We know you’re going to love Week 3 of the June Flexibility Challenge, because this week we’re focusing on a spot that’s tight for many of us…the hips and glutes!
Because 12 Minute Athlete workouts are HIIT and circuit-based and mainly focus on total-body strength, you’re using your hips and glutes in just about every exercise. Add that to walking around on your legs every day, and it’s no wonder that so many athletes have constant tightness in these areas.
Flexibility in the hips and glutes can benefit athletes in tons of exercises such as squats, side lunges, and step ups.
Plus, staying flexible in those areas will help you with mobility in non-athletic movements like picking up something off the floor, sitting comfortably in a chair, walking up the stairs, going for a stroll…
…you get the idea. These areas are involved in so many movements, so working on getting more flexible hips and glutes is a great goal for any athlete.
Aim to do this exercise routine at least three times per week in addition to your regular workouts.
Use the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility, and you might be selected as the winner of my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!
If you’re just starting the challenge, click here to get the full challenge calendar!
Looking for the weekly exercise posts? Find them here:
Flexibility Challenge Week 3 Exercises
Aim to complete three to five times a week. Hold each stretch for 45-60 seconds, and complete two to three rounds.
- Pigeon stretch
- Lizard pose
- Seated twist
- Frog stretch
- Middle splits
Here’s how to do the exercises:
- Begin in a tabletop position, with your knees directly below your hips and your wrists directly below your shoulders. If comfortable in a Downward Dog position, you can also start there.
- Cross your right knee in front of you, placing your right ankle behind and to the outside of your right knee.
- Gently stretch your left leg behind you.
- Shift your hands forward on either side of your right shin. Slowly lower your upper body down until you feel a stretch through the outside of your right hip.
- Hold for 45-60 seconds, then return to your tabletop position and switch sides.
- Begin in a plank position. Pull your right knee into your chest, then step your right foot to the floor between your hands.
- Tap your left knee down to the floor. Shift your right foot forward and towards the right, so that your palms can rest on the floor to the inside of your right leg.
- Tuck your left toes and gentle shift your left knee back. Relax your left foot to the floor, or keep your toes tucked and lift your left knee off the ground.
- Hold for 45-60 seconds, then release your left knee to the floor. Walk your right foot back between your hands, and step your right foot back to meet your left. Return to plank position and switch sides.
- Begin in a seated position with your legs outstretched.
- Bend your right knee up towards the ceiling and pull it in towards your chest.
- Cross your right foot over your left leg so that your right foot can touch the ground.
- Hug your right knee with your left arm and take your right hand to the floor behind you.
- Press into your right palm as you squeeze your right leg. Slowly rotate your torso towards the right. Allow your head and neck to follow your torso in the twist.
- Hold for 45-60 seconds, then release the twist and return to a seat with your legs outstretched.
- Begin in a tabletop position with your knees directly below your hips and your wrists below your shoulders.
- Press into your palms and gently begin to walk your knees out on either side. Flex your feet and press the inside edges of your feet into the floor. For a less intense stretch, keep your big toes together and focus on widening the knees only.
- As you feel the stretch in your inner thighs, walk your forearms down to the floor. Continue to press into the floor with the insides of your knees and inner edges of your feet.
- Hold for 45-60 seconds, then gently walk your palms back underneath your shoulders. Slowly walk your knees back to center and return to a tabletop position.
- Begin in a straddle position with your ribs pulled in.
- Resting arms on the ground in front of you, slowly lower down towards the floor. You can also use yoga blocks for extra support.
- Flex the muscles around your knees to support your joints in this position and continue to pull your ribs in (think about pulling your belly button and ribs towards your spine).
- Flex or point your toes in this position.
- Breathe into the stretch and lower down further to your forearms if you can.
- Hold for 45-60 seconds, making sure to breathe through the stretch. Gently roll forward to come out of the stretch.