There are certain muscles that consistently cause trouble for many people. They are often referred to as the hip flexors, and because of our sedentary lifestyle — sitting in offices or watching TV — they’re often in a shortened position which can alter the mechanics of your hips, eventually leading to chronic back pain.
Hip flexor/quad stretch
START POSITION: Kneel down close to a bench/couch, with it behind you. Place the front of your foot on the top of the bench/couch and bring the knee as close as possible to the bench without causing pain. Extend the other foot in front of you, like a sprinter in the blocks. Use a support if necessary. Slowly raise your upper body and tilt your pelvis back to increase the stretch at the top of your hip. Extend both arms over your head, pushing the palms of your hand to the ceiling and then hold for 15 seconds.
FINISH POSITION: Place your linked hands behind your head as if you are being placed in handcuffs behind your head. Keep your elbows outwards to stretch your upper body. Aim to shoot your knee as far as you can past your toes. Ensure you keep your shoulders back and move from the hips forward slowly. Alternate between both legs for three times each, holding for 15 seconds. If one side feels tighter than the other, do extra on the tight side.
Sets: 1 Reps: 3 Hold: 15 seconds Tempo: Slow Intensity: Low. Breathe during stretch
Sumo squat to stand
1. START POSITION: Stand forward, feet greater than shoulder-width apart. Turn your feet out slightly, keep your knees in the same line as your feet.
2 Bend your knees and drop your bum as close to your heels as possible. Use a support like a chair if you feel your muscles are too stiff when you start. Keep your head and chest up.
3 Begin to stand, keeping your grip on the chair. Rise slowly until your hips are higher than your shoulders. If possible, straighten your legs fully.
4 FINISH POSITION Repeat to complete the set.
Sets: 1 Reps: 4 to 5 Load: Body weight Tempo: Slow Intensity: Low
VERY IMPORTANT Always check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise programme