The muscles around your hips play a crucial role in everyday movement, including walking and sitting. Unfortunately, they become weak and stiff if you don't look after them properly.
Having weak hips can lead to all kinds of problems, including lower-back pain. This is because spinal muscles will overcompensate and work harder if your hips aren't putting in their fair share of work.
It's a good idea to do some hip strengthening and stretching moves if you want to avoid these issues. And if you're looking for a fun routine to break up your day, we recommend this challenge from yoga instructor Emily Mouu. It will stretch the muscles around the hip joint and pelvis, including the hip flexors, buttocks, hamstrings, inner thighs, groin, and even abdomen.
You don't need any equipment for this routine, as it's made up of five bodyweight poses, some of which you might recognize if you've done yoga before.
Watch Emily Mouu's hip-opening challenge
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You might find some of these poses quite challenging; don't be disheartened if this is the case. If you find yourself in too deep a stretch, simply back off and move to a more comfortable position. Keep practicing and your hip mobility should improve over time.
A yoga block could also support you in some of these exercises. You could place it underneath your elbow during the lizard pose or use it to bring the floor closer to your hands during the wide-leg down dog. Take a look at our guide on how to use yoga blocks, if you've never tried them before.
You don't need much equipment for this routine, but a good yoga mat can cushion your joints while you hold the poses