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Multi-planar hip openers

Athletes with day jobs can spend the majority of their hours seated in a chair, and unfortunately, one of the biggest muscles that takes a hit from that habit is the hips. They shorten. They tighten. They restrict our movement, inhibiting our efforts in the gym.

Prioritizing them, though, can improve how you feel and how you perform in your workouts. Doing so involves working in different planes of motion. Loosen up by incorporating these creative hip mobilizers into your weekly or daily routine.

Plank with hip flexion and extension

Get into standard plank position, hands directly beneath shoulders. Without bending elbows, lower hips towards ground, then drive hips upwards toward the ceiling, so that head points downwards, forming an upside-down V with your body. Do 3 to 5 reps.  GET THE WORKOUT

Plank with hip rotation

In standard plank position, rotate your shoulders and torso, rolling from your toes onto the sides of your feet, in order to bring hips down towards floor, from left to right and back. Do 3 to 5 reps. GET THE WORKOUT

Side plank with arm and leg rotation

Get into a side plank, resting on left forearm. Extend right arm, palm open, tap your right heel to the ground, then rotate your shoulders and hips to reach beneath and across your torso, crossing right leg over left to tap floor with toes, then return to start. Do 3 to 5 reps. GET THE WORKOUT

Alternating crab reaches

Sit on floor with knees bent in front of you, feet flat on floor. Place hands behind hips, fingers facing away from you. Drive hips up toward ceiling as you rotate through torso, reaching right arm across body and behind you to the left. Rotate back through center and repeat on other side (reaching left arm to right). Continue alternating sides for 12 reps total (6 each side). Modify: If you have limited shoulder mobility, drive hips up and hold tabletop position for 20 seconds. Add arms in when possible. GET THE WORKOUT

Step back lunge with overhead reach

Step back, keeping the leg relatively straight, and drop your back knee toward the ground while reaching up over the head, keeping the arm straight. Switch sides; perform six reps per side. GET THE WORKOUT

Hip opener skip

Standing tall, bring right knee up to waist height to meet left elbow, then immediately open hip up to the right so that right quad is perpendicular to body. Return to start and repeat on left side. Do 16-20 reps total. (Note: This is a dynamic exercise that can either be done from a stationary position, or in a forward-progressing skipping motion.) Use natural contralateral arm swing throughout movement. GET THE WORKOUT

Fitness vocab: Eldoa

This spine-focused stretching method eases back pain and improves posture.

Body