Blue skies and a warm breeze totally motivate me to exercise outdoors, so I've been doing lots of running, biking, and hiking. My muscles are becoming stronger, but they're also getting tighter, especially my hips. If you're in need of a good hip stretch, give this Pigeon variation a try. Bending your bottom knee next to your thigh intensifies this stretch so you also feel it in your quad, shin, and the top of your foot.
To learn an easier modification,
- Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Bend your left knee so your heel is close to your bum and the top of your foot is pointing down. If this bothers your knee, bend it in the other direction, opening the knee out to the side, bringing the sole of your foot against your right inner thigh. Still hurts? Just keep your left leg straight out in front of you. This will bring the stretch solely into your right hip, instead of stretching your left quad and shin as well.
- Sitting with a tall spine, bend your right knee and lift your shin up toward your chest, wrapping your arms around your right knee and foot. Hug your knee as close as you can toward your chest to intensify the stretch. Continue to sit up straight with relaxed shoulders.
- It may feel good to rock your shin slightly from side to side (like a baby), or you may prefer to hold the position. After 30 seconds, straighten both legs out in front of you, and repeat this stretch on the other side.