downward Dog, step your right foot in between your hands, drop your left knee and release your back foot.
- Come up and rest both hands on your front thigh. Check that your right knee is directly above your ankle.
- You should feel the stretch in the front of your left thigh and hip.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- Take a deep breath in. Exhale, bring your hands to the mat, tuck your back toes and step back to Downward Dog for the other side.

3. Lizard

Lizard pose opens up tight hips.

Instructions

- From Downward Dog, take a deep breath in.
- Exhale, step your right foot in between your hands. Drop your left knee, release your back foot and slide it back.
- Bring your right hand inside your right foot and walk your right foot out to the edge of the mat. Sink into the stretch.
- To go deeper, come down onto your forearms and interlace your fingers. You can rest your elbows on blocks until you can come all the way down to the mat.
- Hold for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- Take a deep breath in. Exhale, tuck your back toes and step back to Downward Dog for the other side.

Groin (adductor) and hamstring stretches

1. Downward Dog Split

Downward Dog Split opens up the hips.

Instructions

- From Downward Dog, step your big toes together.
- Inhale, sweep your left leg up to the sky. Exhale, relax into the pose. You can bend your supporting leg as much as you need to.
- To deepen the intensity of the pose, bend your left knee and let your foot drop back behind you.
- Stay here for 5 deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your left hip.
- To come out of the pose, take a deep breath in. Exhale, bring your left foot down to the mat for the other side.

2. Reclining Butterfly

Reclining Butterfly

Instructions

- Lie on your back, bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall open in the shape of a diamond.
- Bring your arms up overhead and take hold of opposite elbows.
- If your hips are tight, you can put cushions under your knees for support.
- Completely relax into the pose, allowing gravity to open up your hips.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, in and out through your nose.
- To come out of the pose, bring your hands to your knees and gently lift them back up to centre.

3. Happy Baby

Happy Baby opens up the hips and stretches the groin.

Instructions

- Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest.
- Keep your feet together and bring your knees out wide. Thread your hands through and take hold of the outsides of your feet.
- Bring your ankles out over your knees, flex your feet and gently pull them down towards you.
- If you can't reach your feet, you can hold onto your ankles or the backs of your thighs.
- Press your lower back into the mat and rock gently from side to side.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.

Outer hip (glute and piriformis) stretches

1. Dead Pigeon

Dead Pigeon

Instructions

- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the mat.
- Rest your right ankle on your left knee.
- Thread your hand through the triangle between your legs and hold the back of your left thigh with both hands. Gently pull your leg in towards you.
- Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Press your left elbow against your inner thigh to increase the stretch in your outer hip.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- Release the pose and switch sides.

2. Pigeon

Pigeon Pose Hip opener

Instructions

- From Downward Dog, step your big toes together.
- Inhale, sweep your right leg up to the sky. Exhale, bring your right knee forward, place it on the mat behind your right wrist and position your right foot underneath your left hip.
- Release your back foot and slide it back. Look behind you to check that your left leg is straight.
- If your hips are not level, you can support your right hip on a cushion.
- Inhale, press into your fingertips to lengthen your spine. Exhale, walk your hands forward, and come down onto your forearms.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- To come out of the pose, bring your hands to the mat, tuck your back toes, lift your hips up and step back to Downward Dog for the other side.

3. Reclining Spinal Twist

Reclining Spinal Twist

Instructions

- Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest.
- Lower your left leg to the mat and squeeze your right knee into your chest.
- Bring both arms out in a T, palms facing down.
- Hook your right foot behind your left inner thigh and gently guide your right knee across your body, down towards the mat, as far as is comfortable.
- Look to the right and try to keep both shoulders flat to the mat.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- Take a deep breath in. Exhale, come back to centre and switch sides.

 Further tips

1. Be patient and consistent. Loosening up tight hips may take time. Depending on your level of flexibility, you can work on improving your hip mobility for 15 minutes, 3-5 times a week. 
2. Force is a substitution for intelligence always. (Moshe Feldenkrais) Focus on feeling and easing your way into the poses, rather than on trying to force your hips to open.
3. Use your breath. Slow down your breath and use it as a guide for how deep you should go into each of the stretches. Breathe and release. Catch yourself anytime you find yourself holding your breath and holding onto tightness.
4. Pay attention to your alignment. Practice in front of a mirror if you can and pay close attention to alignment cues. 
5. Be mindful. Notice how your body feels in the stretches. Notice where your asymmetries are and which areas you need to work on.

Resources

I have just released a brand new series of 15 x 15-minute videos designed to loosen up tight hips, increase hip mobility and build stability and strength in the hip joints. Here is the link: vimeo.com/ondemand/yogafortighthips. And you can find 2 hip opening sequences in the Yoga for MTB series: vimeo.com/ondemand/yogaforbikers if you’re just getting started.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if there is anything specific I can help you with, and share any advice you have based on your experience so far.

Stay loose!

Photo credit: Graham Mattock and Charley Smith

Previous Yoga with Abi:

15-Minute Post-Ride Routine Designed To Optimize Your Recovery
Three Levels of Yoga to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Stretches to Relieve a Tight Chest and Stiff Shoulders
The Most Effective Style of Yoga to Increase Your Flexibility
Easy 15-Minute Yoga Routine To Loosen Up Tight Joints
How To Release Tight Quads And Increase Your Power
How To Release Chronically Tight Hamstrings
A Challenging One-Hour Yoga Flow Class
Take Control of Your Mind and Push Your Personal Limits
Yoga To Relieve Pain In Between The Shoulder Blades
15-Minute Routine To Unlock Tight Hips
15-Minute Yoga Routine To Build Core Strength
Short Yoga Routine To Help With Lower Back Pain in Bikers
15-Minute Yoga Routine To Enhance Balance and Agilityl
15-Minute Post-Ride Yoga Routine
8 Quick Yoga Stretches To Do At Work


MENTIONS: @yoga15app




123 Comments

  • + 83
 Wait... No comments? At least one thing needs to be said:
Abi, thank you for all your care and work you share with us - riders. I have gained very helpful knowledge and am discovering some new ways of moving and caring about my health.
  • + 24
 Thank you @normanion. I'm happy to. Stay supple!
  • + 4
 @yoga15app: Definitely. Thank you Abi. Still using a handful of your stretches twice a day. HUGE improvement. Lower back pain gone, hips no longer achy.
  • + 2
 Another "Thank You" for these videos and tips. Although I am not as limber as my younger self, I am able to reduce pain and improve ability by performing these, and other tips of hers, daily.
  • + 8
 And another Thank You!

I've been debilitated several times by local yoga classes, I follow the instructions without knowing how to listen to my body and end up injured, tearing with pain and flopping around like a fish.

You know what I like about Abi's instructions? They're predicated on us not knowing what the heck we're doing, they fill in the secret common sense stuff that's normally left unsaid.

Example: "move your right knee in any way that releases tension or tightness in your right hip"

That's terrific instruction: use these routines to work with your body.
  • + 2
 @aoneal: awesome. That's the goal!
  • + 1
 @macross87: my pleasure. Maybe up the frequency and you might surprise yourself.
  • + 1
 @captaingrumpy: thanks! With yoga, the details are super important. Otherwise it's just stretching.
  • + 19
 I feel sorry for her posting on here. So many creeps
  • + 64
 I don't know... her articles are universally well received on the comment posts and any idiots with the creepy comments seem to be voted down pretty quick. Abi's posts are a welcome stress relief from all the tension brewing over old boost, new boost and future boost axles. The stuff works Abi, keep it coming!
  • + 25
 @fernrob: thank you. I do still feel it's worth it for the difference these stretches can make.
  • + 18
 It's funny seeing everyone's behavior change when Abi posts new material. From what I've seen since she first started posting there have only been a handful of off color posts that immediately got downvoted and received opposing replies. All the top replies have some heartfelt thank you which get lots of props but seem a little overdone to me. Everyone has to be real careful not to offend the masses on PB just waiting to cry foul. In reality we all have impure thoughts, and it's no secret that Abi is quite attractive. But I don't think there is a need to walk on eggshells with your comments for fear of being labeled a creep. And while there are plenty of a-holes on here just waiting to argue something petty, I don't think there are as many creeps as you think.
  • + 24
 This is the same website where a very popular repeated article is called "just the tip" right? Lets not pretend the audience is more refined that we actually are... lol.

We are proving that we can be respectful when needed though Wink
  • + 1
 @eswebster: fair point
  • + 4
 @kubaner: I don't think it's wrong to comment here that abby is hot...or whatever your thoughts are, but if you do so maybe use a phrase that you would use in real life instead of some creepy sleepy shit. ..like ...thanks abby, your yoga routines have been super helpful and don't mind me saying your damn fine....abby is helping many out in this page, a little respect goes a long way....
  • + 9
 @eswebster: It's pretty similar to the behavior I saw in college. I went to an all-men's school, and during the week, dudes would be pretty sloppy and crude, but if some women showed up for a party on weekend, suddenly everyone's Dapper Dan. And I'm just laughing, because I'm thinking, "You haven't brushed your teeth or wiped your rear end in a week, and now you're trying to play it off..." So yeah, it's kinda like that around here with these yoga videos.

One thing I do find maybe even a little more creepy than some of the more overt comments on here is how all these guys come out of the woodwork effuse with praise for these videos, and how it's saved all our lives. Now I'm not saying Abby doesn't produce good videos with lots of useful information -- she does a great job. What I'm saying is the perv comments and the overly-eager-to-praise comments are two sides of the same coin in a way, spurred by wanting to attract the attention of an attractive woman.

Don't believe me? When was the last time a workout routine by Bike James or some other strength and conditioning expert was so universally lauded here? So many people are either quick to criticize the regimen, or shout, "This isn't football! Just go out and ride!"
  • + 2
 @kubaner: Dude, you're spot on. A lot of people can be susceptible to projecting their own 'darkness.' Group think (as well as walking on eggshells in public forums) can make it worse.
  • + 1
 I feel sorry for you feeling sorry for her !
  • + 3
 James gets lots of flak because he is controversial. He is rather outspoken and will make most people arguing with him to tap out. So he generates lots of love/hate kind of reactions. I personally respect him a lot, even the mace sht. Abi is playing a professional card, keeps it dry and informative, as result stays out of trouble. Love her stuff
  • + 1
 I love it when Abi posts her latest videos. Compare the comments against one of Dee Tidwell's exercise videos - what a bunch of dweebs. Let's face it - Abi is hot and she makes many of us go weak at the knees. She obviously reads the comments and I think she would be professional and worldly enough to take the comments for what they are. I think that everyone should chill and that many of the 'blokes' on this forum should but their bikes aside for a while and go reacquaint themselves with the opposite sex i.e. relax. That aside, both Abi and Dee's videos are great and continue to be extremely useful, but it is difficult to replicate all the steps shown. It will be good when someone develops a 360 degree video or better still, a local sets up a bike specific yoga class.
  • + 2
 @Wandoo: it's tough to see all angles even in a class but you can always send me a message if you're not sure where some part of your body is supposed to be.
  • + 3
 @TheR: agreed that it's two sides of the same coin...one strategy just has a way higher success rate!
  • + 1
 @chantalfelten: agreed. I'm unlikely to keep posting articles if all the comments are creepy.
  • + 1
 @yoga15app: Thanks Abi. In all honesty I am a bit old school and not very good at following videos (attention span of a goldfish) anyway. I take out bits and pieces which I am trying to use in concert with intermittent acupuncturist/ physio/chiro visits to address cyclic lower back/hamstring/ITB issues impacted by surfing and now biking which is not so good when I spend increasingly long hours at a desk. The solution is to find time to locate a relevant yoga class (Bikram Yoga seems to be the trend here). Cheers.
  • + 1
 @chantalfelten: It's interesting that your comment is read differently knowing you're female. At least for me anyway. Our cultural filters are super interesting.
  • + 1
 @yoga15app: So what you're saying is, some of these guys have a shot! Smile

Just kidding. Nice job on the videos.
  • + 1
 @TheR: I think your way of thinking is quite logical, but I have another theory, based on my experience and observations (are they identical and therefore redundant? my vocabulary and familiarity with English language seems insufficient).

There is one Polish magazine - "Bike Board" - where one can find series of exercises prepared by very attractive girl (look for: Marta Bosy). There is no feedback and no comments section. Yet there are people, who follow those instructions. I think that main reason behind this motivation is our masculine pride, where we - male sapiens - will not be worse than some female in this matter, with some childish need of movement added. But I might be wrong. ;]
There are also well prepared pictures, they are fast, they promise good effects and (I will repeat) can be done by "fragile" girl. :]

As for exercises prepared by men. I have one routine prepared by my male physician and - MAN - that thing leaves me exhausted! They should be warm ups, but when I finish (if done properly, after ONE HOUR!), I need some time to regenerate my forces.

All above does not negate truism, that attractive people have easier life. Being chivalrous, and treating girl the way she deserves may seem like support for your thesis, but there are those that were raised to treat females better than their sex. Especially when she gives us her time and work, when she cares about us. That's the way I see it. I don't know, if you agree or if it seems to you like some misoginistic way of thinking, but that's the way I was raised and that's the way I feel good and will be going through my life. And I believe (again: I might be wrong), that this is natural and undisturbed way of thinking, observed among many cultures (take Tuaregs, for example, where one might mistakingly think "Muslim = oppression of females"). Fantasies that some anonymous person in different corner of the World can pick up or get attention of some girl from internet, from other distant corner of the World seems to me like total waste of time (except when masturbating - I think), because it is more effective to be knight in your neighbourhood and pick up girl from similar level of Abi looks (subjective topic - there should be some statistically unimportant group of people, for whom Abi is absolute top choice in terms of looks).

And by the way, I might look like some white knight, but I have girlfriend, that has similar look, but I can touch her, I can kiss her, and I will fall asleep while holding hands in some short time. And for sure she will tell me "I love you", which cannot be said about Abi. :]

Cheers Earthling!
  • + 2
 @yoga15app: Regarding what Wandoo said. To be honest, there are two obstacles for me in your videos, but they seems to come within me. Both came from my lack of English proficiency. This might be true for some other people so I will leave it here for some potential reference.

1) I love your way of explaining your routines in pictures and written words, but sometimes it is difficult to know how exactly some moves should be made. I sometimes have difficulties to connect moves with words. To know how some body parts should move - especially those hidden not only by insufficient collection of pictures from different angles, but also covered with skin. I can give you few examples from my recent try:
- "bring your feet together in the shape of a diamond" - how does diamond shape look like (I mean: I know how diamonds look like and I know their structures from Kittel's "Introduction to Solid State Physics" book, but couldn't translate this to any body parts position)? I'm being retarded so don't take my words as any indicator. The rest of folks here might picture proper position in their heads just from your words. I couldn't see it in your picture, so I googled and found it.
- how many pillows are there under your legs and are they connected? Solution: as above.
- "Notice how your shoulders roll outwards in their sockets" - this one puzzles me the most. I still do not know how to do it. I'm to tense and there is no way for my shoulders to move by themselves. What does it mean "outwards"? From which perspective? Around which axis? And which direction? I can move them there but need to know how... I think that pictures with some arrows would work great. Maybe additional diagrams? Don't know how you see it, but I would prefer for you not to make changes only for one person. As I said: I'm being retarded so might be alone with this problem. This one I tried to overcome by buying Pocket Yoga, but there is no Reclining Butterfly there. Beside this - there are lots of poses and great pictures in said app.

2) While I love - and many Polish people do love - English accent, it is one of the hardest one to understand. It is some kind of paradox: We love in, while having difficulties with understanding it. I overcome this by going several times through one exercise and doing it without your assistance from my memory. Unfortunately, It's not in your power to change this. And I am seriously jealous of those, who can go with the flow. I did not found any app to give me good flow and am to lousy and unorganised to do real life yoga classes. ;]

Besides I think that, nevertheless what brings other to your routines - being an eye candy to some or an coincidence of giving solution to the problems our type of people suffer, just to name first examples that spring to my mind - you're doing great service to many people here.

Regards!
  • + 1
 @Wandoo: I love that you are incorporating acupuncture, physio and chiropractor. Recovery is complicated and it rarely takes just one modality. I see a physio, have sports massage, foam roll, regularly ice and steam, float, meditate and sleep like a boss.

Take the stretches from my articles that work for you and good luck finding a class. Bikram is intense!
  • + 1
 @normanion: I'll see what I can do!
  • + 9
 I have two slippeds discs for more then 10 years and had some trouble since that. I always thought that yoga was a "girl´s"-thing only and never tried it out- until I saw Abi´s article about post ride yoga and back relief. Since i tried those poses and practice with the videos as reagulary as possible my back feels so much smoother at work, at home, when riding etc. the key really is to practice constantly- but it really is worth its time. I feel so much more relaxed after a yoga session, I never have thought that it calms you down so much. So yeah that is what I always wanted to say: Thanks a lot, Abi!
  • + 5
 Same here. My slipped discs have never returned since following Abi's advice, but I would never have slipped a disc in the first place if I had been man enough to do something so 'girly' in the first place. Yoga a day keeps the green whistle away.
  • + 1
 My pleasure. I think we all suffer from thinking we do stuff like yoga, exercising or eating well for a bit and then we're done, when you're the right, the benefits build up over time.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: true dat.
  • + 4
 To all young riders out there. Adopt this routine immediately! Eventually your hips will become your worst enemy and a constant battle to keep open and moving. Stay on top of it early! But all seriousness aside. "Wind relieving pose"? I knew it was okay to fart in yoga class!
  • + 2
 That's good advice. The first bit anyway.
  • + 4
 when i was practicing martial arts, i was able to to the split. me, a 90+ kg dude. after 3 years i don't train anymore in that discipline, i can barely go over 90° of spread, with LOTS of pain (especially in the inguinal ligament). gonna give these a try. Thanks Abi!
  • + 3
 You'll do great with your martial arts background. Let me know if you have any questions.
  • + 8
 @yoga15app: don't worry if i snap my waist in half you'll be the first i'll call for help Big Grin
  • + 1
 @Bruccio: no pressure!
  • - 2
 I'll have additional axis if i do split ...
  • + 3
 before i started reading these i used to be in so much pain at night, this helps my body recover quicker and in much less pain. i had actually never heard of the IT band until reading one of your last write-ups, now i know what it is that hurts and how to fix it. cant thank you enough!
  • + 2
 My pleasure. We just don't get taught this stuff.
  • + 7
 I'm barely able to tie my shoes Frown
  • + 3
 Use velcro shoes ! Big Grin
  • + 3
 @Will-narayan: going for flip flops now
  • + 3
 25 views of the Ratboy vid, 58 of this. Sounds like some tight hips in the building today. Got my joke out, now for the serious part. Thanks Abi for this series. I sit at a desk all day and seeing these pop up reminds be to get back at it to get the pain out of my hips.
  • + 1
 No worries. Sitting is a killer for tight hip flexors and weak glutes. I hope these stretches help.
  • + 3
 Hi Abi. Thankyou for yet another great article. Do you have any stretches/releases for tight Psoas muscles. I race bmx as well as mtb and due to heavy wgt training and sprint work for bmx i find both my hip flexors and ITBs get super tight. As a result my psoas tighten up giving me lower back pain from around T12 to iliac cest. I get it mainly in my left side and i think this is due to me pumping the bike with predominantly my right foot foward, left back and consequently putting more strain through my left glute/hip/thigh etc. I use the foam roller regularly and find that gives relief to my iliac pain but not the mid to lower back.
Long winded i know but so is my problem! Haha
Thanks
  • + 1
 I'm interested in this one too. I have problems predominantly on my left side and I wondered if thats due to riding right foot forward.
  • + 1
 Man... I thought above 'Low Lunge' and especially 'downward dog split' are the Yugest psoas stretches. Settle into downward dog split and tell me your leg isn't just hanging off the psoas.
  • + 2
 @slowrider73 @symanoy foam roll your quads, IT Band and hip flexors, do the first 3 stretches on here + Supported Bridge pose: www.pinkbike.com/photo/14035584

Do that every day. Just think every time you ride and train you're tightening them up so make sure you balance it out.
  • + 1
 @yoga15app: thanks so much for this Abi! Been doing these poses 1-2 times a day for the last few days and really feeling the difference! Feels much better on the bike, but also squats in the gym feel so much more natural! Will be sure to keep this up!
Any suggestions for tight traps??
  • + 1
 @symanoy: here are some stretches you can add to your routine to stretch out your traps: www.yoga15.com/blog/gentle-stretches-to-relieve-sore-neck-and-shoulders

And get a massage! You deserve one.
  • + 2
 Reclining spinal twist is my favourite thing thing in the entire world. Bit it cracks my back everytime i do it. As much as i enjoy the sensation, i can't help but imagine that it is indeed grindingbmy my vertebrates together. Any comments about that? Way to exercise the move and not crack my back?
  • + 3
 Cracking is the release of tiny gas bubbles in your joints and is harmless. The easier it is for you to crack your joints, the looser your body is. When I had an IT band injury, it took a considerable force for the chiropractor to crack my lower back. After doing rehab, he only had to gently lean on me to crack it because my muscles had loosened up.
  • + 1
 @calvin2032: I'm no physiotherapist, but I wonder if cracking may not also mean a lack of musclular structure, it may mean your articulations are a bit too loose.
  • + 1
 Yup - cracking is small nitrogen bubbles, nothing to be afraid of. But @Will-narayan is right - if you have less laxity/play in your joints (i.e. better stabilization), the bubbles won't build up again so easily. If you are relying on the cracking to relieve tension constantly then that's a problem (i.e. you are trying to mobilize an issue that requires stabilization). You could try adding in more core stability exercises like Abi's 15-min core workout or the Yoga for Back Pain videos!
  • + 1
 @rbka: cracking have gone done significantly since starting building up my core strength. Still a long way to go, but thanks for the info!
  • + 2
 I wish I had seen this when I was still doing motorbike track days, being in the squat position on top of a sportsbike used to cause all sorts of cramping and pain in my hips for the first couple of sessions. Keep up the good work Abi.
  • + 1
 Will do!
  • + 2
 There is absolutely nothing happy about happy baby pose for me! As an office worker, avid gym goer and keen rider I always have super tight hips. The first article was a godsend and I can't wait to build on it with these - Thanks Abi!
  • + 1
 Just remember to stay consistent! You'll get more and more supple over time.
  • + 2
 @yoga15app Thanks Abi, this is perfect timing. Over the past couple of months I've been struggling with a sore/clicking outer left hip that only occurs when I run, but is then stiff and sore for days afterward. I thought it was my running shoes (they were old and a bit flogged out) so I changed them up to a newer version, but it hasn't made any difference. . Are there any specific stretches/poses I should do to target the outer hip, or should I work on strengthening the whole hip?
  • + 2
 Strong hips are as essential as flexible hips for riders. I am working on an article on that right now so if you sign up to my newsletter, you'll get it in a few days: www.yoga15.com/yoga-for-mountain-bikers

6 of the videos in the Yoga 15 Hip Series are specifically for building strength: vimeo.com/ondemand/yogafortighthips
  • + 2
 @yoga15app: Great stuff, thanks!
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 @Makk-daddy: No problem.
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 @yoga15app Was just talking about this the other day. It's a pre-race ritual for me to try and really get my hip flexors to loosen up, it's a constant battle. Sometimes I worry whether it's an inbalance issue, or just an overuse from riding the bike so much....
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 I hope this article helps to clarify.
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 Pigeon, Lizard and Reclining Butterfly and the lunge are my go to poses if I'm pressed for time. Constantly tight hip flexors here. Good stuff!
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 She looks like she's playing xbox in the pigeon picture,
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 Low Lunge with Sidebend: www.yoga15.com/low-lunge and with Quad Stretch: www.yoga15.com/low-lunge-with-quad-stretch are good too.
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 tup appreciated as always

..One day you will feature an MTB in the background of your yoga poses Smile
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 Any non surgical permanent fix for piriformis syndrome?

Stretches so far helps on relieving but not permanent.

Strengthen glutes helps as well.
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 www.youtube.com/watch?v=spYZsWH7I6o

I had piriformis syndrome back in high school when I ran track and this method fixed me in less than a week. It sounds strange and is very painful the first couple times you try it but it worked for me.
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 it depends what the cause is.
i unluckily tried to treat mine without surgery for too long, wound up being a bulged L5S1 disc that was causing the issues in the first place.

as with any injuries and pain; get a proper diagnosis and treat THAT, not the symptoms. It will save you chasing things for extended lengths of time.
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 switch forward foot when riding! and then develop it on the other side... hmm
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 I would recommend physio and sports massage as often as you can.
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 Thanks abi but honestly how the hell are you getting more comments that rat boy on a mountain bike site? I can literally lookup stretching techniques anywhere.
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 @yoga15app Thanks Abi. I broke my back in 4 places. T2,T5 and L5/S1 are fused. These help a great deal.
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 Awesome. Please please careful.
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 I know why they call it dead pigeon...i felt just like one trying to do these poses.
/getting old
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 sufferings from tight hips currently. will start working on this! thanks for posting
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 Let me know if you need any help/motivation.
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 I've been doing some of these and I'm excited to add the others in. Thumbs up!
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 Thanks! Let me know if you have any questions.
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 perfect timing for me , been on the couch since October with injuries and the hips are stiff and tight . Thanks!!
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 Start with some gentle mobility and very careful stretching.
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 Those are really good. Having good mobility in the hips helps no end with MTBing so I've been told.
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 if you think you cant do yoga,try it and keep at it.It will be the smartest thing you can do for your body.
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 Abi - the David Attenborough of tight pants
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 I am so tired of seeing these yoga posts! I am reminded enough about my inflexibility when I try to squat and here you keep showing us how the human body is supposed to move.

(maybe this one will give me the push to actually stretch more).
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 Flexibility is mostly natural, you can get a little more flexible over time but not a whole lot. I think the same thing on some of these poses... like I look nothing like that when I am stretching my board-like body.
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 downward dog split makes me feel so useless and old
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 All the things I should do but don't.
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 Lol the only time I can fold like this is when I crash.
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 Thanks Abi!! You're a Rockstar.
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 Thanks!
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 If all yoga instructors were as good looking as Abi I'd yogi everyday.
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 This is gold! Thanks @yoga15app
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 Thanks!
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 My math wrong, or is there 9 poses?
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 3 types: hip flexor, outer hip and inner thigh stretches.
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 fit as fuck
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 Long time reader, first time poster...have you found goat yoga to aid in you not goat yoga poses?
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 happy baby all day!
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