If you're feeling tight in your hips, it's probably time to stretch your hip flexor!
Hips play an important role in our day-to-day movements.They’re a vital joint for runners, bikers, and non-athletes alike, as they are essential for mobility and movement.
Sitting around all day can cause tight hip flexors. But the source of your pain isn't just the hip flexors — it's tight opposing muscles, like the glutes, hamstrings, and abductors.
What are Hip Flexors?
Hip flexors are muscles that help you lift your leg - a useful thing for walking, kicking, and other everyday movements.
The muscles that flex the hips are called the psoas major and the iliacus. Together, they're often referred to as the iliopsoas. These two muscles work together to help you bend forward at the waist and move your legs in front of your body.
The Six Best Hip Stretches That You Can Do Today
1) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
If you're looking for a great way to stretch and loosen up your hips and glutes, this is the pose for you. It's simple and effective, and it'll give you a great base to build on when it comes to other, more advanced stretching techniques.
How to do the Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:
• Stand with your left foot forward. If you're not sure of your balance, place your right hand on your left knee for support.
• Bend your right knee and slide it back until you feel a small stretch in the front of your hip.
• Squeeze your right glute like you're trying to push yourself forward, bringing your trunk and hips toward your left foot.
• With a slight pelvic tilt, tuck your hips and try to keep them square to the ground.
2) Pigeon Pose
Pigeon is an advanced yoga pose that's worth a try if you want to test your limits. You can easily modify the move by doing a figure-four stretch while lying down or sitting in a chair for a less intense version of the pose.
How to do the Pigeon Pose:
• Keep your palms under your shoulders as you plank.
• Raise your left foot off the floor and slide it forward so your knee is on the floor next to your left hand, your foot is near your right hand, and your toes are up.
• Keep your hips square and slide your right leg far back.
• Lower your chest to the floor by placing your hands on the floor.
• Maintain the stretch by not letting your chest drop.
• Switch sides.
This exercise is perfect for strengthening the gluteal muscles, but you can also use it to lengthen your hip flexors.
How to do the Bridge pose:
• While lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lift your hips up toward the ceiling.
• As you do this, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift yourself up.
• Pause for a brief second, then slowly lower yourself.
• Repeat several times.
4) Seated Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch is a great way to open up the hips, thighs, and groin. This stretch is good for runners and people who want to get limber.
How to do the Seated Butterfly Stretch:
• Starting in a seated position, grab your ankles and bring your feet close to your groin.
• Next, bring both feet together so they touch while keeping hold of your ankles.
• Both knees should be bent with the bottoms of your feet flat on the ground.
• Apply gentle pressure to keep your knees on the floor before holding this position for 20-30 seconds.
5) Reclined Hip Stretch
Give your hip flexors a break with this hip-flexor stretch. The reclined hip stretch is also known as the Figure Four Piriformis Stretch, and if you don't have a lot of flexibility or range of motion in your hips, this is a wonderful place to start.
How to do the Reclined Hip Stretch:
• All it requires is lying your back down on a yoga mat and bringing each knee up toward your chest in turn.
• Then rotate one leg outward at the hip so that your ankle rests on top of your other knee, above the knee joint.
• To deepen the stretch, grab your hands behind your thigh and pull gently.
• You should feel this move in front of each hip.
• Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat on both sides.
6) Lying Hip Flexor Stretch
If you're trying to relieve some tightness in your hips, it's time to try the Lying Hip Flexion Stretch.
Exercises for hip flexion can be done seated or standing. It's a simple stretch that moves the legs and encourages the hips to flex.
How to do the Lying Hip Flexion Stretch:
• Lie flat on the ground, bend your left leg and place your foot close to your chest.
• Wrap both hands around your leg as it draws near.
• Gently pull your leg toward you with a resistance band.
• Repeat with the right leg.
While there's no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, hip flexor stretches and strengthening exercises can help you prevent pesky niggles from showing up in the first place.
Poll : How often do you stretch?
Every 45 mins.
I never do!