Hip Stretches – Five Great Exercises

Hip stretches are great and we think they should be included in your weekly workouts. Hip mobility is important.

Why?

Lack of hip flexibility can cause a muscle imbalance. This means some muscles may be working too hard and others not enough. In time, this could lead to pain rearing its head.

The hips are an area of performance that’s often neglected, not just by sedentary individuals but by athletes and active individuals as well.

A variety of things affect hip mobility. Jobs that require extensive sitting can cause the joint to tighten but also a job involving heavy lifting can also cause the joint to tighten.

Hip mobility is impacted when the hips are under- or over-used; this can impair your lumbar spine, surrounding tendons and ligaments, and the strength of your core/abdomen.

So there’s the background on why hip stretches are an important part of a weekly workout.

There are several exercises you can do to keep your hips and, in turn, your lower body spry and mobile.

Hip Stretches

  • Supine Hip Internal Rotation:

    • This great exercise for hip mobility works your upper legs and glutes, and focuses on strength as well as mobility
    • Start by laying on your back, knees bent and feet placed wider than body or shoulder width
    • Alternate bringing your knees across the mid-line of the body and returning to the start position, keeping your feet flat
    • Repeat 10-20 times each side
Hip Stretches
Move left knee across the mid-line of the body
Hip Stretches
Birds-eye view

 

  • Prone Internal Hip Rotations:

    • Another mobility/strength exercise that’s easy to perform
    • Start by laying on your stomach, placing your hands together under your face, and elevating your head and chest off of the ground
    • Keeping your knees planted, elevate your lower legs to where they’re perpendicular with the rest of your body
    • Alternate moving your feet away from each other, until you can’t anymore and then return to the start
    • Repeat 10-20 times each side

Hip Stretches

  • Piriformis Stretch:

    • If you do this right, you may alleviate a lot of pain, especially if you’re an athlete.
    • Lay on the floor and place your left foot on your right knee – this may bring about a stretch sensation. If so, hold for 20 seconds
    • To create a deeper stretch, bring your right knee towards you, holding behind your right thigh. Hold for 20 seconds
    • Repeat 5 times on the left leg
    • Switch legs and repeat the above
Hip Stretches
Pretzel stretch
  • Standing Hip Flexor Stretch:

    • This one works your hip flexors and your groin
    • In standing, take a big step forwards with your left leg
    • Keep your hips facing forwards
    • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 5 times
    • Repeat the above with the other leg forwards
Hip Stretches
Hip flexor stretch
  • Pigeon Stretch:

    • This all-angles pose is often used in yoga and is a potent one for hip flexibility and mobility.
    • Start on all fours
    • Bring your right knee to your right wrist, placing it in such a manner so your shin is diagonal and your heel is facing outwards, towards your opposite hip
    • Keeping your back leg in a neutral position, position it so your quadriceps muscle is facing towards the ground.
    • If you’re able to, lower your body closer to the ground
    • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 5 times
    • Repeat the above on the opposite leg
Hip Stretches
Pigeon Stretch

Give the above exercises as go and monitor your range of movement to see it improve. If you’re wanting individual advice for a more specific programme, then contact us for an appointment. One of our physios will assess your movement and give you guidance on what’s best for you.