I only started noticing how tight my hips were when I really got into my workout routine. The list of exercises I got from my favorite fitness influencer had ‘box jumps’ on it. I thought it looked cool (it does… admit it), but after doing them for several workouts, I realized the front of my hips were in massive pain.
I went to physical therapy for several weeks to help me loosen up my hip flexors, and boy was it a painful lesson. This is a super common problem for runners and weight trainers, but everyone should pay special attention to their stretching out their hips. Especially if you are lengthening them while working out and immediately going to sit at a desk at work all day where they constrict.
Here are some of the best stretches for tight hips:
- Knee to Chest Stretch: Start by laying on your back with both your legs extended. Bring one knee into your chest while keeping the other leg extended. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch.
- Figure Four Stretch: While lying on your back with your legs bent. Cross your right foot over your left quad. Wrap your hands around your left quad and pull it towards your chest. Switch.
- Glute Bridge: Start by laying on your back with your knees bent. Lift your hips up so that your knees, hips, and shoulders are in a line. Hold and repeat.
- Kneeling Hip Stretch: Begin in a lunge position with both legs at 90 degrees. Your back knee should touch the floor. Tilt your pelvis forward for a small stretch. Push your hips forward for a bigger stretch.
- Internal Hip Stretch: Start by sitting in a chair. Bring your right leg up and place your ankle over your left thigh. Gently push down on your right thigh. Keep your back straight and slowly lean forward. Repeat on the other side.
- Wall Lunges: Use a wall for balance and find a lunge pose. Alternate between bending and straightening your front leg. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Extended Wide Squat: Begin with your legs wider than your hips. Bend your knees and go into a low squat pose. For more of an intense stretch, bring your palms together at your chest and use our elbows to press against your hips.
- Butterfly: While sitting on the ground, bend both your knees, and keep the bottoms of your feet together. Keep your back straight as you fold forward to stretch.
If you want to take it further, use a foam roller or a heating pad. If these cause pain or discomfort, it’s time to reach out to your doctor.