Now that we’ve got you moving (and hopefully sweating!), it’s time to take it back to some tips for an often troubled and tight area of the body for men—the hips. As a refresher, when it comes to describing the hips from a Jock Yoga point of view, we are referring to the entire pelvic area and the many muscles that surround it. The hips, in general, are usually tight in most men—especially in athletic men—and can cause a lack of mobility for runners, squatters, jumpers, etc. This tutorial is perfect for the summer season when we are often more active outdoors and participating in sporting events.
Today our Jock Yoga tutorial will breakdown an active stretch for the outer hip, IT band, glute and low back, and an active and passive stretch for the inner thigh/groin crease area.
• • •Jock Yoga Tutorial: Active stretch for outer hip
Step 1: Stand upright at the front of your mat, with feet hip-width.
Step 2: Pick up your right foot and flex it (which means to push the ball of the foot away while pulling the toes back). Bend your knee and place your right ankle just above your left knee. The inner line of your right leg and your knee should be rolling open and away from you. (Looks like a number ‘4’)
Step 3: With an inhale, extend your arms up—shoulder width, and with an exhale, bend your standing knee and sink your bum back in space—hinging a little at the hip creases. (It is important to keep your foot flexed to protect your ankle from over stretching)
Step 4: Stay in this pose for five or so breaths while breathing deeply through your nose. With every inhale, lengthen the centre of your chest forward a little to keep the low back flat, and with every exhale, bend your standing knee a little more and fold forward a little deeper, while reaching your bum back in space. (Option to place hands on shin, or elbows on shin with hands in a prayer position) You should feel a stretch in your low back (right side), your glute, your outer hip and even a little in the outer thigh (IT band). After five breaths, return to standing and give your legs a little shake before moving on to the left leg.
• • •Jock Yoga Tutorial: Active/Passive stretch for inner thigh
Step 1: Come to seated on the mat with the soles of the feet together and your knees bent and rolling open to each side. You should be sitting upright on your sitting bones with a flat and extended low back—your hands planted firmly on your mat behind your hips. Your heels should be as close as possible to your groin while still sitting upright. With every inhale (through the nose), extend the chest upward to lengthen your back, and with every exhale, fold at the hip creases while maintaining your flat back. You should feel a stretch on the inner thigh at the groin crease. To intensify this stretch feeling, you can press your heels together while trying to open the rest of your feet like a book. (You can use your hands on the mat to help guide you forward a little deeper)
Step 2: After finishing 5-10 breaths in the active seated variation, begin to roll back on the mat with your upper body, while keeping your feet together in front of the groin.
Step 3: Once on your back, you can add a little bit of pressure by resting your hands on your upper inner-thighs, or you can rest one hand on your chest, and one on your belly for comfort. Stay here as long as you’d like, breathing deeply through the nose, and bring your attention to the area where you feel the stretch. Try to release any muscles in the groin area that are holding your knees up, so that gravity can take over and deepen the stretch where the inner thigh meets the hip. When you feel you are done, use your hands to guide the knees back together, and then roll to your side before getting up.