9 Stretches to Loosen Up Tight Hips

In today’s world, tight hip muscles are just a part of life. Between walking, sitting throughout the day and working out, our hips get a lot of use, so it’s imperative to give them proper care. If neglected, tight hips can lead to back pain, muscular imbalances and can also cause injuries like pulled muscles or torn ligaments. This article is your one-stop shop to mastering hip flexibility, from the whys to the how-tos!

Get a pre-stretch game plan.

Before you dive into stretching, there’s some strategy you need to know about first. There are three major types of hip stretches, and it’s important to always incorporate one of each: groin, hip flexor and outer hip. These three categories will allow you to stretch in multiple ranges of motion, ensuring your body is balanced.

Choose your stretches.

As you move throughout the day, take note of which movements are the most stiff. This will help you figure out which areas need the most work. Pro tip: Always start your stretch routine with your most stiff side, as it’s natural to spend more time on your first side than second!


Hip Flexor Stretches

1. Progressive Low Lunge

This stretch is great for those of you who sit at a desk all day. It’s also the best way to start all of your hip stretches since it activates the largest muscle in your hips. 

  1. Start by putting one foot back into a regular lunge
  2. Make sure the front knee is directly over your ankle
  3. Extend both arms up
  4. Inhale and lean back lifting your hips and ribs up
  5. Return to a regular lunge and repeat five times

2. Low Lunge / Lizard Pose

If you sit all day, this stretch is a must. Releasing your hip flexors will not only improve your posture, but it will also keep you from getting knee injuries. Pro tip: Move your hips in small alternating circles for a deeper stretch and to build mobility.

3. Wheel Pose

This pose is great for your hip flexors, and it also helps build flexibility in your spine and shoulders. Take deep breaths as you lift your hips and chest, and exhale to lower. Use this sequence if you’re a beginner, aiming to get your hips higher each time.

Outer Hip Stretches

4. Reclining Spinal Twist

If you’re currently experiencing lower-back pain, this stretch is for you. It will also help you bring balance to your back and hip muscles.

5. Pigeon Pose

This stretch releases your external rotator muscles. If you’re a big barre or circuit class enthusiast, chances are your external rotators are your tightest hip muscles. Add this to your routine to get your range of motion back!

6. Figure 4

If your outer hips are super tight and pigeon pose is too difficult, this stretch is great to build up flexibility. Remember to breath in deep and exhale while pulling your hips into the stretch.

Groin Stretches

7. Reclining Butterfly

Groin stretches are often helpful for relieving stress and upper/lower-back pain. This stretch is a one-stop shop for this!

8. Happy Baby

This stretch is great for beginners (those of you with super tight muscles), as you can ease into it by holding your ankles or calves.

9. Inner-Groin Stretch

This stretch is the holy grail of groin stretches! You can choose how intense you want it to be by sitting back into it, making it easy to scale back if you’re a beginner.

 

Mandy Gragg is a New York City-based certified personal trainer and an active fashion and beauty blogger. She shares her fitness, fashion, and skincare tips on her blog Haute Unofficial. Follow her sporty adventure on Instagram for more fitness, beauty, and active fashion inspo.