My friend says women have to pay extra attention to stretching their hips as they age, but I thought that part of the female anatomy was naturally the strongest. Can you clarify?

ask the trainer, jim beatty

We all need to maintain flexibility… especially as we age. The daily stresses of life, the habits that we have, and the day-to-day tasks that we perform all add up to make us who we are. And the specific weaknesses and tightness that we have are certainly a part of who we are.


The most common imbalance, which leads to tight hips, is the weakness in the hamstrings and glutes (backs of the legs, and buttocks) and the tightness in the hip flexors and quads (front of the hips and thighs) that is often caused by sitting for too long, and sitting too often. Men and women both suffer with this and often times this leads to back pain. The remedy lies in strengthening the back of the body.


The best exercise for this is the Bridge, because it strengthens the back lines of the body, while stretching the front lines. Lay on your back, bent knees, feet flat on the floor. Keep the weight on your upper back/shoulders and your heels, and drive your hips up toward the ceiling. Pay close attention to squeezing the glutes, hamstrings, and spinal muscles as you push the hips higher and higher. Do your best to keep your knees in line with your hips and feet as you continue to push the hips toward the sky.