TIPS FOR HEALTHY HIPS
“Sitting is the new smoking” said someone in my class the other day. This sounds like an exaggeration, but microbiologists agree with her. Doctors say the difference between thin and fat people is how much they sit. Not how much they exercise or eat. Sobering. We know we will damage the mechanisms in a car if we keep it in a garage too long. Similarly, our bodies are organisms of glorious grace and mechanics designed for mobility. My heart goes out to people who have to prove their value at work by how long they sit at their desks, as this is most of my clientele. This circumstance slows our metabolism, tightens hips, and crunches our spines.
The good news is just a little thought can prevent the dreaded outcomes of this situation. One tip doctors give is to shift your body every 30 to 90 seconds. Using our postural muscles this way produces an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase in our muscles’ blood vessels that burns fat. If sitting on a stability ball is an option for you at work, do it! Also, this kneeling side kick routine helps balance these muscle groups and become more aware of good posture. First try this…
HEALTHY HIP TEST
BENEFITS: Helps you to put energy in the abdominals while sitting; teaches you to picture the low back and the hip flexors and transfer the stress out them and absorb it with your transverse abdominals (deep abdominals). Reveals tight hip flexors.
- Sit in the center of a stability ball in your best posture, feet flat on the floor in line with hips, shoulders sliding down back, arms out for balance
- Gently engage your lower abdominals picturing your lower spine. Use it to keep it in place.
- Keep that thought going as you try to lift a foot up off the floor WITHOUT SHIFTING YOUR HIPS AT ALL, hold for 10 seconds, trying to use your deep abdominals to keep the spine from moving. Do the other foot.
Try this test from time to time. Monitor your improvement. You will improve! Especially if you practice this kneeling side kick.
KNEELING SIDE KICK ROUTINE
BENEFITS: Wakes up sleeping muscles, hip stretch for all around the joint, strengthens glutes and thighs, improves posture
- Keep shoulders in symmetry, engage abs, stabilize spine and hips (truly) as you slowly move leg forward and back
- 8 REPS
- Keep your leg in the same plane in space then…
- Slowly circle
- 8 REPS EACH WAY
- Notice where you want to rush the circle, and linger there
- René’s Tip: Really picture the circle your drawing. Forcing yourself to keep the same pace all around will stretch where your tight and strengthen where your weak.
- 8 REPS, try to keep the leg as high as you can
Done. Now do the other leg.
This is an uncomfortable position for most at first! If you can’t kneel yet doing these moves, practice lying on your side with the same principles of stabilization and symmetry. It will get easier. Balance takes time. Getting into this habit is much easier than quitting smoking or quitting sitting! Practicing the kneeling side kick, give yourself a little hip stretch and a little extra shifting during the day will do wonders for your health.