The Keyhole Stretch for Tight Hips and Back – Physiotherapist recommended

The Keyhole Stretch for tight hips and back – Physiotherapist



Benefits

  • Stretches the hips for walking
  • Lengthens spine and brings fresh blood flow to lower extremities of the body
  • Increases range of motion and flexibility of hips. Hip flexibility is critical for back health
  • Energizes legs, hips and back that have been sitting for a long time
  • Stretches lateral hip muscle area.
  • Releases tension in the back. Breathing into the back stimulates relaxation and gives the upper and lower back a bit of a massage by the expansion and contraction of the ribs with the full breath
  • Stimulates nervous system


Cautions

  • Avoid if suffering from knee pain if this causes increased pain
  • Sciatica problems may be intensified by doing this. This stretch may aggravate the sciatica nerve. Check with your practitioner
  • Not recommended if there is abdominal or lower back injury
  • Not advised to do after just eating or on a full stomach
  • Not advised if you have severe osteoarthritis in the hips or knees
Key Points
  • Soften down and lengthen up from the waistSoften gaze
  • Sit comfortably on front or centre of chair allowing room for movement
  • Keep back of head and lower back lined up and stacked in neutral
  • Sitting bones are rooted softly in seat knees are over ankles leaving legs on a 90 degree angle
  • Inhale while lifting the foot up off the floor and exhale while tilting forward
  • Keep back in neutral and tilt as a whole unit (do not round back)

Instructions

  • Start in neutral sitting position
  • Soften down and lengthen up from the waist
  • Soften gaze
  • Breathe slowly and deeply through nose
  • Sit comfortably on front or centre of chair allowing room for movement
  • Keep back of head and lower back lined up and stacked in neutral
  • Sitting bones are rooted softly in seat knees are over ankles leaving legs on a 90 degree angle
  • Inhale while lifting the right foot up off the floor and onto the left thigh just below the knee. Try to keep the hips neutral here. Don’t let the right hip lift higher than the left hip if possible.
  • Come into neutral sitting and place the right palm on the inside of the right knee that is facing up
  • Inhale and lengthen up. As you begin your exhale, tilt your body forward towards the knee. The rotation is happening in the hip and the back is moving as a unit in neutral. Do not round the back while tilting forward. If you only go forward an inch or two and feel it in the hips, you are doing it right!
  • Take a deep breath while you are tilted forward. You may stay here for a few breaths if you like.
  • Inhale back up to neutral. On an exhale release the leg off of the leg and place foot back on floor.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • To deepen the stretch move the foot that is on the thigh towards the top of the leg before tilting forward and hold for a longer period of time.

Consider This

  • When we sit in chairs we shorten muscles in the front hips and deep muscles in the buttocks region. This is why we cannot sit cross legged as easily whereas cultures that sit on the ground a lot have ease to do this. We need to keep this mobility in our hips so that they are healthy as we age. It’s important to keep the outside and front of the hips lengthened to balance our musculoskeletal system. Any position that we hold for long periods of time (sitting) will create an imbalance over time
    Massages and stimulates internal organs providing improved blood flow and fresh oxygen
    Not advised to do in the last trimester of pregnancy
    Move the foot that is on the thigh towards the top of the leg to deepen the stretch.
  • Repeat as often as you have time for and as often as you like. Do it while watching TV, reading emails, sitting on any chair where this stretch is available to you!

 

 

 

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