Tips on How to Open Up Your Hips

If you’re like most of us suffering Kombat students, many of you have faced the problem of extremely STIFF and SORE HIPS with limited range of movement.  This can occur for many reasons, including inflammation, strains, overtraining, improper form/technique or just kicking too darn much! 😉

Many athletes also use cross-training in different sports to help develop their skills in different areas, alter their workout routines to challenge their body and increase optimal performance. One of the best ways to open up your hips can be found through…Wait for it…BALLET.

That’s right – it might seem counterintuitive for a martial artist to use a form of ballet to strengthen and open up their hips, but it is extremely simple, yet very challenging! (Don’t believe me? Ask Kru Sylwester or Kru Dave Edwards who have tried these exercises before!) 🙂

Here’s how you can open up your hips in 5 simple ways.  BALLET has 5 basic foot positions. Pay attention to the position of the feet. Try these at your house or any corner of the gym:

BalletfeetThe reason why these are so effective is because, if you look closely, the placement of the feet closely mimics that of the HIP BONE – they turn OUT.  By practicing standing in these positions, even when you’re brushing your teeth, they will automatically create more flexibility in your hips.

NEXT, once your feet are properly placed in one of these 5 positions, you can do a basic PLIE (plee-ay), or basically a squat. (Lower yourself down 5-8 inches.)

*But here is the rub*: As you’re squatting or plié-ing downwards, you must remember to keep your back straight (as if you are a slice of bread in a toaster; do not lean forwards or backwards) and your BUTT in! (i.e. No sticking your bum out.) You must also keep your feet flat on the ground.

Plie squat in 1st position

Plie squat in 1st position

Plie squat in 2nd position

Plie squat in 2nd position

Try these 5 exercises (1st to 5th position) in 10-15 reps each.

For a greater challenge, you can lift your arms or lift your heels after the first plié.  (See option #3)

Practice your technique.  Watch yourself in the mirror to check your form. If you’re still not convinced or think ballet is not for you – check out this Russian ballet dancer’s legs! (I rest my case.)

Nureyev's legs

Do these at least 3 times a week and hopefully your hips will be nicely open and you’ll be ready to smash! 🙂

ARTICLE BY: Alice Soon @AliceSoon1