The 6 Best Hip Flexor Stretches

Would you like to know the best stretches to relieve tight hips, lengthen your muscles and improve flexibility? Then read on to find out more…

Tight hip flexor muscles, also known as tight hips, is something that thousands of people including myself have to contend with. It’s that feeling of tightness you get across the hips in the group of muscles that help move your lower body and ultimately join your pelvis to your thighs. 

These muscles are working whenever your hip is flexed (ie. sitting) and when it’s moving in or out of the flexed position. We can all spend a lot of our day sitting, whether that’s at a desk working, travelling in a car or just watching tv, so it’s easy to see why these muscles can be overused. But don’t be fooled, tight hip flexor muscles can affect people who are very active too. 

There are many specific stretches that can help to ease and lengthen the muscles associated with tight hips, many of which are derived from Yoga and Pilates. Experts agree that tight hips can lead to an increased risk of injury or pain and that incorporating stretches into your routine can help alleviate the tension. 

These are my 6 go to exercises for relieving that discomfort, improving flexibility and even helping to increase my kicking range.

 

Kneeling lunge stretch

 

  1. Start in a kneeling position with your knees positioned in line with your hips
  2. Move your left foot forward so the left knee is at 90 degrees
  3. Keep a straight back, exhale and push your hips forward
  4. For a more difficult pose raise your arms up either side of your head and lean back (see top photo)
  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 2 more times before swapping legs and repeating on the other side.

 

Butterfly stretch

 

  1. Sit on the floor with your back straight and legs out in front
  2. Bring your feet closer, pressing your soles together, hold your ankles and pull them as close to your body as possible.
  3. Using your elbows push down on your thighs until you feel a deeper stretch, lean forward if you need to but keep your back straight
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.

 

Lunge stretch

 

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and hands on your hips
  2. Take a large step forward with your left foot (a bit like a walking stance) 
  3. Bend the left knee to 90 degrees ensuring the knee is positioned above the ankle 
  4. Keep your right leg extended behind letting the heal come off the floor 
  5. For a more difficult pose raise your arms up either side of your head and lean back (see photo)
  6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 2 more times before swapping legs and repeating on the other side.

 

Spiderman Stretch

 

  1. Start in a push up position with a straight back
  2. Bring your left foot forward and place it as close to your left hand as possible
  3. Push forward in your hips and feel a stretch 
  4. Hold for 3 seconds then repeat with right foot
  5. Complete 5 rounds on each leg.

 

Pigeon Stretch

 

  1. Sit on the floor with your left leg bent in front of you and your right leg extended behind you, keeping your toes pointed and right knee straight
  2. Bring the left heel towards your right hip and keep your hips square
  3. Place your hands on the floor either side of your left leg and lean forward as much as you can ensuring your back is straight
  4. Hold here for 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.

 

Single leg stretch

 

  1. Sit on the floor with your back straight and legs together out in front
  2. Bend the left knee so the sole touches the inner thigh of your right leg
  3. Stretch your hands above your head, fold at the hips, keep your back and left knee straight, reach forward towards your left foot or shin
  4. Hold here for 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.

 

By adding these stretches, not just into your fitness routine but into your daily routine, you will be well on your way to improving your hip functionality and hopefully staying pain free.

Please remember, if any of the above stretches hurt or cause you pain you should get checked over by your doctor.

 

Happy stretching,

 

Lisa Edginton

 

 

 

Images courtesy:
1. Gabriela Litschi, Pixabay
2.  Khusen Rustamov, Pixabay
3.  yogabelloso, Pixabay

No Comments

Post A Comment