Hip Stretch While You Strengthen Legs
The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Hip Stretch While You Strengthen Legs

When you lunge to get a stretch, to strengthen, and to bend to reach or retrieve things, keep your hip vertical instead of tilting forward. You will feel a better strengthener for your legs and a wonderful stretch for the front of your hip.

Neither photo, above left, shows straight hip position. The left and right photos both show the hip tilted forward. The stripe in the pants tips forward between the top of the leg and the middle of the waist-band.

The photo below right shows straightening the hip. The moment you tuck the bottom of the hip under to straighten the hip, you will feel the stretch move to the front of the hip. If you use the lunge for bending and leg exercise, keep the hip tucked and vertical as you lower and you will feel a far better stretch and strengthener.

One way to do the hip tuck:

  1. Put your hands on each hip, thumbs in back, fingers in front.
  2. Roll your hip down in back so that your thumbs roll down in back.

The front of the hip and upper leg will feel very good when you do this right. You will feel the large arch reduce and the front of the hip stretch. The front of the hip is an area often overly-maintained in bent and shortened position from hours of sitting, then exercising with the hip still bent, as in the top-left photos.

Don't push the hip forward, just tilt the bottom under until vertical. This is the same hip tilt in:
Throw a Stronger Punch (or Push a Car or Stroller) Using This Back Pain Reduction Technique
Using Abdominal Muscles is Not Tightening or Pressing Navel to Spine.

These two posts show the key to position your hip so that your lower spine returns to neutral position and the hip stops tilting. You get a nice stretch with the benefit of stopping one kind of lower back pain that comes from going around all day with your hip tilted forward.

Bending the legs with one foot in front of the other is one of two healthy ways to bend for all the daily bending around the house. Click here to see it. The half-squat with feet side by side is another. Click here to see it.

The lunge is not an exercise that you do ten times then bend wrong for the rest of the day. It is one of several ways to do healthy bending for all you do. Use the lunge, not as an exercise, but a retraining for healthy body function and easy fitness as a lifestyle.

Photos of my student Lily, from the book Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.