Athletes: Strengthen Your Hips
Research suggests strengthening muscles through their full range will result in flexibility gains faster than passive stretching alone. To help strengthen hips, try this pose: 1) bring front shin parallel with the top of your mat (like you would for pigeon pose) and send back leg behind you bent to 90 degrees (like a half frog pose). Bring active control over front hip by sitting upright, try not to lean into one side. Start with hands on the floor for stability, and then bring them off the ground. Start to hover top leg off the mat (maybe just an inch). Do this a few times, holding for five deep breaths. 2) Now bring hands back down to ground and actively press front leg into the ground (contracting muscles during a stretch will increase load bearing capacity over time). Hold for five deep breaths and switch sides.