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Try This 8 Yoga Poses To Tone Your Thighs And Hips

According to a study conducted in 2017, hip injuries account for 6% of all sports injuries. They also occur in high-level athletes. But injuries to this ball-and-socket joint are very common in general. This is why hip-opening yoga poses should be part of everyone’s yoga routine, it is important for long-term hip mobility and health.

In addition, hip openers in yoga are said to have more than just physical benefits; the hips are believed to act as a container for our emotions. Thus, stretching the muscles around the pelvis provides emotional release. So, what are the benefits of yoga to the hips and what are the best exercises for hip mobility?

If you are a fitness freak and want to know more about yoga poses, then you can join a Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh. 


What you need to know about hip openers in yoga?

Especially in yoga, hip openers are important. They help you in every way because they free up the lower back and hips and make all the other poses possible. Hence, this is one type of yoga practice that you should repeat regularly. Before you roll out your yoga mat, let’s take a look at some of the most important things you should keep in mind while practicing yoga for the hips.


1. How Yoga Can Help Your Hips

Nowadays, stiffness in the hips is one of the most common conditions. The main reason for this can be that we spend a large part of the day sitting in chairs, cars or our beds. In contrast, we spend very little time in hip-opening positions such as the deep squat. The problem is that tight hips can lead to issues such as lower back pain, spinal deformities, and even injury or long-term damage. To better understand, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the hips, the hip joint is a so-called ball-and-socket joint. It provides stability during everyday activities such as standing and walking, and supports the weight of the body. This joint consists of the head of the thigh bone (femur) attached to the acetabulum, which is the socket part of the hip joint. It is formed by the iliac bone, ischium bone, and pubic bone.

This unique structure of the hip joint, for example, allows for greater range of motion than hinge joints such as the elbow or knee. So you need to open the front, back and sides of the hips to efficiently increase the mobility and flexibility in this joint. Hip-opening yoga poses can not only soothe hip and back pain, but also prevent you from injuring yourself in all sorts of movements.


2. The Most Important Thing in Hip-Opening Yoga Pose

There is a very simple but equally important adjustment you need to make to hip-opening yoga poses to protect your knees. The knee is a hinge joint, which means that it can basically only move in the sagittal plane, i.e. flex and extend. It has only a limited range of motion in the frontal plane. Note that the knee cannot rotate. This means that any rotation has to come from the hip because it is a ball-and-socket joint.

Therefore, whenever you practice hip openers in yoga, always actively stretch the outer part of the shin. This ensures that the rotation actually comes from the hip and protects the knee through the engagement of the calf muscles. To do this, spread the toes and push the foot inward. This means there is no hip-opening yoga pose where you bend the legs. That’s why. Because if you sickle the leg, that’s putting the outer ligament at risk of the knee. The movement bears the brunt. Therefore, never bend your ankle in hip-opening yoga poses.


3. Benefits of Hip Openers in Yoga

The hip joint and the pelvic region are the connection between the upper and lower parts of the body. Therefore it is an important area for all kinds of movements. A lot of poses that work either the upper body or the lower body involve the pelvic region in some way or the other. If the hip is not open and flexible enough, impulses of movement can become trapped in this area. As a result, the range of motion is reduced. That’s why it’s a good idea to focus on the hip area to improve your overall yoga practice.

The pelvic region is a very complex area that involves many muscles and works together, these muscles are stabilized and held together by connective tissue. The upper part of the thigh bone in particular has to go through a lot of connective tissue. This means, although tissue creates stability, we also need a certain amount of flexibility to be able to move functionally and create an optimal flow of movement. Hip-opening yoga poses can actually help loosen tight hips, thereby improving range of motion and circulation. This, in turn, can reduce back pain to a great extent.


7 Hip-Opening Yoga Postures for Better Mobility and Flexibility

1. Anjaneyasana | Crescent Lunge Pose

  • Begin with Adho Mukha Svanasana.
  • Now keeping your right foot in between your hands, keep your left knee on the floor.
  • Place your left toes on the floor and make sure your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Inhaling, lift your spine up, extend your arms to the ceiling in line with your ears, and join your palms in a namaste posture.
  • Tilt your head back and look up. Stay here for 5-9 breaths and then repeat with the left leg.

the gain:

Feel the melodious pain of Anjaneyasana as it stretches, strengthens, tones and relieves tension in your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip joints and glutes.


2. Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1 Pose)

  • Begin by placing your feet 3 to 4 feet apart. Fully bend your right leg 90 degrees to the right and the left foot 45 degrees inward.
  • Keeping your hips square, slowly twist your entire body to the right. Your body should be facing the front of the mat.
  • Coming into a lunge, bend your front knee and thigh, keeping the weight on the front heel and toe and the back foot pressing against the outer heel.
  • Square your hips and make sure your knee is directly over your ankle.
  • Inhaling, raise your arms straight up in line with your ears, hold here for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

the gain:

This pose does a great job of opening up your hips, legs and chest. Virabhadrasana-1 I am here to enhance your memory and make you more productive.

Utkata Konasana

3. Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)

  • Begin by placing your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
  • Now turn your toes out about 45-90 degrees depending on your flexibility.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, bend your knees and lower your hips into a wide squat.
  • Now bring your palms together in front of your chest in Namaskar Mudra.
  • Hold here for 9 to 12 breaths and repeat a few rounds of this.

the gain:

This pose strengthens the abs, knees, feet and calves and also stimulates the pelvic floor.


4. Malasana (Garland Pose)

  • Begin by standing tall, keeping your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance.
  • Now, join your hands in a namaste in front of your chest and turn your toes out slightly.
  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly begin to bend your knees, lowering your hips towards the floor.
  • Once your hips are a few inches off the ground, use your upper arms to open your thighs. Simultaneously, press your thighs inward so that you feel a lift through the hips.
  • Keep your torso straight and lift your chest. Relax your shoulders. Engage your whole body and hold for 8-10 breaths.

the gain:

Malasana helps to boost energy in the body and helps to open and activate the sacral and root chakras.

Anand Balasana

5. Anand Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)

  • Lie faceup with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your feet off the floor and grasp the outer edges of your feet with your hands.
  • Gently pull your feet towards your chest and allow your knees to drop down towards the floor on either side of your body. Keep your back flat on the floor.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths.

the gain:

This pose stretches the inner thigh muscles (connecting the hip).

Utthan Pratishthan

6. Utthan Pratishthan (Lizard Pose)

  • Begin with Adho Mukha Svanasana.
  • Inhaling, bring your right foot forward to the outer edge of your right palm, coming into an extended lunge position.
  • Now lower your hips and keep your arms straight and spine flat and long.
  • If it is only comfortable here, then slowly lower your forearm. Keeping your left leg straight, press on the ball of your left foot. Hold here for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

the gain:

This pose strengthens our shoulders, muscles, arms and chest and works our glutes and thighs.


7. Virasana (Hero Pose)

  • Bring your knees together, thighs perpendicular to the floor, tops of your feet facing down.
  • Step your feet apart so that they are slightly wider than your hips, and press the tops of your feet evenly into the mat.
  • Sit slowly on your mat between your legs if it puts too much pressure on your knees or your hips feel too tight. So you can place a block under your tailbone for support.
  • Use your hands to turn the tops of your thighs inward and roll your calves outward to place your feet. Rest your hands on your thighs.
  • Hold for at least 5 breaths.

the gain:

This pose does a great job of opening up your hips, legs and chest. Virasana I am here to enhance your memory and make you more productive.

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