Mar08Simple Stretches for Tight Hips

Like Shakira once said, hips don’t lie. Hips that have good mobility will feel strong and healthy. Tight hips will leave you in pain.

No matter if you’re sedentary, a weekend warrior, or an elite level athlete, you might suffer from this issue. Humans in general have terribly tight lower areas, and ‘tight hips’ usually involve a cluster of muscle groups; namely, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and the lower back.

Now, sometimes issues run deeper than that, so it could involve a number of different muscles/areas in the body. Regardless, today we are going to keep it simple and go over 3 simple stretches that might help relieve some of that tightness.

Basic hip flexor stretch

This stretch is great for hitting the hip flexors. The hip flexors are notorious for getting all tight and bothered from excessive sitting – and sometimes from too much activity – and they could use some love.

An easy way to stretch them is by performing a split stretch like shown in the picture. From this position lean forward and squeeze the glute, making sure not to arch the lower back, and allow the back leg to drag back until you feel a stretch in the from of the hip.

From here, you can hold the position for 5-10 seconds, release it, and repeat for 10 reps. Eventually you can hold the stretch for a longer period of time.

Cross-legged glute stretch (piriformis stretch)

Often, the culprit for seemingly painful hips and lower backs is actually the glutes. An easy way to perform this stretch is to sit tall in a chair. From there, cross one leg on top of the other at 90 degrees. Hold it for at least 30-60 seconds.

This position might already be difficult. If you need to make it harder, simply lean forward and reach a greater stretch.

90/90 glute stretch

This one is great at working on both external and internal rotation of the hips. It’s a bit more advanced, so work on the cross legged glute stretch first; once you feel comfortable with that one, try this one out.

You want to create right angles (90 degrees) with each leg, one behind you and one in front. From here, hold this position for 30-60 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Adductor stretch

Tight groin muscles are a pain. The adductors are often a big culprit, and there’s an easy way to work on this one.

Start on your hands and knees. from here, straighten one leg out to the side as far as you can. Try to sink the groin towards the floor. As you do this, you feel a stretch in the groin/inner thigh area. Be careful with this one! Hold for a small amount of time – 30 seconds – and repeat on the other side. Over time you should be able to get the leg out farther.

Split “stir the pot/cauldron” stretch

This movement will hit the hamstrings, adductors, and even a bit of the lower back pretty well. Simply start in seated position on the floor. Spread the legs outward, making a V. Think of a forward ‘split’ stretch. From here, think of stirring a giant pot with your torso: make a giant circle, going for 8-10 reps in one direction and then repeating on the other side.

You can also do this from a chair if doing it from the floor is too challenging. Simply perform the same steps from from a seated position.