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Tight hips can really cause a lot of pain and discomfort if you don’t take care of the problem as soon as you can. This pain that originates in your hip area can find its way around other areas of your body like your lower back, groin region, and even your glutes.
As you can imagine, dealing with this sharp pain in different areas of your body can really make doing simple daily tasks difficult. In order to really learn how to unlock tight hips, it’s important to understand what causes the problem to begin with.
The Cause of Tight Hips
There are a number of different things that can cause tight hips, but the most common of them all is sitting down for long periods of time day in and day out. When you remain in a seated position regularly each day it causes your hip flexor muscles to tighten up and cause a lot of pain.
Another common cause of tight hips for most people is excessive movements without properly stretching the hip flexor muscle group. Athletes are usually the ones that fall victim to tight hip flexors due to overuse without proper stretching and rest.
Regardless of what is actually causing your hips to tighten up on you, there is something you can do about it. There are various stretches you can do each day to loosen your hips and get instant relief from the pain it’s causing you.
Continue reading below to discover some of the best ways to stretch hip flexors and return to your normal daily routine.
3 of The Best Hip Flexor Stretches
This hip flexors stretch works primarily your glutes, or buttocks as they are also called sometimes. A common cause of tight hip flexors in athletes is that their glutes aren’t active enough while they run or do other sporting activities.
The runner’s lunge is a great way to strengthen weak glutes so they become just as active as the other muscles used while running.
To do the runner’s lunge follow the steps below:
- Start off in a push-up position.
- Now put your right foot forward making sure it lands right beside the pinky finger on your right hand.
- Next, you’re going to want your hips and back to drop down slowly to the floor.
- Take a deep breath and hold this position for about 15 to 20 seconds before you release it.
- Switch sides and repeat this runner’s lunge stretch by bringing your left foot forward this time.
For better results try to drop your hips deeper into the stretch and hold it a little longer.
The butterfly stretch works all the major muscles that make up your hip flexors, which makes it one of the best stretches for tight hips.
Follow the steps below to do the butterfly stretch:
- First, you’re going to want to sit down on the floor with your back in an upright position. Make sure the soles of your feet are touching each other and place your hands on both your ankles.
- Now use your arms and elbows to push down on your knee and thigh area to spread your legs apart some more. Push down on your legs until your knees are almost touching the ground.
- As you are pushing your knees down to the ground make sure you’re keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Hold this stretched position for at least 15 to 20 seconds while taking a deep breath and then release.
- Repeat this butterfly stretch at least 10 times at 15-20 second intervals for the best results.
The more pressure you apply on your knees while doing this stretch the better results you’ll experience. There are different variations of the butterfly stretch which you can see here.
All variations of the butterfly stretch will work your hip flexor muscle group as well as the surrounding muscles that often get affected due to tight hips.
Single Leg Squat
This is one of the best hip flexor stretching exercises because it really targets your hips. Along with loosening your hip flexor muscles it also helps strengthen your glutes which is another is an important muscle to focus on when you’re trying to get rid of pain and tightness in your hips.
To do the single leg squat follow the steps below:
- First, you’re going to want to stand in an upright position with your feet slightly apart from one another.
- Now raise your left leg into the air and bring it forward in front of your body. As you do this try to keep your back as straight as possible.
- Next, with your left leg out in front of your begin dropping your body down slowly until you’re in a squatting position. You want your right knee to be bending over your ankle.
- Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds before releasing and returning to the starting position.
- Do about 10 reps of this stretching exercise before switching legs and repeating with your left leg out in front of you.
It’s okay to put your hands out in front of you as you do this single leg squat to help maintain a good balance.
For the best results, you should do these stretches above regularly throughout the day. We recommend doing one of the 3 stretches at least 3 times each day.
If you have a desk job that requires you to sit around all day, try to get up every now and then and perform one or two of these hip flexor stretches to keep your hips loose and pain-free.