A big day on the bike or a long day at your desk could lead to excessively tight hips which often presents as lower back pain. These stretches will release that tension and begin to open up the hips.
From the downward-facing dog position, bring your left knee forward and place it on the mat beneath your left shoulder. Place your left foot under your right hip. Release the rear foot by sliding off of your toes. Keep the back leg straight and your hips level. Straighten your spine and exhale as you shift your hands forward and drop your elbows to the mat for a deeper stretch. Hold the position, breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth. As you feel things releasing you can dip a little lower into the stretch. Hold the position for around 45 seconds or until you feel you have completely relaxed into the position. Repeat on the other side.
KNEELING HIP FLEXOR AND QUADRICEP STRETCH
Begin in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Lower your left knee to the ground. If necessary, place your right hand against a wall to stabilize yourself. Reach your left arm backward, grab your left foot and lift it into the stretch by pulling it towards your pelvis. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to the lunge position and then repeat on the other side.
SEATED BUTTERFLY STRETCH
Sit on a mat, with your back straight and bring your feet together. Place your hands onto your feet and gently lean forward into the stretch. Over time, as your mobility improves, your knees will get closer to the ground. You can lean your elbows onto your thighs to achieve a deeper stretch. Hold for 20 seconds. Release the stretch and repeat.
LETTER T STRETCH
Start by lying on the floor with a flat back and arms extended outwards, palms down – in a letter ‘T’ shape. Now bend your left knee and bring your thigh towards your chest. Now rotate your hips as you twist the bent knee across your body and down towards the mat. Use your right hand on your left knee to deepen the stretch. Try to keep both shoulders flat on the mat and finish the move by twisting your neck, looking left. Hold the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds until you feel the release. Repeat on the other side.
| KATE SLEGROVA is a personal trainer & cycling coach @kateslegrova @pretty_pedal |