Yoga Tune Up® Blog


Hips In Balance – Correcting Asymmetrical Flexibility

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.

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About This Author

Bonnie is extremely proud to be a licensed Yoga Tune Up® teacher, and joyfully shares the work of Yoga Tune Up®. She also holds her 200 hour RYT certification from Tias LIttles’ Prajna Yoga, and successfully completed Relax and Renew® training with Judith Lasater and Roger Cole in 2005. Her 30 years of teaching adults is infused with her own love of lifelong learning, and she will always be a student of yoga, meditation, and life. For more about me or to view my Yoga Tune Up® class schedule go here.

22 Responses to “Hips In Balance – Correcting Asymmetrical Flexibility”

  1. Ariana says:

    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!

  2. Allyson says:

    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.

  3. alan says:

    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!

  4. Alissa Aboud says:

    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.

  5. Dinneen says:

    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.

  6. Peggy says:

    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!

  7. Megan says:

    Such a great article and exercise. An adjustor recently told me how asymmetrical my hips are–yikes! Can’t wait to try this exercise.

  8. Steve says:

    Apparently, running and biking can also cause hip asymmetry, or at least exacerbate it. I look forward to trying this, thanks.

  9. Elizabeth E says:

    Always looking for tips to keep my hips in alignment – thanks.

  10. Felicia says:

    Bonnie – Thanks for the great reminder about paying attention to everyday habits that may cause discomfort.

  11. Laura H. says:

    What a great reminder! The exercise in the video looks like it feels really good! I will be sure to try it sometime.

  12. Sandy says:

    My hips are always out of alignment. I will have to look into this further.

  13. Julie says:

    Thanks for this–each of us have stronger sides or favored sides. Never really thought about a solution.

  14. JT says:

    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.

  15. Christine says:

    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.

  16. Jamie says:

    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!

  17. Liz says:

    Good article and video. I never realized that the way I stand or sit could be affecting flexibility.

  18. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for your responses. I love the asymmetrical Yoga Tune Up poses, and so do my students!

  19. Karen K says:

    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

  20. Anne says:

    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!

  21. Leigh Bailey says:

    I enjoyed your article. It provides a great reminder to be present and to try to notice subconscious habits.

  22. Peter says:

    So true.

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Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®

After studying yoga, movement, and the human body for over twenty years, I created Yoga Tune Up® as a simple way to restore my body and mind, keeping me balanced and free of pain. Using a specific and unique set of poses, movements and self massage tools, you too can LIVE BETTER IN YOUR BODY WITH YOGA TUNE UP®.

 

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