Many of the clients we see exercise regularly but I have never heard anyone mention including in their workouts exercises that focus on the hips. Yet, this is extremely important, as sitting for long periods of time can cause your hip flexors to become tight or weak or both leading to problems with posture and back pain. In addition weak hip flexors contribute to foot, ankle and knee injuries.
Sitting is a primary culprit in tight hips and thighs because the muscles are rarely extended (although they may also become tight from working out). To lengthen and strengthen these muscles, try this move created by Suzanne Bowen, creator of BarreAmped, an internationally taught barre technique chosen by Fitness Magazine and Natural Health Magazine as the best barre workouts in 2015.
You'll need a chair or kitchen counter for support. Start out in a kneeling lunge position with your right foot in front and leg bent at the knee in a 90-degree angle. Your left knee should be a few inches behind your left hip. To do the exercise, Bowen recommends:
"1. Press forward a few inches into your right leg just until you feel a gentle stretch in the opposite hip.
If you have very tight hips, this might be as far as you go. (Protect the front knee by making sure it doesn't extend out beyond the toes.) For a more advanced stretch, straighten the left leg behind you and then press forward.
2. When you're ready to move on, reposition the rear leg as needed so you can stretch your right leg straight out in front of you.
Keep your back straight and lean a few inches forward from the hips and feel the stretch in the right hamstring."