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6 Stretches To Relieve Tight Hips – How To Have A Happy Hip Flexor

best stretches for tight hips

Hip flexor stretches for tight hips

Stretches for tight hips should be part of your daily routine. Hips are one of the busiest joints in the body, supporting our torso, stabilizing our pelvis and carrying us around… running, climbing stairs, sitting, standing, walking, squatting – you name it. You probably do not give them much thought most of the time, at least not while all is well and they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But when they get stiff, tight and painful, boy do you notice your hips then!

Whahip paint’s worse is that problems in the hip don’t tend to stay in the hip. Your body functions as an interconnected unit, so when one part of the unit is dysfunctional, other parts suffer. Hip pain and problems cause misalignment in the body and can lead to pain and problems elsewhere in the body, including back and knee problems. As you get older, your hips become less mobile as well. If you’re over 50 and working out, you may experience tight hips regularly.

There are a number of potential causes of tightness and pain in your hips. These include forms of arthritis; tendinitis, strains and other injuries; inflammation; pinched nerves; or diseases such as Lyme’s disease or cancer. When your hips are stiff, you may have a limited range of motion and it does not move as easily as it usually does. Your hips may pop or click when you move and it can be very painful.

What is the hip flexor and why it’s important

hip flexorYour hip flexor is some of the strongest muscles in your body. It is a group of muscles located in your abdomen that, as the name suggest, “flex the hips” and enable you to do things like bend over, lift your knees or squat. This muscle group works very hard, especially of you are very athletic. Sports and exercises that involve a lot of running or kicking are particularly rough on the hips. Over activity or under activity both contribute to tightness and pain in the hips.

Hip pain from sitting

hip pain from sittingToo much sitting can also create problems for the hip flexor, too. When you are sitting down, the muscles are flexed – meaning that they are shortened. Repetitive activities and positions create change in the body. In this case, spending too much time with you muscles flexed because you are sitting down all the time causes the muscles to shorten and stiffen up. Stretching regularly, especially before any form of exercise, is a great way to prevent strain or injury to the hip flexor.

If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time during the day, set a timer to stand up every hour and walk around. try to aim for 1 hour of sitting to 10 minutes of standing. We recommend you also look into height adjustable desks that adjust in hight so you can continue to work while you are standing.

Best stretches for tight hips

If the stiffness in your hip is minor, you may be able to treat it at home, however if you experience significant pain, are unable to move it or bear weight on it, or if the stiffness and pain does not go away with self-treatments, see a doctor. Self-treatments may include resting/reducing strain on your hips, using over-the-counter pain relievers to help with discomfort and swelling, using ice to reduce pain and swelling, and using heat to relax the muscles and tendons before stretching.

Regular stretching can help keep your hips in tip top shape, preventing tightness and injury. Here are some great stretches to help loosen your hips:

1. Slow Marching in Place


a. In a standing position, slowly raise your right knee up to your chest, or as high as you can
b. Slowly lower back down
c. Repeat with left leg
d. Continue repetitions for 5 minutes

2. Kneeling Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch


a. Kneel on your left knee with toes down. Position your knee directly below your hip.
b. Place your right foot on the floor in front of you with your feet flat on the floor and your knee positioned above your right ankle
c. Keep your torso aligned and hips squared, facing straight ahead. Place your hands on your right thigh or on your hips.
d. Tuck your tailbone. Bring your front knee forward (above the toes) in a lunge, moving your hips toward your front foot until you feel tension in the front of your thigh. Hold this position for two breaths.
e. Place your hands flat on the floor to stabilize you as you switch your position to repeat with the opposite leg forward.

3. Floor Hip Stretch


a. Lay on the floor in a face up position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
b. Cross your left leg over your right so that your left ankle is laying across your right knee.
c. Keep your head flat on the floor.
d. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you push your lower back downwards against the floor. Simultaneously, gently push your left knee down and away from you.
e. Lift your right foot while holding your left ankle with your right hand, continuing to gently push your left knee down and away.
f. Hold this stretch for approximately 30 second
g. Repeat with other leg

4. Frog Pose


a. Get on your hands and knees in a ‘tabletop’ position
b. Keeping your hands flat on the floor, below your shoulders, slowly widen your knees as far apart, keeping your feet in line with your knees and your shins parallel to one another.
c. Gently ease yourself onto your forearms, creating a deep stretch in your hips
d. Hold for 8-12 breaths

5. Internal Hip Rotator Stretch


a. Sit upright in a straight backed chair with both feet flat on the floor. Bring your left foot up and over your right leg, placing your left ankle on your right thigh.
b. Breathe in as you use your left hand to gently press down on your left thigh until your feel resistance
c. Slowly tilt forward at your hips as you exhale. Keep your back straight and chest up.
d. Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds
e. Repeat with your other leg

6. External Hip Rotator Stretch


In the video above she starts with an internal stretch and does the external stretch at 1:11.
a. Sit upright in a straight backed chair with both feet flat on the floor. Bring your left foot up and over your right leg, placing your left ankle on your right thigh.
b. Inhale
c. Use both hands to grasp your left knee and pull it toward your right shoulder until you feel resistance (not pain), exhaling gently and slowly.
d. Hold for approximately 30 seconds

A great way to stay loose is to practice yoga regularly. Yoga not only improves flexibility but also your core strength. You ancan also try using certain pressure points for pain on your body to help relieve any tension from day to day activity. Because your hips are so central to your whole body, using these stretches to keep your hips loose and flexible will help you stay healthy and pain free.

About the author

HW Insider

Health And Wellness Insider is dedicated to providing the latest tips, trends, and information from all things health and wellness. We take an integrative approach, believing that many different areas of your life contribute to your overall health.

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