Stretch Your Hip

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,442
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates how to stretch your hips.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss and this is general stretching. Muscles that we are going to work now around the hip, they are the quad muscles and they are the hip muscles. The first exercise is for quads. For women especially, its very tough to stretch quad muscles. When you stand up in a class and just bend the leg and try to touch your foot to your hip, generally, doesnt stretch in many women. This exercise does a better job. What we are going to do, is put our hands down, bring one foot forwards, so that the foot is near the hip. Lesley, has her left knee front, so she is going to take her left hand, take it across her body, and use it to support. Therefore she has got a knee, a hand and hip for support.

    Free hand is going to go back towards the back foot, pressing the hip flexor forwards and thats right here, as low to the ground as your can get, and sliding your back knee back just a little bit, its going to keep the pressure off the kneecap itself. Once, you get the hip flexor low, you are going to gently bend the elbow, pressing the foot towards the hip. You should feel it in the main quad muscle and you shouldnt feel tension on your knee. Should you feel too much tension on your knee, you can always just tip sideways, let the foot drop to the floor and do it that way. Its a little bit less intense on the quad. Then we want to move around to the back. So, what we are going to do is allow this foot to come down. We have got to lift up, just a little bit because we want our bellybutton, right over top of mid-calf. Both hands go down, one hand by the knee, one hand by the foot, farther the foot is forward, the harder it is to do. Now, if you have knee issues, you may not want to do this exercise. Or you can stay up high and have your foot farther back, your choice but once you find your positions, slide your back foot back just a little bit, foot slightly pigeon-toed. Sit back nice and tall, hands on the floor, is easier hands on a foot and knee lifting up, forces the hip flexor in the front to work a little bit more.

    So, you go to a point where you can handle it, but its still safe. If you want from there, we can then move slightly forwards walking our hands forwards, back is flat. Youve taken the pressure off the hip flexor and now you are feeling it around the glute area mostly. Breathing out and releasing. You can also at this point, if you want to go one step further, walk your hands towards the front leg, just a little bit and again breathe out and flatten your back and you are going to feel it deep around the glute, there are lot of glute muscles.

    In order to get back up safely, you got to walk your hands back in, like your are climbing back up the ladder, lift your hips up to disengage your knee, and bring in on back in and you may want to roll the hips around just a little bit, as you finish. Take a deep breath in, and release it all out.