"Today we're gonna do a hip-opening sequence that's gonna focus on opening up those hips and getting rid of some tension," Copeland says. "But we're also going to work on building strength, especially in our piriformis [a muscle located in your booty] and our medial glutes. This is so important for any type of workout."
Stretching out your hip flexors is a particular focus of the routine, too, as Copeland says they're also critical for just about any movement, but are particularly significant for runners. "We want to make sure that those hip flexors are nice and open," she says.
But as mentioned, some believe one of the most significant benefits of hip-opening exercises is that they help to release emotional tension. "Your hips are a place in the body where you store a lot of emotions and stress,” says yoga instructor Leslie Lewis. “[They] fall in line with your second chakra, which is connected to emotions. Therefore, when you hit that area of your body, you stimulate that chakra and help open it, which can let go of emotions.”
Though I'm not sure why you'd have any emotions in need of release—it's not like we've been living through an unprecedented crisis for the last twelve months or anything—a good cry never hurt anyone. And a good hip stretch, well, that's just going to improve your mobility overall and take a load of your back, which can overcompensate for tight hips. Press play to open yourself up in all the best ways.
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