7-Day Move Better, Feel Better Challenge: Yoga Flow to Ease Tight Hips and Back

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Too much sitting can lead to tight hips and, as a result, back pain. Use this 6-minute stretching sequence to find relief.

Here at SilverSneakers, we believe that aches and pains don’t have to be a given as we age. That’s why we created the 7-Day Move Better, Feel Better Challenge. This week, we’re sharing simple things you can do every day to soothe stiff joints, loosen tight muscles, and enjoy the activities you love for years to come.  

Take a moment to turn your awareness to how your body is feeling. What feels strong? Where is there tightness or tension? 

If you’re like most of us, you probably pinpointed your back as a source of discomfort. “Tight hips and back problems are very common,” says SilverSneakers LIVE instructor Shannon Thigpen. And that’s because one often feeds into the other.   

When muscles in your hips are tight, it can pull the spine into a position that increases joint pressure. That can lead to aches and pains, particularly in the low back area. Not to mention it makes it harder to walk, bend, and stand.  

One of the most common culprits of tight hips is sitting. “Spending a lot of time in sedentary positions can also cause those problems,” says Shannon. That’s because when we sit for too long, our hip flexor muscles tend to relax, deactivate, and shorten.   

But now it’s time to wake ‘em up! If you know the discomfort we’re talking about, this simple yoga flow is going to feel amazingly good. Here, Shannon shares a 6-minute stretching routine to help ease tension in your hips and back.   

How to Use This Yoga Flow for Tight Hips and Back 

You’ll just need yourself and some open floor space. Feel free to position yourself next to a sturdy chair for support, if you need.  

If you hear the word “yoga” and immediately think it involves getting down on the floor, don’t worry. SilverSneakers yoga instructors make this nurturing practice accessible to all.  

When you’re ready, press play and follow along with Shannon. You’ll start with a few calming breaths to center yourself and prepare for your practice. Then Shannon will lead you through a yoga sequence with moves such as standing Cat Cow, Goddess pose, and a modified back bend.  

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As you move, continue to breath, keep your knees soft, and move through the range of motion that’s right for you.  

Remember: Safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than your regular SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely. 

Bonus Challenge: Try a SilverSneakers Enerchi Class 

If you like this yoga flow, you’ll enjoy our beginner-friendly SilverSneakers Yoga class and a more advanced Yoga Flow class. But another gentle flow you should try is SilverSneakers Enerchi. You’ll perform modified tai chi forms in a slow, flowing sequence that will calm you and improve balance. It’s offered both in-person at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times), or online with SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here. 

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