The truth is that you’re probably not doing enough foam rolling exercises. And if you have tight hips, this simple piece of fitness equipment might just become your new best friend—foam rollers lend themselves perfectly to exercises for tight hips. “The roller is an amazing tool to help smooth out and hydrate your fascia or connective tissue,” explains Lauren Roxburgh, a top Los Angeles-based body alignment expert and BE Aligned founder. This helps increase flexibility, decrease stiffness, improve alignment, and improve circulation, she adds. “It’s the perfect pre- and post-workout tool.”
“Hips are susceptible to blockages, tightness, and rigidity (both physically and emotionally), and are a common area of tension and stress,” Roxburgh says. And sitting all day at work only adds to this tightness. “Rolling helps open, lengthen, and restore soft tissue suppleness to your hips and will help you move better in life and in every workout you choose to do.”
Feel better now with these three foam rolling exercises for tight hips. If you need a foam roller, here’s the one that Roxburgh helped to design! And if you want to learn more tightness-reducing, posture-improving foam rolling exercises, be sure to check out Roxburgh’s BE Aligned class at the SELF UpNOut Studio event happening in NYC on October 15 and 16. Snag your tickets here.
1. Rolling Figure Four
Sit on the roller and reach your right arm behind you, planting your right hand on the floor a few inches behind you. Cross your right ankle over your left knee in a figure four position. Slightly shift your weight to the right hip/glute area and roll back and forth a few inches in each direction for about 30 seconds. Spend another 30 seconds breathing as you roll in tiny circular movements. Repeat on the opposite side.
2. Goddess Roll
Start on your forearms with your belly facing the mat. Place the roller under your hips, with your feet together and knees wide. Keep your belly muscles engaged to prevent overarching your lower back. Exhale as you roll your body forward so that the foam roller moves down to just above your knees. Inhale as you roll back up. Do this 8 times.
3. Psoas Roll
Start face down on your forearms with the roller placed perpendicular under your left hip. Bend your left knee so that your heel is pointing toward the sky. Place your right inner knee and thigh parallel to the roller. Twist your body slightly to the right and roll up and down the front of your left hip, keeping your breath slow and smooth as you move. Do this 8 times on each side.
For more foam rolling exercises and tips, be sure to check out the BE Aligned classes happening at the restorative studio at SELF’s UpNOut Studio event. Details here.