The SIX Secrets to Having Happy Hips

The SIX Secrets to Happy Hips

With Dr Roz Griffiths (Lifestyle Chiropractor)

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips

Are your hips healthy?

Our hips are designed to move back and forward (like when walking) as well as in and out (like when squatting). Due to most people squatting much less than our ancestors, and many people walking less, our hips don't get as much movement as ideal.

Tight hips can lead to an increased chance of injury, pain and arthritis.


How to test if your hips are healthy

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Green
  • Lie on your back and bend one knee. Place the opposite ankle on a bent knee, can you do this comfortably?
  • Lie on your back and lift both hips up, can you hold this position for 5 seconds comfortably?
  • Lie on your back and pull one knee into your chest with both hands, can you hold this position comfortable for 5 seconds?

If one or more of these tests are uncomfortable, it is likely that your hips aren’t as healthy as they could be.


The FIVE secrets to having Happy Hips

1. Release Tight Muscles

Trigger points in the muscles around our hips can inhibit full function. Try these 3 top tips to release trigger points in muscles around your hips:

*Click here to watch video of Bruno doing these hip muscle releases*

  • Iliotibial band (ITB) release
    • Your ITB runs along the outside of your hip and down to your knee
    • To release the ITB, lye on your side with your body weight resting on a foam roller under your hip
    • Roll back and forward over the hip area for 30 seconds on each side

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Exercise Video

  •  Psoas muscle (hip flexor muscle) release
    • Your psoas muscle helps lift your knee (hip flexor)
    • To release your hip flexor muscle, place a massage ball just on the inside of your hip bone at the front.
    • Lye on your stomach resting body weight on the massage ball.
    • Move your body in small circles for 30 seconds on each side as the ball presses into the hip flexor muscle.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Exercise Video 2

  • Gluteal muscle release
    • The gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in your bottom and helps extend your hip backward
    • To release the gluteal muscles, place a massage ball under one bottom cheek and rest your body weight on the ball.
    • Roll back and forward over the muscle for 30 seconds on each side.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Exercise Video 3


2. Stretch Tight Muscles

When we spend a lot of time sitting, it is common for our hip muscles to get tight. Try these 3 stretches to loosen your hips:

*Click here to see Manisha demonstrating these hip stretches*

  • Standing Hip Flexor Stretch (lunge)
    • Start in a standing position.
    • Move your affected leg one pace backwards.
    • Keep both hips forward and keeping your feet in this position, drive your hips forward and tuck your pelvis to enhance the stretch
    • It is ok for the back knee to bend a little and for your heel to come up off the floor. You should feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
    • Hold this position for 25 seconds and then return to the starting position.
    • Relax and repeat on the opposite side.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Lunge 2

  • Seated Gluteal Stretch
    • Sit on a chair; bring one ankle up onto the knee of your other leg.
    • Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and you should immediately feel the stretch in the gluteal muscles.
    • For a deeper stretch, continue forward as far as you can comfortably go (keeping your chest up and spine neutral), pushing gently on the top knee with your hand.
    • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Chair Stretch

  • Adduction Stretch (Lateral Lunge)
    • Stand upright, with both feet facing forward, double shoulder-width apart.
    • Place your hands on your hips or thighs, in order to keep your back straight.
    • Slowly exhale, taking your bodyweight across to one side.
    • Keep your spine neutral. As you increase the stretch, the foot of the bent leg should point slightly outward.
    • Hold for 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Lunge 1


3. Mobilising Hip Joints

Our daily life doesn’t often use the full range of motion of the hip joint. Try these four mobilising exercises to increase the motion in your hips:

*Click here to see Henisha demonstrating these hip mobilising exercises*

  • Front & Back Hip Swing
    • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and place one hand on a wall
    • Keeping the inside leg stationary, gently swing the outside leg forward and backwards in a single smooth movement.
    • Repeat 8-10 times.
    • Switch sides and repeat.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Swing 2

  • Side to Side Hip Swing
    • Stand straight and place one hand on a wall or a chair for support.
    • Gently swing one leg from one side to the other in a single smooth movement.
    • Repeat 8-10 times.
    • Switch sides and repeat.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Swing 1

  • Clamshell
    • Lie on your side with bent knees.
    • Rotate the top leg as high as you can, then pause at the top for 2 seconds.
    • Lower leg back to the starting position.
    • Repeat 8-10 times.
    • Switch sides and repeat.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Stretch

  • One Leg Toe Touch
    • Stand on your right leg with the knee slightly bent.
    • Maintain a neutral spine and hinge forward to bring your torso parallel to the floor while lifting your left leg.
    • Return to the starting position of standing upright.
    • Repeat 8-10 times.
    • Switch sides and repeat.

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Stretch 2


4. Strengthening Hips

Once you have a good range of motion in your hips from releasing trigger points, stretching and mobilising; you will be ready to strengthen your hip muscles.

*Click here to see Roz demonstrating these hip strengthening exercises*

  • Wide Squat
    • Take your feet wider than your hips and turn your feet outward.
    • Bend your knees to lower your torso towards the floor whilst keeping your spine upright.
    • Come back up to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Switch sides, work up to 3 sets on each side.

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Arms Crossed Stretch

  • Side Step Exercise (with resistance band)
    • Stand in a half-squat position with a resistance band around your lower thighs.
    • Engage your hip muscles as you slowly take small steps to the side.
    • Keep your hips and toes facing straight ahead. Take 10 steps in one direction.
    • Do the opposite side. Work up to three sets on each side.
    • Increase the intensity by lowering the band so it’s above your ankles and lowering your squat position.

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Knee Stretch

  • Lateral step up (with or without weights)
    • Place your right foot on a sturdy surface/step that is 10-40cm above the floor
    • Engage your hip muscles and lift your left knee up to 90 degrees.
    • Lower left leg back to a lunge position. Repeat 10 times on each side, build up to three sets on each side.
    • If you have balance challenges, place your hand on the wall or don’t use a step.
    • To increase the intensity, hold a weight in your arms.

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Step Up

  • Glut Bridges
    • Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet in toward your hips.
    • Press your palms into the floor alongside your body.
    • Lift your hips up as high as you can.
    • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
    • Do each side 2–3 times.

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Hip Stretch


5. Daily Postural Awareness

  • Sitting Tips
    • Keep a 90 degree angle at your hips
    • Keep your feet flat on the floor
    • These two tips help you sit balanced on your hips
    • Do the seated glute stretch regularly during your day (See Manisha’s stretches)

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Ergonomics

*Click here to see Roz demonstrating ideal desk setup*

  • Sleeping Tips
    • Side sleepers, try putting a pillow between your knees to keep your hips better aligned

Chiropractor Porirua Roz Griffiths Hip Tips

*Click here to see Roz demonstrating ideal sleeping positions*


6. Chiropractic Adjustments

All of these tips for healthy hips work extremely well when you combine it with Chiropractic the ligaments around it. Based on your assessment they will develop a specific plan for you which will combine Adjustments with a selection of the exercises above.

Get in touch if you would like to book a Chiropractic Check up, whether it’s your first time or it has been a while!

Send an email, give us a call or book directly online. We look forward to looking after you and your family.

Chiropractic Balance Online Booking Link

Chiropractic Porirua Happy Hips Chiropractic Adjustment

Keeping your hips balanced and moving optimally is extremely important for your overall posture and movement. Let us know how you get on using these SIX secrets to having Healthy Hips.