Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: 3-legged dog hip circles.
Many of us deal with tight hips – especially if we’ve been sitting down all day or doing intense workouts. Hip-openers like child’s pose and bound angle pose are great to release tension in the hips but if you’re also looking to build strength, our favourite is 3-legged dog hip circles.
This pose is often used during a yoga practice to stretch out the hips in a downward dog position, but it’s also a great pose to do outside of a yoga class.
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What are 3-legged dog hip circles?
The 3-legged dog hip circle is a stretch that involves making circles with your hips from a downward dog position.
It’s great because:
It increases flexibility: many of us have tight hips and hip circles are a great hip-openers to ease any tightness and pain in the hips and also increase hip flexibility.
It strengthens the upper body: downward dog is a weight-bearing pose, so it’s great for building strength in your shoulders and arms.
It improves circulation in the body: downward dog is a gentle inversion that can stimulate blood flow in the body, which is great if you’ve been sitting down all day.
What muscles do 3-legged dog hip circles work?
3-legged dog hip circles target so many muscles in the body, including:
- Hip flexors
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How to do 3-legged dog hip circles
- Start off in a tabletop position and come into a downward facing dog by lifting your knees and pushing the hips back and up. Make sure your palms are pressed firmly into the mat, with your fingers spread wide.
- Shift your weight to your right foot and lift your left leg up in the air, bending your left knee and opening up the hip.
- Make three, big circles with your left knee, rotating them in one direction.
- Release the left foot down on the mat. Bring your knees to the mat and come back to a tabletop position.
- Repeat on the right side.
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