15 Best Hip Stretches Exercises for Better Flexibility

Everyone seems to have tight hips these days. It makes sense—spending a lot of time sitting keeps the hip flexors in a shortened position more than they should be. Constricting the muscles in this way can make them super tight, especially if you’re not incorporating hip stretches into your routine.

15 Best Hip Stretches Exercises for Better Flexibility
15 Best Hip Stretches Exercises for Better Flexibility

Below Simple stretches to help you feel better.

1. Lunge With Spinal Twist

Lunge With Spinal Twist
Lunge With Spinal Twist
  • Start standing with your feet together.
  • Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance.
  • Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.
  • Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Stretches hip flexors, quads, back

2. Knee to Chest Stretch

Knee to Chest Stretch
Knee to Chest Stretch
  • Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  • Pull your right knee into your chest, while keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed into the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Stretches lower back, hips, hamstrings

3. 90/90 Stretch

This modification of pigeon pose helps with internal rotation of one leg and external rotation of the other, “so you’re hitting both movements of the hip at once,” Atkins says. It’s a good option for people who have extremely tight hip flexors, she adds. “The front thigh is safely on the ground in a position that doesn’t cause too much stress.”

90/90 Stretch
90/90 Stretch
  • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your right foot flexed.
  • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
  • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
  • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if you’re super tight.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Stretches hips

4. Figure Four Stretch

“This specifically stretches the piriformis and iliopsoas muscles (essentially your hip rotator and flexor muscles) and the IT band. Because of this and the passive nature of the pose, it is an excellent and gentle approach to helping relieve symptoms associated with sciatica and knee pain,” John Murray, yoga instructor and co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, tells SELF.

Figure Four Stretch
Figure Four Stretch
  • Lie on your back.
  • Cross your left foot over your right quad, and bend your right knee.
  • Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
  • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Stretches hips, glutes, lower back, hamstrings

5. Reclining Angle Bound Pose

Reclining Angle Bound Pose
Reclining Angle Bound Pose
  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to open up and move closer to the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Stretches inner thighs, hips, groin

6. Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle is a deep internal hip rotator, located on the outside of the butt. Its primary role is external rotation, Atkins says. “Deep internal rotators, while small, produce a lot of the movement at the hip and are often overlooked.” Since the piriformis crosses over the sciatic nerve, “if it is tight, it can result in sciatic nerve irritation,” Cyrelson says. “Stretching this muscle can prevent potential future sciatica, or help treat it.”

Piriformis Stretch
Piriformis Stretch
  • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor.
  • Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.
  • Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow on your right knee (as shown) and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right.
  • If the spinal rotation bothers your back, take it out and simply use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left.

Stretches hips, back, glutes

7. Three-Legged Dog

Three-Legged Dog
Three-Legged Dog

This version of Downward Facing Dog helps activate the hips more, Atkins says. You can also bend the knee of the extended leg, bringing your foot to your butt, and circle your leg from the hip to make the stretch more active.

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog with your feet hip-width apart, hands shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward, and your hips pushed up into the air. Your head should be between your arms, facing your lower body.
  • Lift one leg off the floor and extend it high, straightening your knee as much as you can.
  • Alternate between pointing and flexing your foot to vary the stretch, Atkins suggests.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, switching legs halfway through.

Stretches hips, shoulders, hamstrings, back

8. Kneeling Side Bend Stretch

Kneeling Side Bend Stretch
Kneeling Side Bend Stretch
  • Kneel on the floor with your legs together, back straight, and core tight.
  • Extend your left leg out to the side. Keep it perpendicular to your body (not in front or behind you).
  • Extend your right arm overhead, rest your left arm on your left leg, and gently bend your torso and right arm to the left side.
  • Keep your hips facing forward.
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Stretches groin, hips, inner thigh, obliques

9. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent.
  • Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
  • Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Stretches hips, quads, glutes

10. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch With Rotation

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch With Rotation
Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch With Rotation

Changing the angle on the lunging hip flexor stretch adds more of a hip rotation and lets you tap into different parts of your hips, Atkins says. “This option gives you a deeper hip extensor stretch.”

  • Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent.
  • Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
  • Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
  • Then, rotate your torso open to the left. If you can, reach your hands down to the ground, keeping your chest lifted, to deepen the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Stretches hips, quads, glutes

11. Pretzel Stretch

Pretzel Stretch
Pretzel Stretch

“I like the pretzel stretch because it stretches multiple important postural muscles in one stretch, which can be a huge time saver,” Cyrelson says. You’ll stretch the quads of your bottom leg, your spine, and the glutes and hip flexors of your top leg.

  • Lie on your left side with your head resting on your arm.
  • Bend your right knee and hip up toward your chest as far as you can, and let it drop to the floor.
  • Bend your left knee and grab your left foot (use a strap if you can’t reach it) with your right hand.
  • Make sure your leg and torso remain in a straight line as you gently bring your top shoulder blade toward the floor.
  • For more of a spinal twist, turn your head to look over your right shoulder.

Stretches quads, glutes, obliques, hips, back

12. Twisted Reclined Pigeon

Twisted Reclined Pigeon
Twisted Reclined Pigeon
  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and arms out to your sides in either a T or cactus arms (as shown).
  • Cross your right foot over your left quad.
  • Lift your left leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your left leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
  • Then, let your legs fall down to the left side, keeping your right foot just above your left knee. Try to keep your shoulder blades on the floor and hips as square to the ceiling as possible.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Stretches hips, glutes, lower back

13. Triceps Stretch

Triceps Stretch
Triceps Stretch
  • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
  • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
  • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
  • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
  • Switch arms and repeat.

Stretches neck, shoulders, back, triceps

14. Frog Stretch

Frog Stretch
Frog Stretch

“Most of us sit and cross our legs, which can lead to tight hips and result in lower-back pain,” Lacee Lazoff, a NASM-certified personal trainer and instructor at the Fhitting Room in New York City, tells SELF. “This stretch directly target tights spots in the hips/groin and is especially useful for runners.”

  • Start on all fours.
  • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
  • Move from your hands to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
  • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

15. Sphinx Pose

Sphinx Pose
Sphinx Pose

New York City-based yoga instructor Shanna Tyler tells SELF that this pose stretches the lower back in a gentle way—plus, it engages your abs, which further supports the lower back.

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you.
  • Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor.
  • Press your hips and thighs into the floor, and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Don’t hyperextend, and stop immediately if you start to feel any discomfort or pain.

Stretches lower back, chest, shoulders

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