You need to stretch your hips, yes, but here’s a simple fact you might have overlooked: you need to strengthen them, too. In particular, the smaller muscles that stabilize your hips (aka keep them from flopping around) sometimes get sleepy because they aren't so intimately involved with powering your usual, forward-oriented walking/running/cycling. Keeping your hips awake will help you to prevent injuries and, ultimately, add power to your stride.
Here’s a great pose to remind those muscles how to do their job:
Half Moon Prep
- Stand on your knees and extend your left leg out to the side like a kickstand, keeping your left toes pointing forward (feel free to pad that knee if needed).
- Bring your torso down to the right and rest your right hand on the floor or a block so that it aligns with your right knee.
- Extend your left arm up and reach through your fingers so that the arm feels active, as if someone is pulling it toward the ceiling.
- Lift your left leg up, bringing it parallel to the floor.
- Feel the work happening deep in your hips and hold for 10 deep breaths before switching sides.
Once you’ve mastered that (you feel strong and stable holding the pose for 5+ breaths), move on to standing Half Moon:
Keep workin’ it with our new Hip Strength & Stability video…