Is Pigeon Pose Bad For Your Hips or Should You Improve Your Form?

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3 women sitting on a yoga mat - Is Pigeon Pose Bad For Your Hips or Should You Improve Your Form

Yoga is a great option if you suffer from painful or stiff hips and want to incorporate more exercise into your life. Not only does yoga burn calories, but there are specific poses that can help you improve your posture, mobility, and joint health. 

One of these poses is the pigeon pose. This pose helps to open your hips and maximize the rotation of the femur bone at the hip socket. Adding Pigeon Pose into your yoga routine can help to reduce pain, open your hips and increase your flexibility.


Is Pigeon Pose Bad for Your Hips?

The pigeon pose is not fundamentally bad for your hips. On the contrary, this pose allows you to give your hip joint a good workout and allows for healthy flexion and extension of the hip.

Pigeon pose can be bad for your hips if you do not carry it out with the proper form. In addition, failing to align your body correctly can negatively impact your hip joints. It can also be bad for your hips if you have an existing injury or sensitivity in that area. 

This pose can lead to you overstretching your ligaments, causing you to destabilize your hips. For this reason, it’s very important to guarantee you’re performing the pose correctly.


Should you do Pigeon Pose if you Have Bad Hips?

It is not recommended that you practice pigeon pose if you have experienced previous issues with your hip joints, have a current hip injury, or have undergone hip surgery. In these circumstances, pigeon pose could lead to: 


  • Erosion of the hip socket and cartilage at the top of the femur bone
  • Pressure and pain in the sacroiliac joint
  • Added pressure on the knee joints
  • Injury from misalignment


What Does Pigeon Pose Do to Your Hips?

Pigeon pose is part of a collection of yoga poses that are casually known as “hip openers .”

Hip opener poses to lengthen the posture muscle, which is the main hip flexor that connects the torso and legs. Hip opener poses also increase the outward rotation of the femur bone in the hip socket.

The pigeon pose is so effective because it has both of these benefits. In this pose, your front leg increases the external rotation of the femur, and the back leg is stretched to lengthen the psoas muscle. 


Why Do People Think Pigeon Pose is Bad for Your Hips?

There are some concerns over whether pigeon pose can have a negative effect on your hips. This is because if the pose is not performed correctly, it can lead to increased pressure on your hip joints.

There is also concern that this pose can cause the gluteal tendons to over-stretch. These tendons connect to the outer hip bones. Over time, this stretching can cause the tendons to weaken and lead to other hip issues.


How does Pigeon Pose Help My Hips?

If you are looking to practice pigeon pose to help with stiff hips, it can be very helpful to modify the pose slightly. For example, you may want to decrease the intensity of the pose whilst still working on the flexibility and mobility of your hips.

You can do this by placing a cushion under the glute muscle of the leg, which is bent. This makes it seem like the floor is closer to you and helps you keep your hips in a square and stable position.

You can also modify the pose to benefit your hips by bending your knees to create a “Z” shape. When on the ground, bend your front knee at a 90-degree angle. 

Then, rather than keeping your back leg straight, bend it similarly, with the knee bent at a 90-degree angle. This helps to open your hips from both sides.


Final Thoughts on Pigeon Pose and Hips

Pigeon pose can be very beneficial if you suffer from stiff hips. When carried out correctly, it can increase the flexibility of the hip flexors. 

However, if you suffer from hip pain, it is important you modify the pose or avoid it altogether. It is also vital to ensure you are using the correct form to avoid unnecessary pressure on your joints.

If you’re looking to lose weight and tone up, and effectively stretch your hips, consider adding the pigeon pose to your yoga routine.


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