Scott, an enthusiastic golfer, came to me desiring increased hip flexibility and strength in order to improve his golf swing. As Scott sat and shared his concerns with me, I observed his position as he kept one leg crossed over the other throughout our meeting, a common postural habit. Everyday habits however, add up to uneven flexibility and strength in the hips. This lack of symmetry becomes highlighted and even reinforced in athletic endeavors, especially those that tend to favor one sided movement such as golf, tennis or baseball.
Take a moment to tune in to your body: as you read this, are your legs or ankles crossed the same habitual way you always cross them? While brushing your teeth or fixing your hair, or stirring the pot in the kitchen do you tend to shift your weight to the same hip? Routinely favoring one side of your body over the other, even in simple everyday activities, will ingrain imbalances.
To directly address this asymmetry, I introduced Scott to Hip Hikers on all Fours which I’ve posted below, and which is also on the 10 Minute Quick Fix for Hips video available here. This unique targeted exercise for hip mobility helped Scott and will guide you to balancing and toning your hips, even providing some core stabilization practice in the process!
Watch our Free 5-Minute Quickfix: Hips Video
Learn about our programs to relieve hip pain.
I totally lean the majority of my weight on my right leg. After being more aware of my asymmetries in strength and flexibility in my hips, it’s amazing how unconscious movement patterns accumulate over time and show up as imbalances and sometimes pain (it does for me). I’m glad I have more awareness, knowledge and tools now to make some corrections so I can age gracefully.
This is a great modification for Moon Rises. I have a family member who was born with hip dysplasia and is a constant battle with her hips. She does not have very stabile legs so moon rises are tough. This is a great tool to use to help her proprioceive movement of the hip and strengthen the area over all. Thanks!
a great way to do moon rises, love it, will do it.
I’ve been really paying attention to my own habits of asymmetry…and hip to one side is my default position. Rolling on the balls and adding this in on a regular basis is my new strategy!
Ce n’est pas le premier article que je lis sur les hanches mais chaque fois je prends conscience d’un nouveau concept. Comme dans l’article de Jill Miller qui parle des postures à ne pas adopter comme transfert de poids sur une hanche, je n’avais pas réalisé que simplement dans la façon de je me plaçais en indien avait un impact sur l’équilibre entre mes deux hanches. Il faut garder constamment en tête l’équilibre dans notre corps.
Thanks For this article! and posting the video. it brings everything together in my head. I think I’ll be using this one on my Mom as she is on the list for a hip replacement but all her movements indicate joint and muscle instability. She sits for hours and drives for hours in her car for work.
I do a pretty good job of making a conscious effort to uncross my legs when crossed. Although while reading this blog I thought about all the different ways I sit and locations I sit and realized that when I’m in the passenger seat of a car I typically tilt my body toward the driver so one hip is on the seat and the other is almost midair. Hip replacements are common in my family and I’m always looking for ways to prevent injury in this area. I will definitely try the technique shown in the Quick Fix Hips video above. Thanks for sharing!
Great observation of the client’s legs being crossed when you met. I have noticed in myself such moments of brushing teeth, either swaying into one hip or locking my knees. This exercise is great to re-educate the hips – thanks Bonnie! Perhaps the YTU Moon Rises would work as well? Softening the tissues of the hip and lower back help release this imbalance, and balancing and toning the hips as you mentioned, could be increased with YTU Therapy Ball work as well.
As a long time meditator, I’ve experienced hip asymmetry and it’s negative effects on the lower back. I agree it is very important to consciously reverse our habitual patterns and explore the other side. Once I became aware of the asymmetry in my hips caused by always sitting in half-lotus with the right foot on the left thigh, I needed months of reversed sitting to return to balance. When practising yoga, I also switch the side that I do first which has improved my awareness of the habitual motions I’d let creep into my asana practice.
A soreness at the back of the hips all around the sacrum is a common experience for meditators and this YTU rehab that Jill teaches is very useful whether we’re spending hours in a zendo, an office chair, or a car. The asymmetries are both immediately apparent and corrected!
Wow this is great!!! I’m going to definitely use this to help get more balance in my hips as well as the athletes that I train! Thanks for sharing the video.
Awesomely awesome video clip and article. Yoga, sports injuries and childbirth have all wreaked havoc on my left Sacro Iliac joint and I’m always keen for great sequences and stablizing exercises. Perfect, thank you.
A good article to remind us to get out of our habits as they can cause us problems later in life. I know when I got to the Chiropractor I am always uneven on the same side. Yikes!
Such a great article and exercise. An adjustor recently told me how asymmetrical my hips are–yikes! Can’t wait to try this exercise.
Apparently, running and biking can also cause hip asymmetry, or at least exacerbate it. I look forward to trying this, thanks.
Always looking for tips to keep my hips in alignment – thanks.
Bonnie – Thanks for the great reminder about paying attention to everyday habits that may cause discomfort.
What a great reminder! The exercise in the video looks like it feels really good! I will be sure to try it sometime.
My hips are always out of alignment. I will have to look into this further.
Thanks for this–each of us have stronger sides or favored sides. Never really thought about a solution.
These hip exercises are all great and effective. If you have someone in the house who can following simple instructions for adjustment, though, that will enhance the experience even more.
Thanks to a knee injury, I started shifting weight to one hip. Even after the knee healed, I had about three other issues to correct and all of them went thru my hip. What a learning experience.
Due to long commutes in my car, I find my hips become sore and tight due to my right leg being extended and my left being partially flexed. I will definately incorporate this exercise into my life!
Good article and video. I never realized that the way I stand or sit could be affecting flexibility.
Thanks for your responses. I love the asymmetrical Yoga Tune Up poses, and so do my students!
It is so easy to routinely favor one side of your body over the other in simple everyday activities,. This is a great video for toning hips. I
What a great reminder about the asymmetry (and imbalance) of our bodies and lives! By having a hip disease as a child (legg perthes), the ball of my left hip was not developing as it should. Although I was able to correct the issue, this imbalance in the body, particularly in the hips, is always present. The practice of yoga can bring greater awareness and facilitate greater balance between these two sides. By strengthening our hip stabilizers and opening the hip on each side, this can slowly start to happen with time, energy and a great deal of patience!
I enjoyed your article. It provides a great reminder to be present and to try to notice subconscious habits.