Between all day of sitting and not stretching before and after workouts, our bodies are bound to get tight and stiff.
When the muscle tightness and stiffness get neglected for a bit too long, it can lead to poor mobility and flexibility.
This makes your body more prone to injury, muscle strains, and back and joint pain.
If you are long overdue for a nice stretching routine, don’t worry.
You are not alone.
This 60-second lizard hip stretch can help your body feel 10x better and restore your flexibility.
In yoga, this lizard pose is called Utthan Pristhasana.
It’s one pose that opens up your hips and stretches your hamstrings and groin.
With the deep opening of your hip flexors, it helps reduce your back pain or nerve-pinching sciatica.
Depending on how stiff or flexible you are, this lizard stretch can be easy or challenging for your hips.
The harder you find yourself getting into the pose, the more stiff and compressed your muscles may be.
Spend just 60 seconds in this pose to help boost and maintain mobility and a full range of motion.
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Here is how to perform a lizard hip stretch.
- On a comfortable yoga mat, get into the downward-facing dog position with your hands and feet on the mat. Push your hips up towards the ceiling, keeping your back and spine flat.
- Position your hands slightly wider than the shoulder-width apart. In one motion, bring your left foot to the outside of your left hand. Your toes should line up with your fingers and your knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly lower your upper body down and get down on your forearms on the mat.
- Maintain your back and head in a neutral position while keeping your right leg active and contracted. This helps prevent your body from curving and sagging.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Release your body from the pose and extend your arms and come back on your hands. Your hands should be positioned under your shoulders.
- Brace your core and come back to the downward-facing dog pose with control.
- Switch sides and repeat on the other side.
- Repeat the process several times, deliberately taking the time to get into each position and feeling the stretch.
This lizard stretch is a great way to open up your hip flexors that may be under the pressure and experiencing some tension.
Depending on how flexible you are, you may find it challenging to get into the bottom lizard pose.
Don’t force yourself into the position and go beyond your body’s limits.
Flexibility isn’t something to force. Rather, it’s something to gradually improve with a stretch like this.
It may take several sessions and some consistency to open up the hips in the way you hope to. It may also be your back that needs some stretching to restore your full flexibility.
Wherever you are, spending just 60 seconds a day in this pose or other hip flexors stretches can help you improve your mobility immensely.
It’ll make your body stronger, flexible, and less prone to injury, falls, and muscle-related pain.
It’s important to listen to your body and take it slow.
If you find this pose painful, it may be that you need to start with other stretches that are less demanding.