A key component to having proper walking mechanics, especially stride and preventing low back pain, is hip flexibility. Desk jobs, spending time at your computer, and driving in your car tighten your hip and pelvic girdle. Here are a couple of my favorite hip opening stretches. Remember to include a hamstring stretch too. Having proper flexibility in your hips will also help you sufficiently engage all you walking muscles, and prevent injury—especially low back.

When you stretch I recommend to go to the point of feeling muscle tension, not pain.

Groin Stretch

  1. Kneel with knees together on bath towel; hips stacked directly over knees, and shoulders directly over shoulders, looking directly at floor.
  2. Inhale then, exhale breathing rhythmically and comfortably while slowly sliding knees apart allowing groin to stretch comfortably. Remember to keep hips in line with knees. Hold for 20 seconds until you feel your muscles releasing naturally.
  3. Repeat 2x.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel on right knee reaching right arm overhead while reaching left arm downward to floor.
  2. Inhale then, exhale and activate a pelvic tilt. Press pelvis forward to stretch hip flexors. Keep right knee stacked directly over right foot. Hold stretch for 20 seconds until you feel your muscles releasing naturally.
  3. Repeat on left side 1x each side.

*To view these hip opening stretches online, visit my FREE, digital emagazine, www.LindaLaRue.com.

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