The more active and fit you are, the more you need to put time and attention into stretching your hips.
Here are two simple stretches:
1. Lie face up on a padded surface or yoga mat with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Bring your right leg toward you and wrap your right elbow (or wrist) under your right upper calf and your left elbow (or wrist) under your right ankle. Keeping your hips and shoulders on the floor, externally rotate your right thigh away from you as you gently move your right ankle toward you. Slide your left leg straight out in front of you. Pause and breathe in the pose for three breaths.
2. Bend your left leg and rest your right ankle just above your left knee. Move your right arm through the space between your legs and clasp your hands around your shin (or behind the thigh if your hips are tight). Flex both feet and gently pull your left knee closer to your chest as your right knee pushes away from you. Hold for one to two minutes. Release your arms and repeat on the other side.
Karen Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including “Full Body Stretch” and “Ballet Bodysculpt.”
©2012 Chicago Tribune
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