Release tight, achy hips with these feel-good stretches!
Our hips are a complex and essential part of the body. The hip muscles allow us to bend, sit, stand, propel forward and backward, etc. Because they are so involved in all of our basic movements, it’s easy for them to get tight when we find ourselves repeating specific movement patterns.
Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day or going for long runs back-to-back will cause your hip flexors to get tight. Incorporating the proper stretches into your daily routine combats muscle tightness and keeps your hips feeling flexible and mobile.
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We recommend doing this easy 10-minute routine at least once a day to get the best results. Practice it more if you know you’ll be doing a lot of repetitive movement that day or if you’re feeling extra stiff.
10-Minute Hip Stretch Routine
Supine Hamstring Stretch | 1 min per side
This stretch targets the hamstrings but also begins to ease the hips open by stretching the glutes and outer hip muscles like the gluteus medius and piriformis.
- Lie down on your back and loop a towel around the bottom of your right foot.
- Straighten your right leg up towards the sky and straighten your left leg down the mat.
- Walk your hands up the towel as close to your foot as you can and pull towards you to feel a stretch through the back of your leg. Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides.
Supine Adductor Stretch | 1 min per side
This stretch opens up the smaller muscles on the inside of the hips and inner thighs.
- Lay on your back with a towel looped around the bottom of your right foot. Hold both ends of the towel in your right hand, straighten your left leg down the mat, and straighten your right leg up towards the sky.
- Extend your left arm out to the side.
- Exhale to open your right leg out to the right and pull up towards your right shoulder with the towel. You should feel a stretch through your inner thigh and groin area. Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides.
Supine Abductor / IT Band Stretch | 1 min per side
This feel-good stretch relieves tension from the outer hip muscles like the tensor fascia latae and the gluteus medius and the IT band. It also feels incredible on your lower back – double win!
- Start on your back with a towel looped around the bottom of your right foot and hold both ends of the towel in your left hand. Straighten your right leg up towards the sky and your left leg straight down the mat.
- Straighten your right arm out to the side and exhale as you cross your right leg over your body to come into a twist.
- Use your left hand to pull your right foot up toward your left shoulder to feel a stretch through your outer right hip and thigh. Hold for 1 minute and then switch sides.
Figure 4 | 1 min per side
Tightness in the outer hip muscles can lead to lower back pain. Fight it off with this easy stretch.
- Lay down with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
- Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Then, pick your left foot up off the floor and thread your right arm between your legs.
- Interlace your hands behind your left thigh and then hug the thigh in towards your body to feel a stretch through outer hips. Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides.
Inverted Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
This stretch is great for long days at the office as well as for runners and cyclists since it takes the tightness out of your hip flexors.
- Begin lying down with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
- Bring your right foot about a foot over to the right. Then, lower both knees to the left. Your right knee should be in line with your right hip.
- Next, cross your left ankle on top of your outer right thigh. Flex both feet to protect the knees. Reach your arms above your head and relax here for 30 to 60 seconds. If you feel any pain in your right knee, take the left ankle off of the right thigh and instead keep the left foot on the ground.
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