The world is a little chaotic these days, but the Lifehacker Fitness Challenge is still here for you as always. We’re working on flexibility this month, and now that we’ve covered backbends and ankle mobility it’s time to open up our hips.
I like the yoga phrasing of certain stretches as “openers.” That takes the focus off reaching for a certain level of flexibility. Instead, it makes me thing of trying a position to see what opportunities it gives you. Maybe you’ve been sitting a lot with your legs folded up. What happens if you do the opposite? What does that enable you to do or feel?
So I think it’s a good time to try some stretches that get our legs and hips moving in ways they don’t get a chance to while we’re spending time at desks and on couches. Try these:
The knee to chest stretch. Lie on your back, hug one knee to your chest, and let the other leg lie flat on the ground (or as flat as you’re able).
The bound angle pose. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together. If you can get your feet close to your body, that’s great; if not, find an angle that’s comfortable. (Keep your heels together if you can’t get your soles flat.) For an extra stretch, lie down and put your back on the floor as well.
Leg stretch with a strap. If you don’t have a yoga strap, anything will do, including a towel or a pair of sweatpants looped over your foot. Lie on your back, and stick one leg up straight in the air (it’s ok if you leg points forward instead of straight up). Use gentle tension on the strap to stretch your hamstring by pulling your leg toward you, then allow your leg to lean to the side.
Hopefully taking a few moments to breathe into these stretches will help you feel a bit better physically and mentally.