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Tight Hips? Try This At-Home Solution

ches and pains are a fitness buzzkill. One way to help reduce your injury risk is to use smart recovery tools to keep your body operating at peak performance. One such tool is the foam roller and a new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that foam rolling is a simple and effective way to help improve hip flexibility.

For the study, researchers looked at how deep tissue foam rolling and dynamic stretching improved strength, power and flexibility in collegiate linemen. The authors found that a single-bout of deep tissue rolling on the glutes, hamstrings, quads and gastrocnemius (one of the main calf muscles), improved hip flexibility and range of motion in the athletes, explains co-author, Dr. Bert H. Jacobson, Department of Applied Exercise Science at Oklahoma State University.

Reducing hip tightness can potentially lower injury risk, explains Dr. Jacobson. And, foam rolling muscles throughout your entire body is a great practice to include in your regular fitness practice, adds CORINNE CROCE, PT, DPT, the resident pro who works with all SoulCycle instructors.

Foam rolling will help improve and/or maintain proper motion in your fascia (your body’s connective tissue), which allows for greater range of motion. With greater range of motion there is a higher potential for more muscle fibers to be recruited while you’re training, she adds. “Keeping connective tissue moving properly will help keep all muscles involved in cycling healthy and working efficiently.”

That’s not all. “Foam rolling benefits include increased circulation, improved recovery and connective tissue elasticity, decreased DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) and decreased tension in muscles,” explains Croce.

Ready to roll it out? Here are a few moves to get you started, just remember to keep with a slow, deep breathing pattern while you’re rolling.

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