If tight hips make you dread the thought of lower body exercises like squats, try out this move from trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., to help release your pain.
"The glutes are responsible for all movements at the hip and thigh," she says. "We’re talking standing up and sitting down, walking, going up steps - actions we do every day, all day."
To get those glutes ready for your next lift, grab a myofascial release ball (a lacrosse or tennis ball works just as well). "The ball will help mobilize the muscle and prep it for action by warming it up and sending a message to the fibers to reset and re-align themselves," Atkins says.
Find an open spot on your home or gym floor to stretch out and get ready to roll.
- Lay down on your back with your knees bent.
- Place ball in your glute (top right corner of "jean pocket").
- Slowly roll your hips side-to-side over the ball.
- Roll the ball to outer edge of your hip, then open up your knees (clamshell position).
- Keep rolling for 2 minutes, then switch sides.
For even better results, take some time to roll out to cool down after your workout. That way, you'll jumpstart your recovery - and stave off more hip tightness from setting in.