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Tight hips can be debilitating. When things aren’t working right down there, even sitting or walking can cause pain. Luckily, a little (proper) stretching can ward off this pain, increase the fluidity of mobility, and decrease chances of serious injury in the lower region of your body. It can also take pressure off the lower back, decreasing chances of pain in that area.

These 9 simple poses can help both stretch and strengthen your hips, but keep in mind when moving through them to listen to that internal voice of your body that tells you if you are in pain or just feeling a stretch. A stretch may feel a little sore but inevitably it feels like a release of tension. When you feel sharp pain, back out of the pose and consider using a prop or moving on to another stretch.

Lizard-Lower Lunge
Apparently, lizards have loose hips and this hip opener’s moniker is testament to that. Step your left foot forward several feet in front of the right foot. Bend the left knee until it lines up perfectly with the ankle. Drop the right knee to the ground and keep the toes curled under on that foot to stretch the calf muscle. Walk the left foot out to the side and place both elbows on top of blocks on the inside edge of the left foot. Keep hips lined up parallel to each other. You are opening the right psoas muscle and the left inner thigh. To get deeper into the right psoas, lift the right knee into a high lunge.

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